Saturday, January 17, 2009

Become an Apprentice Not A Medical Billing School Student

By Carl Mays II

ClaimCare Medical Billing Services has interviewed countless candidates that have just graduated from a medical billing school and coding school. As a rule, we find that the courses in a medical billing school (and coding school) add little value or knowledge to the resume of an individual with no prior medical billing experience.

In fact, when I do hire a medical billing school graduate they typically are started along side inexperienced new hires in our apprenticeship program. They start at the same pay and in need of almost the same training as individuals that have not spent the money or time on medical billing school. I would say at best, they start 3 months further up the learning curve than a completely inexperienced hire. This translates to about $0.50 per hour difference for 3 months (at best).

Although medical billing schools teach some terminology and medical billing concepts, they do not provide any of the experience necessary for an individual to start as a medical biller. In fact, more often than not we find that they have taught incorrect concepts and the "eduction" has to be unlearned before the individual can actually move on from being an apprentice. Many times the medical billing school graduates also have an inflated sense of confidence because of their training and are harder to teach and mentor in terms of proper medical billing because they are under the impression that they have already learned all they need to know.

A better path into medical billing is to avoid spending money on a medical billing school and instead spend time finding a medical billing company or doctor's practice that will let you start your medical billing career by calling on medical claims or verifying patient insurance information prior to the patient's appointment.

Both of these activities give individuals a solid base for launching a medical billing career. They provide the individual with both a grounds up understanding of the building blocks of medical billing and a real medical billing job on their resume.

If you approach organizations with this plan in mind it is quite likely that you can find an entry level opportunity. Such an opportunity will allow you to earn an income while learning medical billing and will look much better on your resume than medical billing school.

Once you have a few years of real medical billing under your belt (not just the entry level tasks, but more advanced medical billing you move into as you master the entry level tasks) then you are ready to extract value not from medical billing school, but from coding classes. With the core knowledge in place you can make the most of the coding classes and will have credibility with potential employers.

In summary, medical billing school is simply not worth the investment for an inexperienced student. You will find more success and greater financial rewards if you skip the medical billing school until you have the experience under your belt to make the certified coder courses a worthwhile investment.

Copyright 2008 by Carl Mays II

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