A medical billing and coding specialist is a position that combines the knowledge of medical practice with technology. They are responsible for ensuring normal hospital and medical office operations run smoothly by organizing patient data, translating medical histories into code and practicing effective communication throughout all areas of the office.
The median salary for a medical billing and coding specialist is $38,040 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 90 percent make $62,840 and the bottom 25 percent make $29,940 annually.1 Additional education, certification or licenses may also increase the expected salary.
What Does a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Do?
A medical billing and coding specialist’s title can vary from office to office. Sometimes referred to as a health information technician or a medical records technician, medical billing and coding specialists are vital components of every hospital and doctor’s office.
Skills for medical billing and coding:
- Analytical skills
- Attention to detail
- Interpersonal skills
Like many professional occupations, being a medical billing and coding specialist requires excellent communication skills. The specialist is responsible for recording important client information and relaying it to the appropriate doctors while maintaining appropriate confidentiality. When working in a medical field, it is crucial to remain alert, practice a strong sense of ethics and pay close attention to details. In addition to practicing basic professional duties, a medical billing and coding specialist should have a strong analytical skills. These skills are used when a medical biller and coder is required to translate medical information into a database system.
Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Duties
- Answering billing questions
- Recording and processing patient data
- Coding patients’ medical information
- Staying up-to-date with coding standards
- Following regular coding guidelines and other legal requirements
- Using classification software
- Entering data into electronic health/medical record (EMR) software
- Protecting patients’ medical histories
How to Become a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
Most medical billing and coding specialists will need to complete a certificate or associate’s degree training program. 2
Upon graduation from a medical billing and coding specialist training program, optional professional certification can tell potential employers that you meet industry standards. National certification exams are taken at the end of your program.
Interested in pursuing a career as a medical billing and coding specialist? Learn more about Virginia College’s Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program.
Virginia College does not guarantee employment or advancement.