Medical billing is a field you can enter without a college degree, though an associate degree in medical coding or health information technology can be an asset. Also, certification is not always a requirement for medical billing clerks, but if you want to enhance your resume, then you will need industry certification and experience.
When starting up with no working experience, you will have to compete with candidates who have years of experience. Those big healthcare jobs will make you take a coding proficiency test, usually timed and on site. Note that when starting out with no certification or experience, it tends to feel as though there aren’t any billing jobs in the country, especially since all the jobs want someone with a Masters in Health Information Management and 20 years’ experience.
However, as a new entrant in the industry, you can start working in related healthcare fields, and then use that experience as a basis to get a proper billing or coding job. In a profitable, growing field like coding and billing, it is all about getting your foot in the door. There’s a huge range of positions that support healthcare providers and can help you grow in the practice.
If you can’t get into billing or coding right away, it is advisable you consider working in an office or front desk of a physician. Make connections with the doctors and provider offices you visit on a regular basis and see if they are hiring or if they know of someone who is. Agreeably, clerical work might seem irrelevant, but this type of work shows a commitment to the field and hands – on experience with how the business of healthcare works.
Also note that you can also look for work in medical records. You can start acquiring experience by working at a receptionist or front office position, it is a slightly indirect way of getting into coding, but your familiarity with the provider’s office will help you in due time. You can also look for work through a temp agency; however your success there may vary.
You can also try volunteering or job shadowing, as these route can pay dividends in due time. Although you don’t want to work for too long for free, volunteering at a provider’s office can give you some first – hand experience. Job shadowing can also help you get a great look at the business from the inside.
In addition, if you have a relationship with a professional biller or coder, just ask them if you can trail them for a day. You’ll learn more in a day of watching how a biller works than you would in a week in the classroom. You can indeed get professional experience through an internship program. These, like many coding positions they lead up to, can be scarce.
5 Steps to Acquire Medical Billing Jobs with No Experience or Certification
Medical billers are known to work behind the scenes in a medical office, hospital, or other healthcare facility. This is an administrative role, making sure that patients (or their insurance companies) are accurately billed for the medical care they receive. It can be very challenging or even nearly impossible to secure jobs without industry experience or certification, nonetheless, here are few steps to help you kick off your medical billing and coding career.
Know what a medical billing and coding career is all about
Medical billing and coding specialists more or less help healthcare providers run their practices more efficiently. They do this by ensuring claims are coded correctly and processed in a timely manner. Medical billing professionals prepare and send invoices, or claims, for payment.
After confirming all aspects of an office visit or hospital admission have been properly coded, they submit the claim to an insurance company, Medicare, Medicaid, or other payer. Note that if the claim is rejected, they will apply any necessary corrections and resubmit it. Once the insurance provider has paid the allowable amount for covered services, the medical biller may send an invoice to the patient for any balance due.
Research medical billing and coding education options
The next step will be to determine how you’ll obtain the necessary training required to be a medical billing specialist. In the United States, you have many options to pick from, so you’ll want to do your research to find reputable programs with a track record of gainfully employed graduates. You can also start by looking at schools in your local area. Which schools are within a reasonable commuting distance? Do they offer classes that suit your schedule?
You can also consider online courses since they can be an ideal option if you are seeking greater flexibility. Note that online medical billing and coding courses also make it easier to balance classes with work, family, and personal obligations, and they also allow you to study at your own pace and on your own schedule.
However, as much as they also help you connect with your instructors and fellow students in a supportive learning environment, online medical billing courses is only best for self – motivated students since it requires follow – through and dedication.
Look for other clerical jobs or internship
Just like it was stated above, you can start working in related healthcare fields, and then use that experience as a basis to get a proper billing or coding job. There are a variety of good job resources for medical billing and coding. You can find internships on third – party aggregator sites like LookSharp or you can search for openings via LinkedIn.
Also note that some of the best resources for finding new jobs are the professional organizations like the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Prepare for the CPC certification exam
Another option for those fresh out of school without experience or certification is to take the CPC exam right away, without the two years recommended work experience. Even though it will be a challenge, but if you are confident in your schooling and your skills, you should be able to pass the exam.
Once you have passed, you can take part in the CPC Apprentice program. While certification is not always required to work in medical billing and coding, many employers list CPC as a preferred or required job qualification. Earning your CPC credential can help position you as a preferred candidate for entry – level job opportunities in the allied healthcare field.
Interview for a job
Firstly, you will have to do your research. Learn a little bit about the company you plan on applying to, and bring that to bear in your interview. Also note that you will want to demonstrate how your particular skills can better the company, and how your career goals could align with the goals of the company.
Also be ready to get tested. No one’s going to plunk down a stack of multiple – choice problems, but they very well may test you on vocabulary and medical terminology. In addition, you may have to work through some hypothetical patient interaction scenarios, in which you explain how you will communicate with a patient who, let’s say, is behind on their payments.
As a new entrant with no experience or certification, you are likely to find a coding job as a trainee and then permanent. Howbeit, it is good to state your goals for the future and understand that this industry is not for the faint-hearted.
As a non – certified biller, always explain how you are interested in earning a certification in the near future to your prospective employers. However, it won’t always be easy to land your first coding or billing job. Just remember to be patient and persistent, and you should do fine.