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Bryant & Stratton College Blog Staff

Medical Reimbursement and Coding Careers: Where to Work?

A degree in Medical Reimbursement & Coding provides students with distinct career options within the medical field. Bryant & Stratton’s Medical Reimbursement and Coding degree program prepares students for work in either a physician or hospital setting.

If you are earning an associate degree in medical billing and coding, you could be on track for a rewarding career. The field is expected to continue to grow, despite advancements in technology that help make the process of reimbursement and coding more efficient. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of professionals in this field is expected to grow by 15 percent between 2014 and 2024. This expansion demonstrates the need for qualified and trained professionals in the field.

Students attending medical billing and coding schools will have options in terms of work environment after graduation. For example, did you know that medical reimbursement and coding professionals sometimes work in insurance offices? More commonly though entry level medical billing and coding jobs are in a hospital or a physician’s office and understanding the difference between the two environments could help you better prepare for a career that fits your professional interest and personality.

Hospital

In 2015 the BLS reported 188,600 people held jobs as medical records and health information technicians, 38 percent of those people held jobs in hospitals. There are two types of hospital jobs for medical coders, in-patient and outpatient. Some hospital coding professionals have the opportunity to work in both areas but most seasoned workers find they are drawn to specializing in one. Hospitals primarily hire in-patient coders. According to Chris Schenk, CPC, CPC-H, in-patient coding primarily deals with long complex records. “You have to look at all of the records [from a patient’s hospital stay] and code everything and capture for all those services; all of the diagnosis, all of the procedures,” said Mr. Schenk. However, Mr. Schenk also notes that more hospitals are starting outpatient clinics so may be hiring a greater number of outpatient coders in the near future.

Physician’s Office

The environment in a physician’s office can be great for professionals who prefer to deal with one record at a time. Depending on the size of the office you may have multiple job responsibilities and have more opportunities to directly interact with patients. Responsibilities could include a bigger split between coding and reimbursement duties, answering the office phones, managing appointments or checking patients in and out. Some professionals note that a medical coding for a physician can be a great way to build up transferrable skills and is a good place to start if you are interested in management positions in the future.

Finding the right environment as a medical coding and reimbursement specialist could mean the difference between finding a job and finding a career, so take some time to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each environment. Besides daily responsibilities, think about whether you’d like to work in a large organization or a small one, a formal or informal office, or how much patient interaction you prefer. Ultimately, it is a personal choice and some graduates have found they need to try each setting before truly knowing which is a good fit.

Interested in learning more about the medical coding and reimbursement field? Bryant & Stratton College offers several health-related degrees, including an associate degree in medical billing and coding. To find out more, please call 1.888.447.3528 to speak with an admissions representative.


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