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The Average Salary of a Certified Medical Billing & Coding Specialist

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Jobs in the medical industry are growing rapidly, particularly medical administrative positions. One such job in high demand is that of a certified medical billing and coding specialist.

Job Definition

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A certified medical billing and coding specialist is a trained professional whose focus is medical billing in whatever office or hospital she is employed. The bills you receive by mail are prepared by certified medical billing and coding specialists and it is these individuals who file your insurance claims and handle any in-house problems you may have. Certified medical billing and coding specialists work mostly behind the scenes, making sure the cash flow for the medical office stays positive.

Salary

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According to a June 2009 survey by Payscale.com, the average starting salary for a first-year certified medical billing and coding specialist is up to $13.40 an hour, or $27,872 annually. Those certified medical billing and coding specialists with one or more years of experience can expect to earn up to $14.95 an hour, or $31,096 annually. Those with at least five years of work experience are earning an average of up to $16.63 an hour, or nearly $36,000 annually. Certified medical billing and coding specialists who have been on the job at least 10 years are topping out at about $20.73 an hour, or $43,118 annually.

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Work Environment Affects Pay

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Certified medical coding and billing specialists who work in hospitals and private practice billing services earn a median of up to $16.30 an hour. Those certified medical coding and billing specialists employed by non-profits can earn even more--a median of up to $18.03 an hour. Government agencies that employ medical coding and billing specialists offer the lowest pay, a median hourly rate of only $14.87. However, these positions generally have very good benefits such as insurance and paid time off.

Education Counts

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Certified medical billing and coding specialists who hold a two-year associate's degree can earn about $1.02 an hour more on average than their counterparts without a degree. However, those medical billing and coding specialists with the highest income are those who take continuing education courses and obtain additional certifications. These individuals earn about $4 an hour more on average than their co-workers.

Job Description

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The primary job responsibilities for certified medical billing and coding specialists are preparing patient invoices for billing and making sure the proper codes and costs for procedures and services are documented. There is also a fair amount of filing and computer data entry required for the job. Certified medical billing and coding specialists are also responsible for handling insurance claims and, if required, insurance fraud claims. Collections is also a responsibility of the certified medical billing and coding specialist.

About the Author

Sherry Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Middle Tennessee State University and has been writing for more than a decade. She is a full-time government reporter in Sumner County, Tenn.

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