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How Much Can I Make Doing Medical Billing?

How Much Can I Make Doing Medical Billing?

How Much Can I Make Doing Medical Billing?

How Much Can I Make Doing Medical Coding?

I receive many emails asking how much can I make doing medical billing? Or How much can I make doing medical coding? Well that has no definitive answer because it is dependent upon how you go into the field, are you going to be a medical billing clerk, a certified coder, a billing company owner and so on.

I will discuss what I know to be an average salary in the U.S. for a billing clerk and a coding specialist as well as explain the job requirements for each, but being a company owner is much different and dependent upon how much time, training and effort you want to put into it, so we will talk about it last.

The national average salary for a Medical Billing Clerk is just under $29,000 per year with the low side being $25,000 and the high side being $30,000.

The national average salary for a Medical Coding Specialist is just under $36,000 with the low side being $32,000 and the high side being $40,000.

What does each of these jobs require you to do?

A Medical Billing Clerk is basically a person who is responsible for compiling the fees that are owed to a medical facility or physician. They will also review and maintain orders, invoices and records to ensure accuracy. Maintain all patient payment records. This job requires a high school diploma or its equivalent with 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area. and usually that you have knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. You will rely on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job and work under immediate supervision. Your primary job functions do not typically require exercising independent judgment and you will typically report to a supervisor or manager.

A Certified Medical Coding Specialist on the other hand requires a little more. You will extract clinical information from a variety of medical records and assigns appropriate ICD 9 CM and/or CPT codes to patient records according to established procedures. You will analyze, enter and manipulate databases, confirm appropriate DRG assignments. Knowledge in ICD-9 and CPT-4 coding are required. Not all companies require it, but some require an associates degree. All companies will generally require at least 2 years experience in coding or medical records using the International Classification of Disease and the Current Procedural Terminology coding systems as well as a certification from an accredited source like AHIMA (CCS – Certified Coding Specialist) or AACP (CPC – Certified Professional Coder) both of which are recognized industry wide. You should be familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Coding relies on limited experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. You will perform a variety of different tasks and work under general supervision. A certain degree of creativity and latitude is required. You will typically report to a supervisor or manager.

Now if you are willing to bust your butt putting in a lot of hours, train hard, get certified, have a good knowledge of running a business, can multi-task and deal well with the everyday concerns, then you can make a considerably larger salary owning your own business. BUT it is NOT EASY, nor does it happen overnight! Do not expect to make a good salary for quite some time if you start a medical billing business, this is largely due to the well established competition. How do you compete with the larger billing firms? How can I afford to get my website to the top of the search engines to get new clients? How can I get effective “word of mouth” advertising when I don’t have any clients? Physicians are very skeptical when it comes to turning over their financial well being to a billing company and it is a dog eat dog world with all of the competition that is already established and has the resources to be at the top, so how do you do it? This too has no definitive answer and relies on you and your work ethic but these are just a few of the questions that you should ask yourself before diving into owning your own billing company.

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Our Readers Have Left 3 Comments!

  1. Melissa Clark says:

    Sorry for the delay in response Danni, we have been very busy, but we completely disagree with any outsourcing overseas due to HIPAA regulations, etc., and have actually posted an article on this subject as well in the past.

    Thank you for your comment.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, this entry made for very interesting reading!

    When you made your point about physicians being very skeptical when it comes to turning over their financial well being to a billing company, I cannot but agree. In addition, I couldn’t help it but to wonder how healthcare providers actually feel about turning over their billing and related financial affairs to the sprouting billing and coding services in India. Do you have any feedback on that?

    Thanks for the great articles!

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    Created by Danni R., Certified Medical Assistant
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  3. Melissa Clark says:

    To elaborate a little more on my personal feelings, I can’t imagine a provider being comfortable turning over their billing to even an american billing company who utilizes outsourcing overseas, much less to actually outsource it themselves to someone overseas. It seems to be a huge financial and privacy risk to me, what is your take on the subject?


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