How to spot the right kind of medical billing job description when you're job-hunting...
After you finish your medical billing education and get certified, congratulations! It's time to start looking for the perfect medical billing job.
Reading the job descriptions is easy. But it may be difficult to figure out if you fit the requirements, or to determine what exactly the job posted is really all about.
There are usually many different parts of a job description, including:
You can figure out whether or not you're qualified for the job if you read and interpret these carefully. You can also work out what type of job it really is.
Let's start deciphering a typical medical billing job description...
This is the section that tells you exactly what you'll be doing each day. For example, the medical billing job description may have a list of items like:
Keep in mind that whether or not you have done any of these things before in a job situation is not as important as your ability to learn how to do them, and how to do them well.
Although the hiring manager wants you to know how to do these tasks, it's not generally a deal-breaker if you haven't had first-hand experience with them all.
The best way to find out what the medical billing job description is really all about (and whether or not you can do the job) is to carefully read the skills section.
It will tell you what you need to know how to do, or specifically what you need to have been trained to do.
This is different from the education requirements. It's not based on whether or not you have a degree or how much school you finished. It's based on a specific skill set that's required to do the job with precision and expertise.
For more clues about what skills are required, look at the job title. If the title is something like "Patient account manager", and you have absolutely no experience working with patients, their bills, and handling patient accounts, you may not have the required set of skills for the job.
Also look for keywords like:
If the job is in a specialty setting, it may require a more advanced set of skills than in a family practice setting.
Check the medical billing job description to see if they provide training for people that don't have the required skills, especially training in practice management software.
Because there are so many different types of practice management software, some offices will train you on their specific program. Other offices, however, may require you to already be familiar with their program.
After the skills and daily responsibilities, you need to check the education requirements. This is usually described as something like "high school diploma or equivalent required, Bachelors degree preferred".
This means that you're eligible to be hired if all you have is a high school diploma or GED. But if you have a bachelor's degree, your resume will probably go towards the top of the pile.
Because of the high demand for medical billers, employers don't usually require a degree or diploma in the medical field (although they may prefer it). Any kind of formal education will help you in your job hunt.
Earning any type of degree shows your employer that you're a responsible individual, and that you have the gumption to follow through with a study course. This indicates a good work ethic, which will help get you hired.
This section may also list additional education requirements, especially certifications or licenses. For instance, if the job requires you to have a Medical Assisting certificate, this means that without your certificate you probably won't get hired.
It's the same with medical coding or billing certificates. If the employer specifically requires an individual with a certain license or certification, then you need the certification to apply.
This section may also list years of experience. Usually, if the position is an entry-level medical billing job, it's going to require anywhere from zero to two or three years experience.
If it's a higher level position (such as a managerial job), it's likely going to need many more years of experience, as well as education and certification requirements.
This translates into more or less money. If you have more years of experience and a higher level of education or more certifications, you can demand more pay. If you're just beginning, however, you have to start at a lower rate of pay.
Finally, the medical billing job description should also have a description of the office setting where you'll be working. The big thing to check for is whether or not the job is going to be in an actual medical office, laboratory, hospital, or in an independent billing practice.
As a medical biller, you're not in direct contact with patients (other than in passing or on the phone). But this doesn't mean that being in an actual medical office isn't different than being in an office that doesn't see patients.
Medical offices are always more stressful, noisy, and hectic. You may even be required to help out in the front with patients if it's very busy.
On the other hand, if you're working in an independent medical billing practice, you'll never have to worry about the kid screaming down the hall, or the nurses running around looking for their charts.
Once you've found that perfect posting, learn how to match your job application to the medical billing job description.
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