Pitting medical billing versus medical coding is like apples and oranges, but some differences still stand out for both career areas. Here are some of those differences that can help you choose the job that’s more fitting for you.
Personality Profile Match
Medical billing is a good fit for people who are more comfortable in dealing with numbers and computations, coordinating with people and communicating with medical personnel and insurance providers over the phone. The job entails working in a cubicle for long hours, so it’s a good fit for people who are used to or are comfortable with office work.
Medical coding, on the other hand, is a good fit for people who are interested in working with codes, numbers, acronyms, medical terms, abbreviations and etymology. The said job is also a good fit for people who love puzzles, challenges, and office work.
Scope of Duties
Medical billers are basically clerks that compute for and process the payments of patients and insurance providers for the services given to them by healthcare providers. They are at the receiving end of the codes encoded by the medical coders; thus, they are expected to have an intermediate level of understanding disease codes (ICD-9 or ICD-10) or CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes used in the healthcare industry. Billers are also expected to be trained and adept at using billing software and navigating electronic health records database.
Medical coders, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, “code” the services rendered by the healthcare provider to the patient. They are expected to have an advanced level of knowledge in various medical coding systems as well as medical terms and abbreviations. Medical coders are also likely to interact with doctors, insurance companies, transcriptionists and other allied healthcare and medical staff while on the job.
Salary Range or Expectation
The salary rate of medical billers and coders fall within the same income range. Based on data provided by job site Indeed.com, the salary for medical billers and similar positions like medical claims specialists and medical billing collections specialist average at $31,000 and $50,000. As for medical coders, the annual average figures total between $30,000 and $34,000 annually. The rate shoots up to $70,000 in states like New York and Texas, especially for supervisory levels. Hourly compensation ranges from $13,00 to $17.00 for both careers.
Salary offers may vary depending on the jurisdiction where coders and billers work. Pacific and New England states are often generous with their salary offers. Southern states, on the other hand, have lower salary rates for coders and billers. Variable compensation like benefits, bonuses and meal and transportation allowance are also considered in assessing the salary rates for coders and billers.
Now that you have a general idea of what to expect from the job of medical coders and billers, perhaps you already know which career path to choose. For more information, you can download Meditec’s free career guide on its website to help you find the right career for you. The guide provides useful information that will help you match your interests to various allied healthcare professional job profiles.