Five Things I Love About Being a Medical Biller

November 19, 2013

With so much upheaval going on, it can look like a bad time to be a medical biller. Why this isn't always the case.

With so much upheaval going on in the medical billing world right now, it can look like a bad time to be a biller. I know many who have either left the job or are actively making preparations to leave the job. Most are not sad to be doing so. But with all that is wrong, there are still positive aspects to the job. Here are a few of my favorite things.

1. We help keep the doors open. The two most important jobs in a medical practice belong to the physician and the biller. Without the physician providing the service and the biller collecting the payment for it, the doors would eventually close. We can hold our heads high knowing that we are helping to provide services to those in need.

2. We help patients navigate the frustrating insurance world. All billers know some insurance companies use every tactic possible to get out of paying claims. Patients can be at a loss for how to deal with denials of much-needed services. Plus, the insurance jargon can be confusing to patients who don't work in the field. I take pride in the fact that I am able to help patients with insurance problems.

3. We help our coworkers get paid. This goes hand in hand with number 1. Much of the money we work hard to collect is used to pay salaries. Think of the families you are actually helping when you do your job well.

4. We get to see the fruits of our labor. The success of our work is easily defined - either the claim was paid or it wasn't. For me, being able to mark claims off my accounts receivable list is a very rewarding thing. I know how much I have accomplished or where I need to next concentrate my efforts.

5. We have the opportunity to bring about positive change. In the billing department, we see how many things affect the receipt of payments. If we see errors that are preventing payment, we can work to have those corrected, thus improving the financial side of the practice. We can work with management to ensure that compliance is met with new rules coming out, which seems to be on an almost daily basis these days.

Every time I am on the phone with an insurance company rep who is treading on the last thread of my patience, I remind myself that I am doing a very important job. I think about the cancer patients for whom I have secured prior authorizations for their surgeries. I think about the people whose questions I've been able to answer, bringing a measure of understanding to them that they were not able to receive elsewhere. I think about the elderly patients who are on fixed incomes and can't afford to pay bills just because nobody helped them fight the insurance company to pay what should have been paid. Sometimes in this job, I feel like the lone ranger, that I'm in this all alone. But, there are many others out there fighting the good fight with me every day.

To all the billers out there who are still plugging away every day, I salute you!