16 Great Reasons to Start a Medical Billing and Coding Career
Are you considering changing careers? Thinking about a position in medicine or administration? You may want to start considering a medical billing and coding career. Need some reasons? Luckily for you, we’ve got 16 great ones.
1. Working in Healthcare is Rewarding
How many people can say their career contributes directly to saving lives every single day? Not many. One of the greatest benefits of starting a career in the healthcare industry is that sense of satisfaction you just can’t get anywhere.
Medical billing and coding specialists are vital to keeping costs down, reducing medical mistakes and generally ensuring there’s a free flow of information about patients’ medical histories. In other words, they’re an important member of a team that keeps vital healthcare facilities up and running, and saving lives.
2. You’ll Be in the Middle of a Fast-Paced Industry
Out of all the areas within the wider healthcare industry, billing and coding is actually one of the areas experiencing the greatest evolution today. One of the core provisions of the legislation attempting to reform the healthcare industry has been encouraging better use of electronic medical records.
By improving the way patient medical records are shared and used, the US healthcare industry is looking to cut costs and improve outcomes on a huge level. Medical billing and coding specialists are at the core of these vital reforms, placing them in the middle of one of the most exciting areas of healthcare.
3. You Don’t Need to Go to Medical School
Perhaps the biggest hurdle preventing people who dream of working in medicine from living out their dreams is the cost of medical school. Between the cost of a four year pre-med bachelor’s degree, four more years of medical school, a residency, and perhaps some further specialized training, it’s enough to scare almost anyone off.
For anyone who’s considering a career change, the years involved in most medical professions are out of the question.
Luckily, as with most allied healthcare professions, becoming a medical billing and coding specialist doesn’t require a medical degree. Generally, a program at an accredited school – less than a year of training – is sufficient, making this a practical way to start a new career.
4. You’re Saving Lives Too
When you think about the life-saving work done by healthcare workers, you generally don’t think about medical billing and coding specialists. But there’s still a lot these employees do to save lives every day. For instance, medical coding errors can be deadly. This can be a case where an incorrect code is input, leading to the wrong treatment being applied.
That’s why medical billing and coding specialists are so essential. Making sure data is prompt and accurate is a core part of the behind the scenes work that keeps hospitals and clinics running. So by becoming a medical billing and coding specialist, you’re saving lives too.
5. You’ll Have Plenty of Employer Options
It’s a fear many people have when changing careers: “What if I can’t find a job in my new field?” One major restriction is the number of potential employers you have. If you’re looking at a position that’s extremely specialized, there may only be one or two companies in your area that hire for a job like yours. This often means you’d have to relocate to find work.
But with medical billing and coding, you have the potential to work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, administrative support centers, and medical laboratories. The fact that such a wide variety of organizations need medical billing and coding specialists means that you can look forward to a more dynamic job market that has plenty of options for you.
6. You 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. One look at some of the top Instagram accounts of medical professionals will tell you as much. Medicine might be very serious business, but that doesn’t mean every day has to be the same. Medical schools may not teach a sense of humor, but sometimes, that’s what you end up learning there.
7. You Can Start a New Career in Just a Few Months
This is hugely important for anyone considering a career change, as they often don’t have the time to devote four years or more to obtaining a degree for their new career. Medical billing and coding programs often don’t take long to complete. Many of them can be completed in less than a year. After that, you can take exams offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and you’ll be certified and ready for the job market.
8. You Can Dress Super Comfortably at Work
People who enjoy wearing a suit, tie, heels, or other formal wear every day to work are generally few and far between. Those clothes are expensive, uncomfortable, and often not too friendly when the heat of summer comes into full force. That’s why working in healthcare can be a fantastic alternative.
Most people working in medical billing and coding are able to wear scrubs to the office every day. Wonder what that feels like? Well, they’re designed for comfort, so that should give you an idea. Plus, they can still be stylish.
9. The Field is Hiring
If you’re worried about finding a job after devoting the time and money to get trained and certified, we’ve got good news for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates demand for medical billing and coding specialists to rise by 15% from 2014 to 2024. That’s “much faster than average”.
By comparison, the average job in the Unites States is estimated to see demand for workers increase by just 7% over that same period. That translates into a lot of new hiring for medical billing and coding specialists.
10. You Can Help Patients Without Working With Them
Okay, let’s face it, sometimes dealing directly with customers or patients isn’t the most enjoyable part of a job. If you’re the kind of person who would love to have a job that allows you to help people without necessarily working with them on the front lines every day, then medical billing and coding might be right for you.
Workers in this field generally don’t interact with patients. Instead, they’re in the background, handling patient records and ensuring all the billing and coding aspects of their treatment are handled properly. Introverts are welcome!
11. There’s a Lot of Shift Flexibility
Are you a night owl? No, maybe a morning person? Or are you perhaps just the kind of person who likes to be able to work when they want to work? Then you should pay attention here.
Since most of the institutions employing medical billing and coding specialists operate 24/7 – such as hospitals – there’s a need for all kinds of shifts. That means if you’re not a 9-5 kind of person, it’s no problem. But there are even greater sides to that flexibility when it comes to where you can work.
12. You May Be Able to Work from Home
It may be time to break out your favorite pair of sweatpants. Because most of the work done by medical billing and coding specialists is done on a computer, some employers offer the option to work from home for some part of the week.
Whether you’re a young professional who’d like to skip the commute on occasion or a busy parent who’d love to spend more time around their kids, this option is an enormous advantage.
13. It’s a Great Excuse to Move to Another State
The BLS also has a wealth of data about where hiring for medical billing and coding specialists is highest. The answer is good news for anyone who loves sunny weather, because cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Houston are top places to work.
Other areas that are looking to hire in large numbers are the greater New York City region, Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Dallas, and Baltimore. If you don’t already live in one of these exciting and dynamic areas, this may be the chance for a new start.
14. You Can Say You’re a “Coder”
This reason may not be so serious, but if you’ve always wanted to be able to say you’re a “coder,” you won’t be technically wrong. Though the coding aspect of being a medical billing and coding specialist is quite different than the software developers you might be thinking of.
Software developers use coding languages to write software, while this coding is about inputting the correct codes for various medical conditions into software. Still, let’s face it, not enough jobs have cool short versions of their titles to make you sound awesome.
15. There Are Career Growth Opportunities
Nobody likes the idea of getting stuck in a position without any real chances to grow. It can leave you feeling frustrated, stuck, and looking for new opportunities elsewhere. Luckily, getting certified and working in medical billing and coding can put you right in the middle of the entire medical administration field. That means there’s the possibility of expanding your skill set and potentially moving up the ladder to becoming a healthcare administrator one day.
16. Salaries Are Competitive
As of May 2015, the most recent date for which data is available from the BLS, the median medical coding and billing salary was $37,110 a year. That’s about $1,000 above the average for all occupations tracked by the BLS. But those numbers can be much higher depending on the location, type of employer, and amount of experience. The top 10% of earners in this field, for example, earn more than $61,400 a year. The highest earners tend to work for scientific and technical companies, where the median is $40,790 per year.
Learn More About Medical Billing and Coding
If you’re curious to learn even more about what it’s like to be a medical billing and coding specialist, check out all the information you need about what medical billing and coding is.
If you’re interested in seeing more detailed information about a local medical billing and coding program, you can find more info on our program page. And feel free to get in touch: We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.