On the Job

The Impact of Healthcare Reform on Medical Billing and Coding: How Far Will the Boom Go?

December 7, 2009

How will your career be affected if healthcare reform becomes law? If you’re a billing and coding specialist or student, questions like these have probably been on your mind:

  1. Will I see a big increase in demand for my services?
  2. If coverage is increased for eldercare, women’s care and other targeted needs, will that create new opportunities for me?
  3. If Medicare changes, how will that impact on my career?

Because the healthcare bill is still being modified and debated, there is no way to know definitive answers to those questions. But some predictions are still possible.

Let’s look at what we do know…

Millions of additional Americans will be covered if healthcare legislation passes. “The $1.1 trillion bill would expand insurance coverage to an additional 38 million people over the next decade by requiring that almost all citizens have insurance and providing subsidies to those who can’t afford it,” writes Emily T. Walker in MedPage Today.1

Prediction: The need for billers and coders should increase dramatically if legislation passes.

A number of specialized services will be covered. According to the On Women blog of U.S. News, additional women’s healthcare procedures, including mammograms and cervical cancer screenings, will be covered if the bill passes.2

Prediction: An increase in needed services for women and other underserved groups should contribute to a growing need for medical billers and coders.

Medicare will remain a strong and growing program. For assurance that Medicare services will not be diminished if healthcare reform passes, watch “VP Biden Discusses Healthcare with Seniors,” a 90-minute video available on Whitehouse.gov.

Prediction: As America’s population continues to increase (as reported on the U.S. Census), a growing number of older Americans will need medical care – and that should increase the demand for skilled information processors.

While no one can predict exactly how many new jobs will be created by healthcare reform, the outlook seems extremely good for billers and coders – and for the consumers they serve.

1“House Passes Healthcare Reform” by Emily T. Walker; MedPage Today.
2“Women’s Preventive Health Amendment Added to Senate Reform Bill” by Deborah Kotz; On Women blog.

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