Healthcare is a rewarding field, but thinking of the years of training to become a doctor or medical professional can be intimidating—for your confidence and for your wallet. Thankfully there is an option that’s perfect for entering the medical profession without decades of tuition fees and training: getting a degree in medical billing. Getting a degree in medical billing can give you many valuable career opportunities with competitive salaries.¹
What Is A Medical Billing Specialist?
A medical billing specialist is an individual who helps healthcare providers process payments, invoices and insurance claims. It involves inputting and verifying the codes of medical treatments and services and making sure they reach the right person or organization and are paid on time.² The job is especially well suited to someone who enjoys working in an office environment, is computer-literate and has a high attention to detail and accuracy.
The profession also goes by the name medical record and health information technician, so don’t let that confuse you.
You Can Get A Medical Billing Degree Quickly
You can get a degree in medical billing in as little as three months. There are also many opportunities to do so online. After the basic three month to one-year-long degree you can then upgrade to a two-year associate’s degree or a four year Bachelor’s degree if desired and branch out into becoming a medical assistant, dental assistant and numerous other fields. But you absolutely do not have to, and there are still many incredible opportunities without doing so.
Another plus for many students is that you aren’t required to take an exam, just to do well on the coursework. You can later work to obtain certification when you are ready and have job experience. This is done by sitting for the Certified Coding Specialist test offered through the American Health and Information Management Association (AHIMA) or the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
The Many Advantages of a Medical Billing Degree
Obtaining a degree in medical billing is a great way to get your foot in the door of the medical profession and can lead to many opportunities. The field provides a lot of potential for moving up and getting promotions as you gain more experience.
The salaries are also quite competitive. To be specific, the average salary for a medical billing specialist was $41,134 in 2019.³ Another big plus is that there is a major demand for medical billers: in fact the job is projected to experience growth of over 11 percent from now until 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which notes that this is “much faster” than growth in other economic sectors.⁴ The truth is that America is getting older and living longer, and individuals who can help people with their healthcare in any way are going to be in demand—and well paid—going forward into the future.
More Big Benefits of a Medical Billing Degree
A medical billing degree leads to jobs that not only pay well but that also tend to have flexible—and reasonable—hours. There are many part-time jobs in the field and you will not be expected to run in on late notice or work major overtime like nurses and doctors are often expected to.
Even better, a medical billing degree will not require you to actually do medical treatments or work on patients: there will be no need to cut open cadavers or perform operations as you obtain the degree. You also will not have to watch others do these kind of things. Your job is in records, so you can rest easy and focus on what you enjoy and what you are good at.
Best Way To Get A Medical Billing Degree
The simplest and most cost-effective way to get a degree in medical billing is online through a 6 to 12 month course. It is important to make sure the course you are signing up for is authorized by the Commission on Accreditation of Health Information Management organization, so contact the school to verify this.
Performing a simple search online is an easy way to get started and find a solid program that suits your needs. Once you have found a good program with reasonable tuition — you are ready to enroll, obtain your degree and begin a successful career in medical billing.