Have you been one of those people that have been laid off due to downsizing or let go because your job has been outsourced by your company? Have you often thought that you need a career that can take you to retirement and beyond in case you are not ready to retire at age 65 or even 70? Medical billing and coding is a great pathway to follow for these exact reasons. It can become a career that you fall in love with, enjoy getting up for every day and should not leave you out in the cold for the above reasons.
I have a life long career in the medical profession and I cannot imagine my life without the medical experience. Working in so many different facets in the work place has provided such a great rounded background that I find myself being able to work pretty much anywhere within the profession. Billing is more than just “billing”. Billing identifies registration, insurance verification, referrals and authorizations, surgery scheduling, claim form processing, data entry, accounts receivable and collections. Coding encompasses office visits, immunizations, diagnostic studies, special procedures, surgeries, laboratories, medical supplies, facility stays and so much more. It is a challenging career and in many cases a diverse experience.
The opportunities that become available when you start working in this profession are amazing. Inpatient facilities, outpatient facilities, rehabilitation’s, nursing facilities, physician offices, specialty groups, insurance companies, billing companies, consulting companies, auditing companies…..the list goes on. The one that everyone wants to pursue of course is the “working from home” option. This is possible but you need to realize that as a newcomer to the field, you will have to find the right employer that will allow this arrangement and prove that you have the work ethic and quality of work they are searching for to make this happen. This generally requires a minimum of 6 months to a year on-site with your employer before this arrangement is offered.
The challenge in today’s society is that many employers will not hire right off the street any longer without some type of experience. The reason for this is that employers do not have the time or staff to devote to training new staff from scratch. There has to be a basis to run with as you begin in this profession. Gaining basic knowledge on medical terminology, anatomy and physiology as well as functions of insurances and how they work is invaluable today. Gaining this information and knowledge today happens by completing some type of program that is designated to provide this background. Thousands of programs exist and you need to find the right one for you.
Certifications are the next item that every employer seems to be searching for and that is because it justifies the working knowledge of people hired. Certifications show your dedication to your career and that you are looking to add to that commitment. It does not necessarily matter how many certifications you hold, but where ever you may land, you should look to have at least one to run with. This one certification can make all the difference in your employment opportunities.
The trick in life is to find something that you can develop a passion for. I was lucky early on in my working career to find just that and it is working in the medical profession as a biller and coder. I cannot imagine where I would be today if I did not follow this pathway so many years ago and I am very grateful that I will have this to take me well into retirement age as I choose. So if you took the time to read my entire posting, I suppose at this point I would ask “what are you waiting for?” This is a career that will give back and you will be happy that you made the decision. Your options are endless. It really can be the best of both worlds if you take the pathway and see where it will lead you.