Medical billing and coding specialist salary
The salary for a medical billing and coding specialist average annual salary is $38,000-$50,000 and is one of the highest when you compare it to other careers in the healthcare administration. What the exact average annual salary would be depends on how many years of experience you have, your geographical location, education, being certified or non-certified, shift, and more. Since some medical billing and coding specialist work weekends, nights, mid-shift, and holidays they may get holiday pay and shift differentials. The top state’s average annual salary is $35,000-$57,325 in California and the state with the lowest average annual salary is $19,888 in Indiana.
Working as a medical billing and coding specialist you may be offered a benefit package that includes paid vacation days, paid sick days, paid holiday or having them off, vision and dental care, life insurance, health insurance that may even cover their spouse, 401K, pension, social security, profit sharing, etc. What all goes into the benefit package would depend on where they are working but the main thing that figures into the salary is their experience.
Medical Billing and Coding Salary in 2016
The incomes of medical billing and coding professionals, in the United States, for the year 2016 are influenced and affected by some key factors, starting with the geographical location, type of employment and up to the years of experience in the field and the certification type. These factors are all important to consider, because only based on these you can expect earning more or less.
The vast majority of medical billing and coding specialists are women. The average hourly payment according to PayScale is around $14.82 per hour. The median income for these professionals is estimated to be at around $35,553 per year. The salaries of these professionals start from $24,093 and climb up to $50,494. The bonuses that are given usually reach at $1,492 while the profit sharing is estimated at $1,172, leading to a total payment that ranges from $24,963 and up to $43,558.
The national average for these specialists is listed at $31,639 per year. High above the national average incomes can be found in New York, Portland, Los Angeles, Dallas and other while on the other side below the national average incomes can be found in regions such as Huston, Orlando and Jacksonville and other as well.
A certified medical billing and coding specialist can expect to take home an hourly wage that is estimated between $10.56 per hour and up to $19.34 per hour, while the average median income reaches at $35,375 per year, according to the salary data statistics information provided by PayScale.
The starting point in the salaries of these professionals is estimated to range from $24,168 and up to $51,732. The bonuses that are granted to this group tend to reach at $1,962 while the profit sharing is comprised between $255.33 and $5,035. The commission reaches at $12,510 this leading in the end, with all the benefits added to incomes that vary from $24,593 per year and up to $54,809 per year or even higher.
When it comes to the experience level even though it is not a factor that impacts that much the income of these professionals it has its differences. For instance, an entry-level certified medical billing and coding specialists, with less than 5 years of working experience can expect to receive $30,010 per year while one individual that already has between 5 to 10 years in the field can expect at an income that reaches up to around $34,010 per year.
Experienced medical billing and coding specialists with 10 and up to 20 years at the working site and with plenty of experience in the field can expect to receive $38,010 per year while veterans with more than 20 years will gain around $41,010 per year.
Medical billing and coding specialist salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
- Canada—the average annual salary for medical billing and coding specialists, as with the United States and other countries, depends on what position they hold, where they are working, and how many years of experience they have. Over the years the salary has risen, especially for the ones that are certified, have taken further training, and have more years of experience. Today the average annual salary is C$45,000 but can be as high as C$60,000 in more specialized workplaces. Working in an outpatient department has an average annual salary of C$43,000 while the average annual salary is C$47,000 working in inpatient departments of a hospital.
- Australia—in Australia they are referred to as a medical coder and biller and their average salary is AUS$62,350 but with 10 years of experience or more their average annual salary is AUS$88,000 or more. The geographical location also plays a part in what their salary would be,
- UK—with less than 5 years experience as a medical billing and coding specialist the average annual salary is 15,000 pounds. Working in a clinical research industry you would earn more than if you were working in a health care facility. Working in a healthcare facility the average annual salary would be 17,000 compared to the average annual salary of 25,000 working in clinical research.
Salary of a Medical Billing and Coding in 2015
Being different jobs but with common practice you can easily add that the medical billing and coding salary will be influenced in 2015 by certain factors. Considered to be one of the highest earning salaries in this field, the salaries of these professionals are influenced according to the state in which they are working, the area, the settings and other.
