The healthcare industry is currently experiencing record growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical field is expected to have the fastest employment growth among all other industries and the most job openings between 2014 and 2024.
Alongside the growth of the industry comes an increasing demand for quality healthcare. The aging baby boomer population will soon require more medical services. Those in the labor force will soon reach retirement age. And in the coming years, skilled healthcare workers will be needed to fill their jobs.
Many unprecedented changes have also led to this climbing demand for medical professionals. In wake of recent healthcare reforms, millions of Americans now have access to health coverage and care. New insurance regulations have been implemented nationwide. And today, advanced medical technologies are being utilized more than ever before—requiring more technicians for the job.
By now, you may be asking, “What will all of these changes mean for medical billing and coding professionals?” It means your future is bright! The medical billing and coding job outlook is rising together with the healthcare industry. According to the BLS, employment of health information technicians (which primarily includes medical billers and coders) is projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is much faster than the average for all occupations.
When you consider the role of a medical biller and coder, the need for these professionals makes perfect sense. Medical billers and coders are responsible for managing patient records and payments. Medical coders specifically translate patient diagnoses and treatments into alphanumeric code that can be shared with insurance providers. Medical billers take that information and create insurance claims to determine a patient’s insurance coverage. They then collect payments from the patient or insurance company. Without medical billers and coders, no healthcare provider would get compensated for their services. In this sense, they act as the glue to the entire industry.
As more patients come in from the federal health reform, more records and insurance claims will pile up. These will require more filing, more record keeping, and therefore more medical billers and coders. The adoption of digital record systems in medical practices will also require more knowledgeable billing and coding technicians to fulfill new roles. The use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), for example, is now widespread. Healthcare practices are looking for billers and coders who can organize and manage these systems.
Of course, with a promising job outlook also comes new competitiveness within the medical billing and coding field. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to achieve this career without attending a medical billing and coding school. As more and more people flood to this thriving career path, employers are updating their hiring criteria. Many are now looking for professionals with adequate training in billing and coding technology, hands-on experience in the field, and who have obtained proper certification.
While a medical coding and billing degree is not required by all healthcare employers at this time, higher education is quickly becoming an entry-level standard in the field. Many medical billing and coding certification exams, in fact, are only open to graduates holding a diploma, degree, or certificate.
The medical billing and coding job outlook is calling out to prospective healthcare workers like you. Why wait? Goodwin College’s medical and billing program in CT can get you on the field in as few as 12-18 months. Call 800-889-3282 or visit goodwin.edu/learnmore to get started.