Master in Medical Billing and Coding
The healthcare sector in the US is currently experiencing a considerable growth. There are scores of job opportunities for individuals with degrees in different healthcare-related areas. Medical experts cannot only enjoy a favorable work environment but also benefit from consistent growth opportunities.
Just like for other healthcare professionals, the job outlook for medical billers is very positive. These professionals manage billing for clinics, hospitals and other medical offices. The employment of medical billers and coders is expected to increase by 21% from 2010 to 2020. The profession offers good salaries and steady growth prospects so if you want to kick start a career, becoming a medical biller and coder can be a great choice.
As a medical biller and coder, you will be responsible for creating and maintaining patient records and keeping patient information for use in databases and registries. You will also have to track records to assess the quality of patient care.
Medical Billing and Coding Programs
Medical billing and coding degrees are offered from the associate to the master's level. Though an associate degree can help you get into the field but pursuing an advanced program can be helpful in a competitive job market. The master in medical billing and coding can be completed in 1-2 years. The master's degree is designed for those of you who want to find the top-level positions including management. It will help you have in-depth knowledge in the field and find the best prospects.
Some of the topics students can pursue in the master's degree in medical billing and coding are, computerized record keeping, check-in procedures, business communications, patient discharge and medical reimbursement. The curriculum may also instruct students in health reimbursement & legal issues and health information technology. Students may also have to complete externships in hospitals or medical offices to get hands-on experience.
A high school diploma is required to pursue a graduate degree in medical billing and coding. Other requirements for admission may vary by school.
Both undergraduate and graduate programs in medical billing and coding are offered by online schools. The distance learning programs can be a good option but they call for self-discipline. Students must organize themselves and follow a proper schedule for completing online programs.
As employment prospects in this field are very positive, a career as medical billers can be a good choice. Those of you who want a job with less or no stress should consider this line of work as it is ranked as one of the Least Stressful Jobs of 2013 on Forbes.
Medical billers and coders can work in medical offices, insurance firms or government agencies. The salary of these medical experts ranges between $21,000 and $53,000 a year. The location, experience and qualification are some of the factors that can determine their income. Most medical billers work full-time. As this job calls for attention to detail, candidates should be particular about minute information. Patience and communication skills are also among the qualities required by medical billers and coders.