The years of activity play a vital role in their salaries as well as the training that one has accomplished. For instance, those who already have related experience in the field and have already been working for some years can gain a salary that can reach $59,185 per year. Other factors that appear to have influenced the increasing or decreasing the amount in a year are also important. These factors are linked to the type of industry the highest and lowest points, the geographical location and the reputation that one has gained over the last years.
With the job opportunities present for the year 2015 in the US, you can easily choose the career that will satisfy you the most. Being a medical billing and coding expert can always be a great step up, and a dream job if you possess the qualities that are required and you are linked with daily tasks.
Medical coding and billing career
What is a medical billing and coding specialist?
This is the medical professional who has the crucial responsibility for making sure that appropriate reimbursements and payments are made. Essentially medical billing and coding are two separate and different jobs but it has been common practice to consider them one job. The reason is that both seem to overlap each other. Being a medical billing and coding specialist you are considered to have an administrative position which makes them in high demand because of the high volume of work that they need to do and the accuracy that is needed to make sure that the insurance companies and patients are billed correctly.
Job description of a medical billing and coding specialist
Being a medical billing and coding specialist you would have two vital duties that you would need to perform each day.
- Use coded information in order to invoice the insurance company and the patient correctly without having to list each item on the statement in detail.
- Keep detailed records of the healthcare services that were provided to the patient from the beginning of the treatment process to the end. The medical billing and coding specialist relies on a formal coding system in order to guarantee confidentiality and accuracy.
In order to do these two vital duties you would conduct a multistep process that includes:
- Providing the appropriate coding on the patient’s diagnosis, treatment, medical history, and any tests that were done.
- In order to ensure accuracy you would need to make sure that the information you are putting in is precise and clear.
- To create invoices that is sent to the insurance company if the patient has insurance and to the patient you would use the coded medical records.
- You would also need to accurately record the insurance company’s and patient’s information into the computer system.
By doing it this way you will have medical billing records that will protect the patient’s rights along with allowing the health care system to run correctly and smoothly. Many times a medical billing and coding specialist will be hired to translate patient information and procedures into insurance and billing codes. When working as a medical billing and coding specialist you need to be fast but accurate when putting the data in the patient’s chart and on the insurance claims. You also need a keen eye for details and you also need to maintain the confidentiality of the patients as to what procedures you are billing them, how much the bill was, who the insurance carrier is, etc. It is also possible with experience you could be the supervisor or administrator that manages a group of medical billing and coding specialists along with being the trainer for new medical billing and coding specialist new hires.
How to become a medical billing and coding specialist?
Many healthcare employers require a medical billing and coding specialist to have some type of postsecondary education before they would hire them to work for their office. One example of a postsecondary education is having an Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding which takes 2 years to complete. While getting your associate degree you will have the opportunity to have a textbook and practical foundational understanding of healthcare organizations. Some of the classes that you will take include medical office administration processes, medical terminology, medical ethics and law, standard procedures, learning the different code and applying them to example situations that you might encounter in your job. The program that you are taking may also offer you some general education courses like speech, business math, English, and more.
During the 2 years you are attending school to get your associate degree you will also need to take classes in classification systems like DSM-IV, HCPCS, and ICD-9. They will also be trained in medical insurance that covers the various private and public insurance providers like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicare, Medicaid, and more.
Certification is not mandatory to gain employment as a medical billing and coder specialist but having the certificate can help you gain employment and demand a higher salary. The certification that is most commonly acquired is the Certified Coding Assistant (CCA). The exam that you need to take to get this certification is taken through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The exam is taken typically after you have graduated from the program and gotten your associate degree. You will also be eligible to take the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam that includes either a hospital-based or physician-based option after you have a few years of work experience as a medical billing and coding specialist. The reason that an employer prefers to have a certified medical billing and coding specialist is that they have all the latest knowledge and training to be a medical billing and coding specialist and all they would have to be taught is the filing, computer, and billing processes of the employer they are working for.
In time if you decide that you want to advance your career you can go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in health information management or health informatics to find employment in healthcare management. The billing codes that are currently being used when you find employment may change or have new ones added so you need to make sure that you are keeping up with the new technology by reading new billing code books or going back to school to take refresher courses in medical billing and coding.
