Medical treatments can be very expensive. Patients usually have health insurance to pay for medical treatments, but many patients do not have insurance and have to pay out of pocket. Those who cannot afford payment have their payment disputes resolved by medical collectors. These workers communicate with the patients to ensure that the medical establishment receives proper payment.
Medical collectors oversee a variety of processes related to the collection of bills from clients by hospitals. There are times in which patients or insurance companies do not pay medical bills. The payment of medical bills is essential in order for clinics to be able to continue to fund operations. These collectors call customers to settle account issues and the payment of medical bills, keep customer billing information up-to-date, the research and resolution of unpaid accounts, the appealing of claim denials, correct patient reimbursement and arrange patient payment.
Medical collectors usually work in clean and comfortable offices. These workers usually do not have face-to-face patient contact, though they have to contact patients through phone and other communication mediums. Their work can sometimes be stressful because some patients are unwilling or unable to pay bills and may show anger towards the collector. These collectors usually work 40 hours a week.
Some jobs require that medical collectors have previous experience working as collectors in another industry. Some clinics only hire workers with education in medical billing and coding. Other skills usually required are excellent communication skills over the phone and through writing, since the medical collector has to communicate with patients frequently and sometimes has to communicate information that is difficult to understand. Interpersonal skills are beneficial as some patients might be upset about bills. Computer skills are needed because patient billing records are usually kept on electronic databases. The medical collectors must be detail oriented as they must be able to notice mistakes that are made in the patient electronic databases.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted in 2009 that the need for workers in the medical billing field is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. Growth will be driven by an aging baby boomer population, which will increase the number of medical cases in which patients must be billed. Electronic health records are increasingly being used, so workers who are proficient in these technologies will be in high demand.
Payscale.com reported that the median earnings for medical account collectors was 12.89 in 2010. Those with 20 years of experience or more earned a median of $16.15 an hour.
- Photo Credit woman with computer in the office image by Oleg Berlov from Fotolia.com
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