A billing representative maintains customer databases, issues bills, and handles communications related to billing matters. Many utilities, medical offices, and similar service providers use billing representatives to manage their billing and payment systems. There are typically no special educational requirements for this work beyond a high school diploma, although some offices expect relevant experience in administrative support and billing specifically. Job opportunities can vary, depending on experience, training, and region.
When new customers or clients arrive, the billing representative enrolls them, collecting basic information, recording it, and taking note of any special concerns. This can include eligibility for services through insurance or other payment programs. Billing representatives may provide counseling, alerting people to their obligations when they accept products and services and offering advice on reducing expenses. For example, if a client at a medical office has insurance, the billing representative might advise getting advance clearance for certain procedures or treatments.
As the company provides services, the billing representative generates bills and sends them to the appropriate party. This may be an insurance company, government agency that provides services, employer, or other entity. Any remainder due on the bill is the responsibility of the client. Billing representatives can work on payment plans and other measures for handling large and unexpected bills. They keep client accounts in good standing, and maintain communication with clients who have outstanding balances to increase the chances of collecting the balance in full.
This job can include insurance verification, checks to make sure clients are insured and to determine the nature of their coverage. Billing representatives may need to be familiar with coding practices used to identify services and procedures with the use of a standardized system. In some cases, multiple systems may be used by the same firm, depending on where bills go. Insurance companies may have their own codes, for example, which need to be entered correctly to receive payments.
Initial collections on client accounts that appear to be in arrears may be the responsibility of a billing representative. This can include establishing correct contact information, issuing demands for payment, and providing information about payment methods. If customers do not respond to attempts at collection, the company may turn them over to a third party which uses more aggressive practices, for a fee. By focusing solely on collections, unlike a billing representative who handles a variety of tasks, the third party may be able to increase the collection rate.