Medical Insurance, Billing, and Coding at a Glance
Graduates of the Medical Insurance, Billing, and Coding programs are prepared to work as medical billers and/or medical coders. They fall into the professional category of health information technicians. A post-secondary certification is typically required to enter this occupation, and some health information technicians may also have an Associate’s degree. In addition, many employers require professional certification. Technicians can advance to a medical or health services manager after completing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program and taking the required certification courses. Requirements vary by facility.
Typical Tasks Performed
Depending on the size of the practice or healthcare facility, a health information technician may perform both medical coding and medical billing tasks.
Typical tasks performed by medical coders include:
- Communicating with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to categorize the services a patient received
- Applying standardized codes to patient records to accurately reflect the services received
- Entering data through electronic health record and electronic medical record software used in hospitals and physicians’ offices
- Examining patient charts and histories to ensure coding accurately reflects a patient’s medical care
Typical tasks performed by medical billers include:
- Submitting claims to insurance companies
- Managing account payments and invoices
- Investigating rejected or denied claims
- Verifying the accuracy of standard healthcare codes used by medical coders to classify services and products
Outlook for Employment
Employment of medical records and health information technicians is projected to grow 13 percent through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to government statistics. The demand for health services is expected to increase as the U.S. population ages. Additional records, coupled with widespread use of electronic health records by all types of healthcare providers, could lead to an increased need for technicians to organize healthcare information and records.
Industries That Employed the Most Medical Records and Health Information Technicians in 2016:
- Hospitals; state, local, and private – 36%
- Physician offices – 19%
- Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) – 6%
- Administrative and support services – 8%
- Professional, scientific, and technical services – 7%
Please note that these are national statistics and projections that might vary by location.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm; visited January 17, 2018 and the American Academy of Professional Coders aapc.com