Discrete: As a medical biller you’ll have access to personal information regarding a patient’s medical history as well as sensitive information such as social security and credit information. HIPPA laws protect this information and you’ll need to make sure you are very discrete. New York might also have laws that pertain to how to handle and access this information.
Organizational: You’ll be dealing with a lot of codes ad different patients and will need to be very organized and accurate with the information you work with.
Communication: Since you’ll be working with insurance companies as well as patients you’ll need to be on the phone a lot. You’ll need to communicate clearly, have goals and a strategic plan each day to achieve those goals.
Independent Worker: As a medical biller or coder you’ll probably work independently most of the time. Most of the work you’ll do will be with clients over the phone or talking to insurance companies. You’ll need to be self-motivated and solve problems by yourself with little to no supervision.
Education: You need to stay on top of your game when it comes to the industry and learning everything new. The medical billing and coding industry is always making advancements including new software on how to do your job better and faster.
Patience: Claims can take time, keep a clear head when dealing with insurance companies as well as clients. Clients are unhappy typically when it comes to their healthcare bills so you’ll need patience with your job.
Carey Dinesson, Medical Biller – Queens, NY
What type of education did you receive?
I actually stumbled into becoming a medical biller by accident. I was working for a doctor’s office doing some of their marketing when one day my boss heard me on the phone and said I had a way with people. He asked me if I was interested in helping out at the front desk while they try to find a replacement for someone who recently quit. I worked for about a month and they liked my work so much they hired me on full-time at the front desk. I didn’t have any formal training so my boss said he would pay for it if I would go back to school and earn a degree in medical billing and coding. I was able to keep my job and even work on some of the courses while I was still at work. I had already earned a lot of credits from college so in less than a year I received my degree and have been working there ever sense.
What is the hardest thing about being a medical biller?
For me the hardest was figuring out the insurance companies. It took me the longest to understand the process on how things were billed as I didn’t realize that the insurance companies (usually in New York) didn’t pay the best when it came to claims.
What are your career goals in medical?
I really enjoy working at my current job. The people are great that I work for and the doctor is really a great boss to have. I have been thinking about going back to school to become a nurse. I just really enjoy people and I don’t see myself collecting bills and fighting with insurance companies for the rest of my life.
What advice would you give any young individual looking into this career?
I learned pretty early on to just go for it. I mean I wasn’t even looking for a career in medical biller and coding and my doctor saw something in me that I didn’t. Once he told me I would be good at it he pushed me to go back to school and try. I never even realized what a coder did until I went back to school so if I could do it then anyone can. I think one should always take any opportunity that is given to them as it is rare these days and most jobs are available to those who work hard and really want it more than they next person applying.
The state of New York has over 10,000 medical billers and coders. The average salary in the state is $39,770 and the top 5% earn over $71,552. Some of the top cities that make the most in terms of salary include:
- Syracuse, NY. On average medical biller and coders range from $42,500 to $56,750.
- Albany, NY. Some of the highest careers at $60,250.
- New York, NY. Employs the most at 4500 medical billers making on average $46,650.
- White Plains, NY has the best benefits for medical billers and coders