Medical Billing: A Stable Entry-Level Career
With all the talk about potential changes to the healthcare system, there’s one thing that definitely won’t change: A visit to a doctor, clinic or hospital will result in a bill, regardless of who ends up paying for it.
That’s why medical billers will always be in demand.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in the medical records and health information technician sector — which includes medical billers — will grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average rate for all occupations.
If you’re looking to move into a career that offers long-term stability and opportunities for growth, a career as a medical biller is worth considering.
To learn more about how to break into this growing field, we spoke with Maggie DeBusk, an account manager who specializes in placing medical billers.
What a medical biller doesAs the job title suggests, medical billers oversee billing and payments related to medical services. They’re employed in a variety of practices, including primary care facilities, clinics and hospitals.
“Medical billers have quite a few responsibilities, including a lot of account resolution,” says DeBusk. “For example, a biller may interact directly with large insurers or government programs like Medicare to work through a patient billing issue. Successful billers are very task-oriented because, typically, they'll be required to get through maybe 50 or 60 claims a day.”
There’s no certification or specific educational background required for those looking for entry-level positions. As with all health-related jobs, a standard background test, drug screening and certain vaccines may be required.
Transferable skills and relevant experienceDeBusk cites experience working with insurance claims and familiarity with medical terminology as assets for those seeking entry-level positions.
“I recently placed a medical receptionist with one of our clients. She hadn’t done much billing, but she had really impressive experience working with insurance and she knew all of the terminologies. They gave her a shot and she eventually moved up to a higher medical billing role. So, it's definitely a really good opportunity for people looking to break into the industry.”
DeBusk recommends starting at a smaller clinic, where you’re more likely to be exposed to the full range of medical billing responsibilities.
“You’re going to get a lot more things handed to you. If you start at a huge place, you're going to do pretty much what your job description says, and you might not have that chance to do some pieces of medical billing that will help you progress in the field.”
How recruiters help medical billers find workAn experienced recruiter who knows the field gives entry-level medical billing candidates major advantages:
- Timing. Hospitals and clinics are busy places, and their interview process reflects that. Major recruiting companies like Aerotek have direct access to hiring managers and help to expedite the hiring process.
- Screening.. Aerotek conducts phone and in-person interviews with medical biller candidates before they schedule employer interviews, which increases the chances for a successful placement.
- Post-placement support. Aerotek recruiters check in with the contractor and the employer on a regular basis, especially during the first month, to make sure it’s a good fit for both sides.
Opportunities for growthOnce you’re established as a medical biller, there are opportunities for advancement. Billers can move into supervisory roles, managing medical billing departments with 20 to 40 employers. Medical billing can also lead to a career in medical coding, which requires additional training and certification, but offers more compensation.
But DeBusk notes that many billers who’ve moved into management positions miss the challenge of their former position.
“I think a lot of success in medical billing is personality. They've got to have that commitment and drive to meet the numbers.”
If you have that kind of drive, Aerotek recruiters are ready to support you.