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Medical Billing

During his re-election campaign where he visited the Midwest, Pres. George W. Bush talked about that often overlooked part of the medical science field – defensive medicine. The small practice spends an average of $50,000 each year on liability costs, including insurance and law suits. To prevent yourself from adding hundreds of thousands of dollars in your balance sheets at the end of the year, you can hire someone to streamline all the billing and accounting processes in your medical office. This is what hospital medical billing professionals specialize in.

What do they do?

The hospital medical billing professional has a lot of functions, all of which pertains to the overall management of the practice. The occupation is so broad and wide in scope that often, the lines between each specific task are blurred. In fact, you can rarely find purely hospital medical billing services offered by companies these days as most fuse billing and coding together despite the fact that they are two very distinct occupations.

However, for clarity’s sake, here is a short enumeration of the specific function of the hospital medical billing specialist:
  • The hospital medical billing professional is responsible for reading and reviewing of medical documentation. This is so that detailed information regarding the patient’s disease, injuries, surgical operations, and other procedures can be obtained.
  • Hospital medical billing professionals also ensure the correct code selection, matching the code with the procedure used during diagnoses and treatments. In addition, it is part of the biller’s responsibility to ensure compliance with federal regulations and insurance requirements.
  • The hospital medical billing professional must be able to prepare complete and accurate records. These are important so that hospitals and clinics get compensation from Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Assigning codes to diagnoses and procedures is part of the responsibility of the hospital medical billing professional. This part of the job helps ensure proper financial reimbursement from insurance companies and government agencies.

Prospects

A recent study showed that the average annual salary range of the hospital medical billing professional is somewhere around $28,500. And if you are successful and very good at what you do, you could be earning more. The average hospital medical billing professional has a salary range of $20,000 to $36,000.

In a report released in 2004, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that hospital medical billing is one of the fastest growing occupations in the healthcare industry. The demand for professionals who specialize in this field is said to continue on until 2012.