Certified Medical Billing/Coding Specialist Salary
Job Description for Certified Medical Billing/Coding Specialist
A certified medical billing/coder specialist is a skilled medical worker who functions in an office-based setting to interpret official medical records into codes which can be submitted to insurance companies for payment. The certified medical billing/coder specialist must be skilled in understanding medical terminology and searching the medical provider's documentation to identify all diagnoses, conditions, reasons for treatment, services and procedures recorded, and to assign the appropriate billing code to each. The codes determine the amount that the physician is paid for his or her services. The codes are contained in the medical records coder "bibles," the ICD-9 and CPT-4 books. Working as a certified medical billing/coder specialist requires a strong background not only in medical terminology, but also in anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, computer and typing skills, billing, and accounting. Certified medical billing/coder specialist students also complete a hands-on practicum prior to graduating. Certified medical billing/coder specialist programs are offered as diploma or degree programs. Upon graduation, the coder must take and pass a national certification exam. Certified medical billing/coder specialists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient and inpatient clinics, surgical centers, and dental offices. Any place that provides medical services requires the services of a certified medical billing/coder specialist. Certified medical billing/coder specialists work in conjunction with physicians and other medical providers and, in addition to coding services, provide education to providers regarding medical record requirements and conduct chart reviews for completeness. Certified medical billing/coder specialists have the ability to make their own schedule, and with telecommuting can even work at home.
Certified Medical Billing/Coding Specialist Tasks
- Organize and verify patient records, bills, and statements.
- Code patients' diagnoses and requests payment from insurance companies or individuals.
- Record and process patient data including treatment records, insurance information, bills, and payments.
- Set-up payment plans for patients.
Common Career Paths for Certified Medical Billing/Coding Specialist
Certified Medical Billing Specialists who go on to become Medical Coding Auditors may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Medical Coding Auditors is $50K annually. Certified Medical Billing Specialists most often move into positions as Certified Professional Coders or Medical Coders; those groups report median salaries that are $5K higher and $3K higher, respectively.
Medical Billing/Coding Specialist Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Certified Medical Billing/Coding Specialist
Survey results show that Certified Medical Billing Specialists use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Current Procedural Terminology Coding, International Statistical Classifications of Diseases - 10 Coding, International Statistical Classifications of Diseases - 9 Coding, and Accounts Receivable are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 10 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Claim Handling. Most people who know Billing also know Insurance and Medicaid & Medicare Billing. Most people skilled in Medical Coding are similarly competent in Medicaid & Medicare Billing and Insurance.
Pay by Experience Level for Certified Medical Billing/Coding Specialist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Certified Medical Billing Specialists do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $31K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $36K. On average, Certified Medical Billing Specialists make $39K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $40K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.
Pay Difference by Location
Chicago is home to an above-average pay rate for Certified Medical Billing Specialists, 14 percent higher than the national average. Certified Medical Billing Specialists will also find cushy salaries in Tampa (+10 percent), New York (+10 percent), Dallas (+10 percent), and San Antonio (+9 percent). St. Louis ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 8 percent below the national average. Houston and Jacksonville are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries tend to be 7 percent less than the median.