The efficiency of the healthcare infrastructure is directly dependent on its healthcare professionals. Only through collaboration between different healthcare professionals – all experts in their unique fields -- is a medical facility able to diagnose and treat patients effectively. Doctors, nurses, X-ray technicians, pharmacists, anaesthesiologists, surgeons, etc., are all crucial to serving the patients.
One such important link in this chain of capable healthcare workers is the medical coding and billing specialist career. An in-house medical biller and coder is vital to any healthcare facility. They are responsible for assigning treatment specific codes, processing medical bills, and talking to the patient's respective insurance company regarding their dues. If you think you can shoulder the responsibility it takes to build a career in medical billing and coding, then keep reading to find out how.
The Varying Job Responsibilities of a Medical Coding and Billing Specialist
Before we dive into how and why you should walk along this medical coding and billing career path, it's essential to understand what it truly entails. The job of a medical coding and billing specialist begins when a patient comes into contact with a physician, hospital, or any other health care facility. And the job doesn't end until the patient or their insurance company clears the service providers' dues. During this process, they:
- Read the clinic documentation of a patient's visit to the hospital and decode it of all the procedures, products, and services delivered.
- Make sure all medical records are complete, updated, and guarded for patient privacy.
- Assign the procedures performed, consultation charges, and equipment used with a specific billing code to derive an invoice.
- Contact patients or their insurance companies by sending these invoices for payment claims.
- Correct any claims that may get rejected due to human error or the limited coverage offered by the patient’s insurance company.
- Redirect claims if necessary or follow up about them with patients and insurance companies.
The Qualities Required in a Medical Coding and Billing Specialist Career
The medical billing and coding career demands somebody sincere and accountable. As deriving correct codes and bills through electronic medical records directly affect the hospital's revenue cycle. A medical office specialist must also be well versed with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CM) and Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) manuals which incorporate all medical codes. Only somebody who is on their toes, bright, with a knack for excellent organizational skills will be able to handle the job well.
How To Enter the Medical Coding and Billing Specialist Career?
Compared to other healthcare professions, entry into this profession is relatively easy and less time-consuming. You'll need a high school diploma or GED to gain admission to one of the medical billing and coding programs of your choice. Usually, one has an entrance exam to qualify and successfully start training as a medical coding and billing specialist. The course is a 8 month program, where you'll learn about:
- Medical office procedures include the importance of fulfillment of medical ethics and legalities.
- Human Anatomy, physiology, and its various diseases
- The different medical terminologies, their definition, and proper pronunciation
- Medical insurance's ethical and legal aspects include billing, privacy laws, fraud and abuse, and auditing of patient records.
- The International Classification of Diseases manual (ICD-10CM)
- The Current Procedure Terminology manual (CPT)
- How to keep electronic medical records and perform billing using the same software one would be required to use on the job.
After you've gained accreditation from a reputable Medical coding and billing specialist program, you can sit for a national certification exam. There are many government certification exams you can sit for depending on the type of facility you'd like to work for. Gaining certification ensures that you are proficient in government-mandated coding manuals, opening up an array of job opportunities and the scope of a higher salary.
Before searching for "Medical billing and coding programs near me," we'd like to inform you that the job outlook is estimated to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030. This is primarily due to an aging population, the increase in electronic health records, and the need for specialized staff to manage them.
Suppose you always dreamt about serving the healthcare industry through your caring and dedicated nature. Still, the long years of education always held you back. In that case, the National Career College can fasten the pace and set you up for a Medical Coding and Billing Specialist career in only eight months! And that includes an externship where you'll get to learn on the job. So what are you waiting for? Learn more about getting started at NCC here or call us at 888-988-2301!