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New York Health Careers

Medical Billers

What Do Medical Billers Do?

Medical billers calculate health care provider charges, develop bills, and prepare them to be mailed to patients. By reviewing medical and hospital records and making or verifying calculations, they ensure that even the most complicated bills are accurate. Medical billers are responsible for timely submission of medical claims to insurance companies. Medical billers most often work with electronic billing systems and are responsible to make sure that patient, provider, and insurance information is correct and that fair payments are made. Medical billers may also be responsible for crediting patient accounts, appealing reimbursement denials, and tracking accounts receivables for providers.

Day-to-day responsibilities for medical billers will vary from location to location, but may include:

  • Reviewing patient bills for accuracy and completeness and obtaining any missing information
  • Knowledge of insurance guidelines, especially Medicare and state Medicaid
  • Following up on unpaid claims within standard billing cycle timeframes
  • Checking each insurance payment for accuracy
  • Calling insurance companies regarding any discrepancy in payments, if necessary
  • Identifying and billing secondary or tertiary insurances
  • Making sure all accounts are reviewed for insurance or patient follow-up
  • Answering all patient or insurance telephone inquiries pertaining to assigned accounts

Where Do Medical Billers Work?

Medical billers work in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, physician offices, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and health clinics. Billing clerks are typically employed in an office environment, although a growing number—particularly medical billers—work from home or a separate office, either as independent contractors or with firms that specialize in medical billing.

Most billing clerks typically work 40 hours per week during regular business hours.

What Do Medical Billers Earn?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and its Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program place Medical Billers in the occupational category of “Billing and Posting Clerks.” In 2016, the median annual salary for this category was $36,150 nationwide, less than the median annual 2017 salary of $40,500 (entry-level: $29,780, experienced: $48,720) in New York.

Supply and Demand

The medical billing occupation is expected to see strong growth in the health care industry as numerous recent state and federal reforms will make health care available to many more people. The BLS projects that between 2014 and 2024, the number of jobs for Billing and Posting Clerks will increase by 12.9% nationwide. The New York State Department of Labor projects that the number of jobs will increase by 19.5% in New York during the same period.

For more information on projections of Billing and Posting Clerks by New York labor regions, click here.

Education Requirements

Most jobs in this occupation require only a high school diploma; however, many employers prefer to hire workers who have a degree or have completed some college courses such as communication, accounting, and basic computer courses.

Medical billers can obtain training in a variety of ways, including on-the-job or through certificate or associate degree education programs and Web-based learning. Many community colleges and other colleges offer certificate programs in medical billing that generally take between two and three semesters and usually consist of courses in medical terminology, accounting, basic anatomy and physiology, and medical reimbursement methods.

Traditionally, billers have either been trained on-the-job or have been medical coders who do both the coding and billing. However, the shortage of coders and the growing demand for skilled medical billing specialists have employers looking for professionals who know billing basics.

New York Licensure Requirements

While New York does not require medical billers to be licensed or certified, national professional groups, such as the American Medical Billing Association, offer certified medical reimbursement specialist (CMRS) certification. Please visit AMBA’s website for more information: www.ambanet.net/AMBA.htm. In addition, the American Academy of Professional Coders, http://www.aapc.com/, also offers medical billers credentials based on passing a qualifying exam and experience and education.

Financial Support

It may be possible to obtain financial assistance for training and education from an employer. Also, colleges and organizations that provide training for those wishing to become medical billers may have scholarships.

Educational Programs in New York (subject to change)

Most jobs in this occupation require only a high school diploma, though many employers prefer workers with some billing, accounting, or customer service experience.

Information about education programs is offered by AMBA on their Web page “Medical Billing 101”: ambanet.net.

Many educational programs to become medical billers are offered online or on campus through BOCES schools, community colleges, and City University of New York (CUNY) schools, and State of New York (SUNY) colleges. Contact these agencies or search your geographic area online to find medical billing education programs convenient to you.

A sampling of education programs are listed below.

ASA College
Manhattan Campus
Herald Center Mall
1293 Broadway (One Herald Center)
New York, NY 10001
or
Brooklyn Campus
81 Willoughby Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(866) 990-6148

Branford Hall Career Institute
500 Karner Road
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 456-4464 or
(800) 959-7599
or
565 Johnson Avenue
Bohemia, NY 11716
(631) 589-1222
(800) 959-7599
ABC Training Center
1 East Fordham Rd. 2nd floor
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 364-6700
Berkeley College
99 Church Street
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 694-1122
*classes also offered at Brooklyn and two New York City locations
College of Staten Island
Office of Continuing Education
130 Merrill Ave
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 982-2182
Hostos Community College
500 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451
(718) 518-4444
Hudson Valley Community College
80 Vandenburgh Ave.
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 629-4822
Hunter Business School
3601 Hempstead Turnpike
Levittown, NY 11756
(516) 796-1000
or
3247 Route 112, Bldg # 3
Medford, NY 11763
(631) 736-7360
The Manhattan Institute
45 West 34th Street, 5th floor
New York, NY 10001
(347) 220-8181
New Life Business Institute
161-10 Jamaica Ave. Suite 404
Jamaica, NY 11432
(718) 737-6524
New York Medical Career Training Institute
36-09 Main Street, 5th floor
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 460-1717
or
500 8th Avenue, 5th floor
(between 35th-36th Streets)
New York, NY 10018
(212) 947-4444
Ridley-Lowell Business and Technical Institute
26 South Hamilton Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(877) 606-5325
Schenectady County Community College
78 Washington Avenue
Schenectady, NY 12305
(518) 381-1200
New York Career Institute
11 Park Place 4th Floor
New York, NY
(212) 962-0002
Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11235-2398
(718) 368-5200
Mohawk Valley Community College
Utica Campus
1101 Sherman Drive
Payne Hall 348
Utica, NY 13501
(315) 792-5400
or
Rome Campus
1101 Floyd Ave.
Rome NY 13440
(315) 339-3470
Elmira Business Institute
Langdon Plaza
303 N. Main Street
Elmira, NY 14901
(607) 733-7177
or
Vestal Executive Park
4100 Vestal Road
Vestal, NY 13850
(607) 729-8915
Access Careers Institute
474 Fulton Ave.
Hempstead, NY 11550
(516) 433-0034
ASA College
Manhattan Campus
Herald Center Mall
1293 Broadway (One Herald Center)
New York, NY 10001
or
Brooklyn Campus
81 Willoughby Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(866) 990-6148
Brooklyn Educational Opportunity Center Certificate Program
111 Livingston St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 802-3358
Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center
100 New St. #4
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 472-0130
Westchester Educational Opportunity Center
26 S Broadway
Yonkers, NY 10701
(914) 606-7621
Queens Educational Opportunity Center Certicate Program
15829 Archer Ave.
Jamaica, NY 11433
(718) 725-3320

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