Whether you are in the process of choosing your first profession or are looking to change paths, you should seriously consider pursuing a career in medical billing and coding. Medical coding is a sought after skill in the always thriving health care industry. It offers opportunities for employment in hospitals or medical centers as well as the possibility of self-employment as a freelancer who works in-office or from home. The following are seven reasons you should consider a career in medical billing and coding:
1. Work in a Profession that is in Demand
Medical Coding and Billing is a high demand occupation, and will likely remain that way.
While new software greatly assists the work of medical coding, there is no substitute for a human being who can input information, check for possible errors and inconsistencies, and keep information organized in a way that other human beings can follow.
2. Take Advantage of a Range of Education and Training Options
While most jobs in the health care industry require years of specialized training, you can prepare yourself for a career as a medical coder in as little as three months. With the expansion of for-profit and online technical colleges, there are more options than ever for becoming a medical coder. Coursework and training can be done online, in a physical classroom, or combination of both. This means you can be trained and accredited as a medical coder on your own schedule without quitting your current job until you are ready.
3. Serve an Important Role in the Health Care Industry
Working in medical billing is a way to contribute to the health care field without years of training or being married to the job. You can be proud that you are serving in an industry that helps countless people every day.
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4. Never Stop Learning
The complex standards and best practices surrounding insurance billing, Medicare, and Medicaid are constantly changing. While often routine, there are enough regular changes to coding requirements to keep you active and alert in your job. The ability to keep learning and adapting without being overwhelmed by challenges is important to long-term job satisfaction and is something you will find in the medical coding profession.
5. Keep a Steady and Predictable Work Schedule
The majority or medical coders work in hospitals and medical centers or for contractors that provide support services for hospitals. This offers the advantage of steady work on a predictable schedule, often with good benefits. While many people in the health care industry work long and often unpredictable hours, a medical coder can expect to work a 40 hour work week and be able to make a clear distinction between their work life and their family life. This is invaluable for those who thrive on the stability of a regular routine.
6. Be Your Own Boss and Make Your Work Schedule Fit Your Life
A 9 to 5 schedule is not for everyone. While most medical coders are employed to work normal business hours, a growing number are self-employed freelancers. The expanding use of internet technologies in the health care field has made it possible for more medical billing to be done remotely. If you are entrepreneur at heart, or need the flexibility of working from home, then working as an independent medical coder may be an option for you.
7. A First Step Toward New Opportunities
Finally, getting a job as a medical coder can serve as a foot in the door that allows you to pursue further clerical and administrative opportunities in health care. Medical coders are in a position to become familiar with the operations of nearly every facet of the health care business. This is something you are not likely to find in other entry-level positions.
As you can see, medical coding offers many possibilities for someone looking to begin a new career. It is definitely a path worth considering.