Online Medical Billing Degree Programs
Online Medical Billing Degree Programs
Medical billing is an essential part of health related fields. Online medical billing degree programs provide comprehensive billing education and prepare students to pursue a wide variety of careers. Students learn billing, coding, insurance, and medical bookkeeping. They also develop and enhance writing, interviewing, communication, and technological skills. Students learn to effectively complete claim forms, bill insurance companies, abide by policies and procedures, and adhere to billing laws. Read more about online medical billing degree programs.
In 2006, medical records and health information technicians held 170,000 jobs with about 2 out of 5 technicians working in hospitals. Billing and posting clerks and machine operators (including medical billing clerks) held 542,000 jobs in 2006 with the healthcare industry employing more than 1/3 of billing clerks (1).
Employment of medical billing professionals varies on degree and position. Employment of medical records and health information technicians is projected to grow faster than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 18% and adding 30,000 new jobs. Billing and posting clerks and machine operators are expected to experience slower than average job growth, increasing by 4% and adding 24,000 new jobs. However, more medical billing clerks will be needed as the healthcare services industry grows (1). Medical billing specialists with less than 1 year experience earned average hourly wages between $10.02 and $13.66 (2).
Medical billing offers a few specialties to enable students to concentrate their studies and pursue interesting and meaningful careers. Medical billing specialties include medical coding, claims processing, medical reimbursement, medical records, medical transcription, medical records management, medical insurance, healthcare finance, medical office administration, and insurance coding. Students interested in a particular specialty should select institutions that offer strong programs in the particular area of interest.
What to Expect
There are a wide range of medical billing degree options such as diploma, certificate, associate degree, and bachelor degree. Diploma and certificate programs provide students with the basic billing concepts and enable students to pursue entry-level positions. Associate and bachelor degree programs require general education courses in areas such as English, mathematics, science, history, and electives. Core coursework varies by program, but most medical billing programs require courses in basic billing procedures, medical terminology, medical claims, medical insurance, and anatomy and physiology.
The End Result
Medical billing degrees open the door to many different career options in a variety of different areas. Medical billing graduates often work in hospitals, insurance firms, physician offices, group practices, pharmacies, and clinical research facilities. Career opportunities for medical billing degree graduates include:
- Medical Billing Specialist
- Medical Billing Administrator
- Billing Coordinator
- Insurance Claims Processor
- Medical Records Coder
- Medical Billing Supervisor
- Medical Billing Instructor
- Medical Records Specialist
- Health Information Specialist
- Medical Claims Examiner
- Medical Billing Manager
A medical billing career will be rewarding for individuals with a strong interest in medical terminology and billing procedures. Medical billing professionals apply their knowledge and skills and carry out billing tasks. They must maintain patient confidentiality and understand the various medical codes for many different procedures and treatments. They thoroughly understand billing software and follow up with any billing and reimbursement issues.
(1) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(2) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey Report