Learn the basics about this critical health care role
Are you looking to embark on a new career in the healthcare field? If you’re thorough and detail-oriented, and seeking an office position rather than direct patient care, medical billing and coding may be something to consider. As you explore this career option, here are some details about the profession that can be helpful to you.
What is medical billing and coding?
A medical billing and coding professional helps healthcare providers, both large and small, to document the details of all patient visits and submit the necessary paperwork to insurance providers, so that the practitioners are reimbursed fully and in a timely manner. They use a system of codes to file claims efficiently and ensure that patients are not over- or undercharged for services.
Why is medical billing and coding important?
The healthcare industry is one of the largest sectors of the economy. The system for ensuring proper billing and payment has been standardized and computerized, so insurance companies can better track payments to providers and reimbursements to patients. A critical component of this standardization is the assigning of a universally accepted code for each patient interaction or diagnosis (in a classification list called ICD-10) as well as each procedure and treatment (CPT codes).
What skills do I need to succeed at medical billing and coding?
The ICD-10 manual contains 14,400 different codes and 16,000 sub-classifications, so proper implementation requires critical thinking as well attention to detail. New editions of the manual are released annually, so to excel it is important to stay abreast of new developments. Since most coding work includes reviewing patient records and entering data, computer literacy is also key. Time management skills are helpful, since employers expect each specialist to process a certain number of patient files, billing, and claim forms each day.
Which types of personalities do well in this profession?
Individuals who are self-motivated, organized, and like to work fairly independently often excel in this field. Also, since many procedures and diagnoses are complex and multi-faceted, it may require a bit of good detective work to gather all of the information needed to determine the proper coding. So, if you like solving puzzles, working systematically, and learning new things, medical coding and billing could offer just the kinds of challenges you’re looking for.
What are the work hours like?
Most billing and coding work requires a 9-to-5 work schedule. However, depending on your employer, you might be able to work more flexible hours, as long as you update patient records and manage accounts receivable in a timely manner.
Interested enough to learn more? There are many training programs available. Read more if you’re curious what it’s like to be a medical billing and coding specialist. Regardless of what you decide, we wish you all the best in your search for a new career!
This article is part of the Branford Hall weekly blog. We offer an array of professional training programs at ten campuses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Reach out to us for more information today!