Medical Billing Specialist
Medical billing and coding is an increasingly important function in the health service industry today. As health care costs rise, and more people expect more and better health procedures, so the insurance industry and the government, the two major funders of health care, want to be sure that they are paying fairly for the procedures, that there is no fraud or abuse of the system, and that procedures are medially necessary.
Medical billing takes place either on hospital or clinic premises, doctor's offices, nursing homes and pharmacies, or sometimes it can be work done at home. Some people take a self-employed position as an insurance specialist to help people to understand their insurance bills and what they should be paying. It is a computer based job, so as long as the network links to the relevant servers are in place information can be received, processed and delivered to the insurance companies and the health organisations.
At the moment there are no set standards for educational requirements in this field, but increasingly employers require that medical billers have the necessary medical background knowledge of anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and pharmacology to be able to verify the information they are processing. There is also a demand for billing information, and for an understanding of the funding and insurance industry. One and two year courses are increasingly demanded, along with a certificate, diploma or associate degree. Several organisations give certification in this area.
Salaries are based on hourly rates of between $15 and $40 per hour, depending on the level of qualification and amount of experience.