In a challenging economy, one of the biggest things to look for in a career path is stability. While many industries are struggling and reducing the amount of new hires, the healthcare system continues to thrive. Aging baby boomers require more treatment than ever before, and switching to electronic medical records requires additional manpower in clinics, hospitals and insurance companies all across the globe.
Medical billing and coding is one area where employers are regularly seeking trained and educated hires, and the best way to prepare is with an online diploma, certificate or associate degree. Discover what steps to take in order to enjoy career stability and greater earning potential as a medical billing and coding specialist.
Daily Tasks of a Medical Coding and Billing Specialist
Before you decide that the stability and salary of this position is the right fit for you, make sure that you fully investigate the kind of daily tasks that will make up the average workday. Specialists in medical billing and coding generally work in private practices, in hospitals, in clinics, in pharmacies, in nursing homes and for insurance companies.
Their work consists of organizing medical treatments and turning the information into numeric codes to be submitted to insurance companies. Then, doctors, hospitals and other medical professionals get reimbursed for their patient care and services directly. The work requires an incredible attention to detail as well as a comfort with numbers and computers.
Required Training For This Position
Although there are still a handful of employers who might hire a medical coding and billing specialist and train them on the job, the overwhelming majority of positions are available only to those who have completed extensive training.
There are three major options for education in this field, and they include a diploma, an associate degree and a certificate. The degree and the certificate can both take anywhere from six weeks to a year to complete, but the two-year associate degree may be a smarter fit for those who want a better position and more security in the future.
Prerequisites For an Online Degree, Diploma or Certificate
Although the admission requirements can vary substantially from program to program, nearly all will require applicants to have a high school diploma and to be over the age of 18 by the time of enrollment.
However, some exceptions can be made for those with parental permission or those who have a general education degree. Applicants for an associate degree program should also have either ACT or SAT scores to submit with their transcripts.
Advantages of Online Education in This Field
In order to work as a medical coding and billing specialist, you will need to be comfortable using computers and software, which makes an online degree an obvious choice. Plus, online education is more convenient and can fit into the schedule of even the busiest student out there.
If you are serious about pursuing a career a medical billing specialist or medical coding specialist, a certification through Accredited-Online-Colleges is a great place to start.