The job outlook for a medical billing career is very good and projected to grow 22% through the year 2020. This is due to the Affordable Care Act making health coverage mandatory and the aging of the baby boomer population. The field is definitely growing faster than other professions. The increasing demand in the use of information technology to store medical records is one of the reasons for this job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the projected number of medical billing/coding professionals will be 207,600 in 2018 from 172,500 in 2008. If this holds true then there will be 35,100 new medical billers/coders hired by the end of 2018. These are staggering statistics. The average rate of pay for medical billers is $14-$16.50 an hour depending on experience, certification, and part of the country you live in.
Medical Billing Career | Will Software Replace the Medical Biller?
As a medical billing instructor, I am frequently asked if medical billing software will eventually replace the medical biller. In the medical transcription industry we’ve seen outsourcing to other countries, voice recognition software programs, and the electronic health record change the profession to where most MTs are now simply doing voice recognition editing and pay has substantially declined in this field. So, many MTs are transitioning to careers in medical billing and coding and wondering if they will be replaced in the future by technology. Inquiring about the stability and projected growth of a career field that you are interested in entering is both intelligent and necessary to make a productive decision. Taking time to train into a dying or unstable career field is a waste of both time and money.
For medical billing and coding, job growth is not affected by the use of computer software programs that can handle medical billing and coding functions. Employers will still need well-trained people to input data correctly and verify any discrepancies among the documentation, codes, etc. Additionally, medical billers help keep facilities compliant regarding new laws, rules, and regulations. Whereas, software has “speeded” up the process of medical billing and coding, professionals in the field are still needed to input information and verify its accuracy. A “person” will always been needed to file claims, resubmit claims, make sure the office is compliant, and to assist patients.
By: Dawn Moreno, PhD, CBCS, CMAA, MTC. Lives in the beautiful Southwest United States and has been an instructor for medical coding/billing for the past 7 years. Interested in quality medical billing training?