ILO in Asia and the Pacific / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND
Considering a career change? Thinking about a position in medicine, administration, or even data entry? You may want to look at medical coding and billing in the health information technology sector!
Need some convincing? We’ve got 16 reasons why this allied health career deserves serious consideration.
1. Working in Allied Health is Rewarding
How many people directly help others every single day? One of the greatest benefits of starting a career in the healthcare industry is the sense of satisfaction you’ll have when you go home,
Medical billing specialists are vital to keeping costs down, reducing medical mistakes and generally ensuring that patients’ medical histories are organized and correctly recorded.
2. You’ll Be in the Middle of a Fast-Paced Industry
Folders are becoming a thing of the past as new technologies revolutionize medical billing and coding. Photo : SarahSphar / Flickr
/ CC BY-NC
Within the wider healthcare industry, medical records maintenance is experiencing some of the biggest changes. Much of this has to do with this sector encouraging better use of electronic health records (EHRs).
Not only does this improve the way patient medical records are shared and used, but it also significantly cuts costs and improves outcomes. Medical billing and coding specialists are at the core of these vital reforms.
3. You Don’t Need to Go to Medical School
For people dreaming of working in medicine, the biggest deterrent is the average cost of education. Between the tuition of a four-year bachelor’s degree, four more years of medical school, medical residency, and further specialized training, it’s enough to scare almost anyone off.
For anyone considering a mid-career change, the necessary time and money are simply out of the question.
Luckily – as with most allied healthcare careers – becoming a specialist in this field doesn’t require a medical degree. Generally, accredited medical billing and coding schools train people in less than a year, making this a practical way to start in an entry-level position.
4. Catching Errors Can Save Lives
When you think about the life-saving work done by healthcare workers, you generally don’t think about clerical specialists. That said, there’s so much that these employees do to save lives. For instance, medical coding errors can be deadly when an incorrect code leads to the wrong treatment.
Ensuring that data is prompt and accurate is a core part of the behind-the-scenes work that keeps hospitals and clinics running and thriving. So by becoming a medical billing and coding specialist, you’re saving lives too.
5. You’ll Have Your Pick of Locations
When people think about changing careers, they’re most often concerned about whether they can find employment. If you’re too specialized, there may only be one or two companies in your area that can hire you.
In this allied health profession, you’ll have the potential to work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, administrative support centers, and even medical laboratories. With such a wide variety of organizations requiring experts, you can look forward to a dynamic job market with plenty of options.
6. You’ll Get to Work With Awesome People
They may not be documentaries, but great medical comedies like “Scrubs” certainly put their finger on something: Healthcare workers can be a fun bunch.
Medicine might be a very serious business, but you’ll probably be surrounded by colleagues who have a quirky (sometimes dark) sense of humor.
7. You Can Start a New Career in Just a Few Months
People considering a mid-career change probably don’t have four years to dedicate to obtaining a degree. In fact, most medical billing and coding programs can be completed in less than a year
Once you take exams offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), you’ll be certified and ready to work anywhere.
8. You Can Dress Comfortably at Work
People who enjoy wearing expensive suits, ties, heels, and other formal wear every day are generally few and far between. Those clothes are uncomfortable and often unforgiving during the summer months. Working in healthcare is a great alternative if you favor simplicity.
Some medical billing specialists are even required to wear scrubs to their hospital or lab. They’re designed for comfort – and can still be stylish.
9. Medical Coding and Billing Jobs Are Plentiful
After dedicating time and money to training and certification, a job needs to be waiting for you. You can count on plenty of good news. In fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates
that demand for medical billing and coding specialists to rise by 11% from 2018 to 2028 – that’s “much faster than average”. That translates into a lot of new hiring for medical billing and coding specialists.
By comparison, the average job market for US workers is expected to increase by only 7% during the same period.
10.Help Patients Without Working With Them
NEC Corporation of America / Flickr
/ CC BY
Okay, let’s face it: Dealing with customers (or patients) isn’t always the most enjoyable part of any job. If you’re the kind of person who would love to help people – without working directly with them – then medical billing and coding might be right for you.
Workers in this healthcare sector generally work in the background by handling patient records and ensuring that treatment and diagnosis codes are entered properly. Introverts are welcome in most of these positions, and will be happy to learn that many teams hire remote workers!
11. Remote Positions Are Increasingly Popular
Is medical coding hard? Well, you might have tough days, but life is a lot easier when you can do it in your favorite pair of sweatpants.
Because most of the work is done at a computer, some employers offer the option to work remotely for part (or all) of the week. So whether you’re a young professional who’d like to skip commuting – or a busy parent who’d love to spend more time at home with your kids – this option offers an enormous advantage.
12. Lots of Shift Flexibility
Are you a night owl or a morning person? Are you the kind of person who likes to work whenever you’re able?
Many institutions – like hospitals – offering medical coding and billing jobs
operate 24/7, so there’s always a demand for a variety of schedules. If you’re not a 9-5 kind of person, you can probably switch to a 2nd or rotating shift instead.
13. It’s a Great Way to Move Somewhere New
Maybe you’ve dreamed of sunny weather all year round. Good news: Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Houston are cities that employ the highest number of medical billing specialists
If your significant other accepted a job across the country, you can find work in just about every town and city. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime – take advantage of it!
14. You Can Say You’re a “Coder”
Though being a medical billing and coding specialist is quite different than the software developers you might be thinking of, you technically wouldn’t be wrong to say you’re a ‘coder’.
Software developers use coding languages to write software. And while this coding is all about determining and inputting the correct codes for medical conditions, it’s pretty easy to make your job title sound awesome.
15. There’s Plenty of Room for Upward Mobility
Nobody likes getting stuck in a position without any chance to grow. You’ll start to feel frustrated, stuck, and look for new opportunities elsewhere. Getting certified and working as a medical billing expert puts you right in the middle of the entire medical administration field.
You’ll be able to build your skillset and potentially move up the ladder to becoming a healthcare administrator one day.
16. Earn a Great Medical Coding Salary
As of 2018, the average US medical billing and coding salary was more than $40,000 – which is higher than the average American income. These numbers can fluctuate, depending on the location, type of employer and the amount of experience you already have.
For example, you’ll find the best average wages at scientific and technical companies. Living in the Garden State? You’ll be happy to learn that the highest-paying state for medical billing and coding is New Jersey, where these allied health professionals can pull in an average $54,020 each year!
Learn How to Become a Medical Coder
If you’re in the New Jersey area, contact one of our representatives to discover more about medical billing and coding classes
. It’s never too late to change your career!