August 8 2020 - If you believe that a career in the medical field takes years of training, think again. Becoming a medical billing and coder is a fantastic option for those who want a fast-track to a rewarding career.
Not only that, but this profession is in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, billing and coding is† expected to grow 11%†by the year 2028.
If you're interested in learning more about the medical billing and coding job description, just keep reading.
Medical Billing and Coding Job Description
A medical and billing specialist is the bridge between the medical facility and the insurance company. They help the healthcare provider manage claims, payments, and invoices. Daily tasks in this profession include:
- Tracking payments
- Fixing rejected claims
- Preparing invoices and sending them for payment
- Accurately coding services, diagnoses, treatments, and procedures
- Communicating with patients and insurance providers regarding bills
Medical Coding Duties
Medical coding is a process of converting medical treatments and services into codes for records keeping and billing. The codes are alphanumeric combinations recognized by the medical industry. There are different systems for the codes, such as:
Current Procedural Terminology† (CPT):†CPT codes†are used to identify certain treatments and exams performed.
Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System†(HCPCS): The HCPCS consists of codes for medical equipment and non-physician services.
International Classification of Diseases†(ICD-10) These codes are used to describe medical diagnosis.
A medical coderís job is to translate the services rendered into codes that are understood by insurance companies and other health organizations. The alphanumeric codes transcribe physician diagnosis, patient symptoms, and physicianís prescriptions.
Each time a person has a visit with a healthcare provider, itís documented by the doctor or medical administrator. The coder then assigns a code to each service or condition. The data is then put on a claim to be submitted to the insurance company.
Itís imperative that the codes are correct. Otherwise, itíll affect the status of the claim and payment. Again, accuracy is vital to ensuring that patients donít receive an incorrect bill amount, etc.
Medical Billing Duties
The medical biller takes the documented codes from the patientís visits and inputs them into billing software to create a claim. Once the insurance pays, the remainder is billed to the patient for copays and deductibles.
Itís the billerís responsibility to keep tabs on the claim as it moves through the†billing process. They have to call the insurance company to check on payment status and reach out to patients as well.
Medical Billing and Coding Specialist: Skills Required
In addition to becoming certified, medical coding and billing require some fundamental knowledge. Here are some other helpful skills:
Understanding Basic Math
Youíll need basic knowledge of arithmetic to determine billing numbers. Most medical facilities operate using billing and coding programs that automatically populate the correct amounts for insurance claims. However, you might need to manually calculate the figures from time to time.
To code accurately, youíll need a basic understanding of medical terminology. Standard topics include anatomy, diagnosis, physiology, and procedural terminology. Knowing common terms used in medical billing and coding will help the process.
Part of your billing duties will be to contact patients for payment. Communicating efficiently and professionally is a key function in this job role.
Patients might be stressed or upset when dealing with a hefty medical bill. Especially if theyíre feeling sick. Good communication skills help these conversations go smoother.
Office Equipment Skills
Medical billers and coders also need to be able to use a calculator, 10-key, scanner, copier, printer, and multiline phone.
Understanding how to operate this equipment is essential for working in an office setting. Having these skills is a plus when being considered for the job.
You'll need to have a good idea of how to work computer software. Being knowledgable about technology will help you succeed in your role as a coder. If you're not good with computers, coding and billing might be a struggle.
What Is Medical Billing and Coding
Medical billing and coding go hand-in-hand. Large healthcare facilities hire a separate biller and coder, and theyíll work together to get the job done. However, small offices generally use the same person to function in both roles.
The main priority is that the correct codes are used and payment is received in a timely manner.
Medical Coding and Billing: Education Requirements
To become a medical billing and coding specialist, youíll need a high school diploma or GED. If you have that, the next step is to get certified through the†National Association for Health Professionals†(NAHP).
The NAHP offers the Nationally Registered Certified Coding Specialist (NRCCS) examination and certification. The courses for the program† cover topics such as:
- Diagnostic coding
- Anatomy and physiology
- Intro to healthcare
- Procedural coding
- Medical law and ethics
- Professional development
- Electronic health records
- Billing and coding
- Insurance billing
You can also receive an†online medical coding diploma. The good news is, that the program only takes about a year to complete. You can start a rewarding career in no time, all while doing it online.
Are You Ready for a New Career?
Hopefully, this information about the medical billing and coding job description makes you excited about your future. It's never a bad idea to start the path to an exciting new profession.
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