Work environment and schedule
There are many different employment opportunities for a medical billing and coding specialist. They can work in medical facilities like hospitals or clinics, insurance companies, private practices, group practices, and more. There are some companies that hire medical billing and coding specialist, like a temporary employment agency, and send them out to various jobs. Some medical billing and coding specialists opt to work from home on a contractual basis. When working as a medical billing and coding specialist you may work in a business office that is separated from the public or you could work as a medical billing and coding specialist/receptionist whose job would also include serving and greeting the patients, checking and marking that the patient is here for their appointment and what time, and then letting the medical assistants know the patient is there.
Being a medical billing and coding specialist most will work full time but if you are self-employed or work for an outsourcing company you may be able to work part time. When a medical billing and coding specialist would work depends on their employer. In some medical facilities like a hospital may hire a medical billing and coding specialist to work the graveyard shift when there is no one else there but the medical billing and coding specialist. Depending on the healthcare facility or insurance company there may be 1 or more medical billing and coding specialists working this shift.
Some may even just work on Saturday and Sunday for the same reason that one would work the graveyard shift. There are no physicians, other healthcare professionals, ringing phones, or patients to distract them from their work.
Some of the duties that a medical billing and coding specialist might do on a daily basis can include:
- Entering the patient’s information into computer files
- Organizing, managing, and sorting paperwork including the patient’s charts if they have not gone to digital patient’s charts.
- Accessing a patient’s chart and entering any additional information for tests, physician’s visits, treatment that they have had.
- Translating the information into the correct alphanumeric medical code
- After preparing the invoices they will send the patients an invoice after billing the insurance company. After receiving payment or denial notice from the insurance company the medical billing and coding specialist would send another invoice to the patient with the explanation the insurance company gave for not paying the claim and what the new bill would be.
- If they receive payments from insurance companies they would post the payments to the proper account.
- Resolve any conflicts regarding reimbursements and payments.
Pros and cons of being a Medical Billing and Coding Expert
Speaking in terms of a medical billing and coding, you should probably understand that these are truly two different jobs. Still, due to their tasks and duties, many times they overlap, and as an individual you’ll get the chance even to combine them.
A medical billing and coding job will assume an administrative work in the area of a hospital or other healthcare facilities, or even physician’s clinics so the job opportunities can easily be found in this career. Working as one of these professionals will require a lot from your side a huge amount of attention to the details, be confidential regarding a patient private’s information, and work fast imputing the details they possess.
The pro in this business working as a medical billing and coding is the salary that encompasses other health care administers. The salary of these professionals can range from $38,010 per year and $50,010 per year. The job opportunities are varied, and you’ll get even chances for advancement, but in this case you’ll probably need to finish some advanced training and gain certification in this field.
The education requirements in this field can be summed up as a con since to work as a medical billing and coding you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. To all these, you can add some serious financial debt since some of the training programs can be pretty costly, not to mention time-consuming.
Another con in this career starts with the duties and the tasks that must be completely in a clear and accurate way. You have to make sure that any information that you provide is accurate, and your job is fulfilled as it should be done.
Medical Billing and Coding job growth
Considering the next five to ten years, the employment growth medical billing and coding specialists is projected with 21%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of demanding is increasing substantially due to the health care facilities that are always in need for these professionals since there is a continuous update to the new technology.
There will always be facilities that need the aid of medical billing and coding specialists that known how to make it easier with the switching to a new system and known how to use it. The job satisfaction among this group is very satisfactory, and the future job prospects are very good.
Conclusion on medical billing and coding specialist salary
According to the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics (BLS) the job opportunities for a medical billing and coding specialist is expected to increase by 21% from 2010-2020. It is a medical specialty that is growing faster than average and if you are looking for a job with stability and security this would be the job for you. If you are one that prefers to work alone or with a group of others but not have to deal with patients on a daily basis, have a mind for numbers, great organizational skills, then working as a medical billing and coding specialist would be the ideal job.
On average the annual medical biller and coder salary is $36,770 but could be lower for those who are just getting into the job market. It is not a large salary but is actually one of the highest for those working in the healthcare administration field. You may be able to make more working as a professional in another business field, as a manager, or even in a factory but not all those other employment opportunities suit everyone. You also need to look at the great benefit package, the working environment, and the opportunity to be self-employed and work at home or find employment with hours that suit your busy schedule. There are also chances to advance to another healthcare field by furthering your education.
- First Published Date: 1 December, 2014
- Last Updated Date: 9 September, 2016