How do I Become a Medical Billing Clerk?

Vicki Hogue-Davies

Medical billing clerks work in healthcare facilities or medical billing companies tracking charges, billing patients and insurance companies and confirming patient coverage with insurance companies. To become a medical billing clerk, you should have at least a high school diploma. Some college or vocational school training might be desired, depending on the employer. In either case, strong proficiency with numbers, good communication skills and a customer-service-oriented personality will help you to become a medical billing clerk.

To become a medical billing clerk, a person must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.
To become a medical billing clerk, a person must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

While you are in high school, taking math, biology and other science-related courses can help you develop the technical foundation to become a medical billing clerk. College and vocational school training includes certificate and degree programs that will teach you about medical coding, medical billing software and data processing, insurance claim forms and medical terminology. Other classes in a medical billing clerk training program might include medical law and ethics, anatomy, physiology and human relations in business. Many medical billing clerk programs can be completed in less than a year.

There are quite a few schools that have medical billing programs, some with traditional campuses and some online. To find a good school, look for accredited schools and research accrediting organizations to ensure their legitimacy. Look for hands-on programs where you practice filling out insurance forms and learn other practical parts of the job. Also ask if there are any internship or externship programs offered. Inquire with schools you are considering attending about whether job placement assistance is offered, and visit the school's career center, if possible.

Another skill that is valuable if you want to become a medical billing clerk is a strong computer background, which can help you use medical software and general office computer systems. Being organized and detail-oriented will help ensure your success. Being a good problem solver is important because you will need to resolve potential billing issues. Having some assertiveness to obtain payments from patients is helpful. Being able to work well under pressure can be important for medical billing clerks, especially those working in high-volume settings.

When searching for employment, contact job agencies that place personnel in medical fields. Use online job sites and local newspapers for more job opportunities. If you don't have any medical billing background or training and are looking for an entry-level position, carefully highlight any transferable skills on your résumé. For example, if you have worked in a different kind of office performing billing tasks, emphasize your day-to-day duties and how they will relate to a medical billing position. Highlight any office skills you have that can transfer to a medial office, such as computer proficiency, customer service and others.

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