Have you ever wondered what exciting career opportunities would be open to you with a medical billing and coding degree? You may be surprised at the different types of employment that are available to those with an associate’s degree in medical billing and coding.

A building block of your career

Not everyone graduates from high school and goes straight into a four-year university program. Many prospective students experience a few false starts and bumps in their quest for higher education. Sometimes familial obligations interfere with the ability to further your education, necessitating that you go out and earn a living to provide for a spouse, children or other family members.

For non-traditional students in New York City, getting a medical billing and coding degree can be an ideal career path. Classes can be scheduled around jobs that students are already working, and an associate’s degree in medical billing and coding will prepare you for a healthcare career where there are many opportunities for advancement.

Those with an associate’s degree can always return to school for their bachelor’s degree or even a master’s at some future point. But this degree on its own is sufficient to get your career jump-started.

Which career path is the best fit for you?

A medical billing and coding degree can open doors of employment in NYC clinics and doctors’ offices. Whether you work for a sole practitioner’s office or for a small group of physicians who share office space and staff, it’s likely that you will work Monday through Friday and have hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., although some practices elect to stay open late one night each week so that ill patients can come in after getting off of work. For those who want to work traditional hours and have their weekends free, this can be a great career choice.

But it is not the best option for everybody, and if you prefer working second- or third-shifts as a medical biller and coder, you could seek employment at a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility. These facilities are open and staffed 24 hours a day in three shift rotations, so it is possible to take a position working rotating shifts. That is often how newcomers to the industry can get a foot in the door. Later, after having established a proven track record, you can request to work the shifts you prefer.

Different work environments

You might wonder what the main differences are between the above employment options. Below are some factors to consider.

In a doctor’s office or clinic environment:

  • There will likely be many dealings with insurance adjusters, patients and other medical office personnel as you process claims. Because of the hours worked, you could find yourself making numerous telephone calls as you resolve problems with claims.
  • The office environment will likely be lively, even frenetic, during peak times when patients are being treated.
  • Most medical billers and coders working in private practices or small clinics are supervised by an office manager. In some cases, the doctor may be your immediate supervisor.
  • This is a good fit for those who enjoy the camaraderie of working with colleagues.

In a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility:

  • Depending on the shifts you work, you may have little actual contact with patients or office personnel. Communication with insurance adjusters, doctors’ offices and patients may be limited to email, faxes and correspondence.
  • Your work environment will probably be located away from the area where patients or residents receive direct care.
  • You may work with very little actual supervision and have a great deal of autonomy.
  • If you are self-motivated and thrive while working on your own, this could be an excellent work environment for you.

Home-based businesses

There is another option available to those with a medical billing and coding degree. Some NYC residents start their own billing and coding business in their own homes. Unfortunately, there are many scams out there promising high returns for investments in these businesses. This is an option you may consider after having worked in the industry for a few years, learning the ropes and establishing relationships with insurance adjusters, doctors and clinic supervisors. If you have a solid reputation and industry contacts, you may want to branch out and start your own billing and coding business out of your home. Just be weary of getting caught up in a scam.

To find out more about the steps you need to take to get your medical billing and coding degree, contact a reputable school with a medical billing and coding degree program.

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