Medical Billing And Coding Jobs

Medical Billing And Coding Overview

Medical billing and coding jobs are in great demand and are prevalent throughout the entire healthcare industry, however, the challenge is determining what each entails, and which is the best fit for you.  If you are currently in pursuit of a career in medical billing or medical coding, it is highly likely that you are facing this challenge.

Medical Billing And Coding Jobs

In this short article I am going to address this topic and provide some general information as to the industry as a whole in order to maximize your current level of training and experience. If you are searching for medical billing and coding jobs it is not only important to have an understanding what exactly you will be doing, but also what skills are required.

Medical Billers And Medical Coders – Different Roles

A common misconception of many job seekers, is that they assume that the primary roles and duties of medical billing and the medical coding jobs are one in the same. Although both positions require some of the same skills, the two job functions are entirely different. It is extremely important that someone choosing a long term career in billing or coding, assess and fully understand the differences, thus allowing them to make an informed decision as which vocation is better suited to them.

In general, a medical biller can be considered a very specialized accounts receivable administrator and must be a well rounded individual who possesses a vast number of unique skills. The primary role is to accurately and precisely initiate a billing statement, forward it to the patient or healthcare insurance provider, follow up on the billing, and ensure that the physician or medical facility receives payment or reimbursement in a timely manner.

Billing And Coding Skills

Basic skills include a familiarity in working with computers and a thorough understanding of medical billing software. More advanced skills which are typically acquired through formal training and certification include a grasp of specific medical terminology, basics of medical legalities, and the code of ethics. Finally, and contrary to the belief of many, medical billers must be able to effectively interact and communicate with others. Although clerical by nature, the success of a biller is largely dependent on his or her ability to satisfactorily resolve issues internally with doctors, colleagues, and other departments, as well as externally with patients and insurance providers.

On the other hand, the role of a medical coder is considered to be somewhat more specialized, and entails ensuring that the appropriate medical code is assigned to each listed diagnosis and treatment. In essence, a coder must accurately and correctly encode the details of each patient visit or patient encounter as it is commonly referred to within the profession, to be submitted as an insurance claim to a healthcare insurance provider and processed without delay. There are a few different coding systems which must be learned and understood, however, there are numerous coding reference materials available which can be cross referenced to alleviate errors.

Without question, the most important skill of a qualified coder, is attention to detail. Errors cause payment delays, and payment delays due to human error not taken lightly. Of course, a  thorough understanding of medical codes as well as an understanding of the requirements of the insurance companies are essential.

Upon choosing a career path in medical billing and coding jobs, it is highly recommended to choose one or the other. Unless employed by a very small medical practice, it is very unlikely that the same individuals would perform, or be expected to perform both functions. Each position have their own level of specialization and plenty of work to fill an 8 hour day. If just entering the medical billing and coding industry, training requirements can be intense, therefore, focusing on both disciplines simultaneously is impossible.

Billing And Coding From Home

Medical billing and coding jobs are becoming more and more popular, and one of main reasons is that people are often able to perform the job from the comfort of their own home. Although not for everyone, there are some great benefits such as flexibility of hours, more time with family, and a reduction of travel time. Further the medical industry is in an upswing, provides long term security, and does not require years and years of training to get started. Many employers will allow you to work and earn income as you are taking certification courses.