If you are currently have a position in the area of medical billing jobs or are looking for a career as a medical biller, I am quite sure that job satisfaction does not come by earning $10 – $12 per hour sitting in a back room cubicle. Many perceive medical billing jobs as a specialized accounts receivable occupation, and although somewhat true, the knowledge and skill requirements are quite involved.
A good medical biller is generally a well rounded person and must possess a an above average working knowledge of computers and have a reasonable typing speed. Also, they must have the ability to learn new software applications and updates and problem solve on their own. Contacting an IT department or technology specialist in counter productive.
Further, they must have a basic understanding of medical terminology, medical ethics, medical law, as well a thorough understanding of the various medical insurance programs to which they submit claims.
Many individuals who pursue medical billing jobs are loners, prefer to work on their own, avoid interaction with others, and are somewhat introverted. However, the top medical billers, the ones who earn the higher incomes and are presented with new and exciting opportunities, have one thing in common – Great Communication Skills.
The reason for this is that people like dealing with people, not robots. The fact is, that medical billing jobs involve a lot of interaction or communication with other people. It cannot be avoided in order to be functional and productive. Communication takes the form of emails, letter writing, telephone calls, and of course face to face encounters.
Communication can be further broken down into internal and external. Internal communication includes conversations with physicians, medical assistants, managers and supervisors, and other co-workers. External communication includes dealing with health insurance providers, answering queries from patients, and making collection calls on overdue accounts.
The individuals who master these exceed. Internally, great communicators make their wishes and desires known and are presented with upcoming opportunities, while externally, great communicators receive fewer complaints and are often praised. The ones who hide behind their computers and are afraid of their shadows are never seen or heard.
Communication is an acquired skill and can be learned with a little knowledge and practice. Following are a few tips to becoming a great communicator:
Strangely enough, listening is one of the most valuable communication skills and few know how to do it effectively. Often times we hear but do not listen. Good listeners wait until the other party finishes and do not interrupt. Their focus is on exactly what the other person is saying rather than formulating a response. Effective listeners also ask questions for clarification, and only after they truly understand what has been said do they respond.
Save The Story
Get to the point! When raising a question or concern, there is no need for a 2 -3 minute preamble. Save the story and make your point or ask the question. Long winded individuals are perceived as time wasters and are often avoided or disregarded. Say what you have to say and let others ask the questions if they need more information.
Related to the above, when raising an issue make short, sweet, and to the point. If you have the opportunity, practice what you are going to say and try to cut it in half. You might feel that a complex issue requires a full elaboration, however, you will find that complex situations can often be simplified into 2 – 3 statements. This applies to verbal and written communication.
This is especially useful in with collection issues or denied claims. Here again, listening skills are vital. Let the patient blow off some steam, and then express the reasons for the denial and offer alternatives if any. Use the “Feel, Felt. Found” approach when dealing with potential conflict issues. For example, “Mr. patient I know how you feel. In fact one of my other patients felt the same way, however, what he found after setting up a payment plan, was that his credit rating was not affected”.
Admit When You Are Wrong
A sure way to develop a bad reputation is to never admit fault. In medical billing jobs, mistake and errors are a fact of life and their nothing that can kill a career quicker than constantly making excuses or blaming others for your wrong doings. If you are wrong, admit it promptly and provide a solution for resolving it. Simple as that.
Becoming a good communicator takes practice and doe not happen over night. You have to work at it and become an expert in it. It is not something that others will recognize immediately, however, it is a skill, when fully developed, will have a positive impact on earnings and attract new and attract new and exciting opportunities to you. Medical billing jobs are in great demand. Why not shoot to be at the top of the field.