Medical billing clerks hold one of the most important administrative duties in the healthcare industry, as they are in charge of billing the clients for products and services rendered. Medical billing clerks work with electronic health records (EHR) and have to interact directly with insurance agencies, patients and their family members. These clerks are involved with the financial aspect of the healthcare industry and look into the business aspect. They act as a conduit between healthcare providers and those seeking healthcare. They work under the direct supervision of a healthcare administrative manager.
Under hospital setting, they work in the billing and claims department alongside medical coders. Individuals who have attention to detail and an innate ability to work with numbers will do well in this profession. A thorough knowledge of medical procedures and terminology is required of a medical billing clerk. They should also be proficient in filling and entering bills and in office management systems. They are employed by hospitals, clinics, group practices, government agencies, insurance companies, long-term care facilities, etc.
The clerks are responsible for maintaining and compiling records of bills for products and services rendered. They have to work with advanced medical software programs and should have a working knowledge of computers. Interacting with insurance companies regarding settlement of bills is one of their primary tasks. They need to pay attention to details as it is their responsibility to tally numbers on the bill and present it to the clients. The job also involves looking into reimbursements and other complaints regarding billing. Interacting with patients and family members and answering any queries related to billing also takes up a part of their time at work.
If you planning to make a career in this field, you need to have at least a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. To get gainful employment, it will be better if you opt for a college degree in business administration or accounting. There are several colleges which offer a two-year associate degree in these subjects. If you want, you can enroll for a four-year bachelor's degree program in these subjects to get a better pay packet. You do not require any kind of formal certification to work in this field. Getting acquainted with the working knowledge of computers will also prove to be a plus point when you are looking for employment.
The job entails working responsibly in the billings and claims section of a healthcare setting, and settling the bills with customers and insurance companies. Taking into consideration the recent economic conditions, the salary of a medical billing clerk is quite comparable to similar professions in the industry. The average salary is around $33,000 per year. One of the factors that affect this figure is the job location. If you are working from an urban setting, your wages will be more than people working from rural settings. Here is a table to give you an idea about salaries offered to medical billing clerks in different states.
Like any other profession, when you acquire experience in the industry your salary graph will go up. People who are just entering the field will get comparatively less salaries than the ones with experience. Here are some of the statistics based on the experience of the candidate.
The salary can also be affected by the financial size of the employer and the kind of services they provide. Education also plays a vital factor in deciding the salary for a medical billing clerk. Employers prefer candidates with a degree in accounting or related fields.
Individuals with good communication and interpersonal skills will prosper in this profession. The recent government spending in the healthcare sector also means that there are more job opportunities than before for medical billing clerks.