Everything You Need To Get Started In Medical Billing And Coding
Are you think about a medical billing and coding career? If you’re thoughtful and a one who has a curious mind, this career could be a good match for you.
Let’s learn more about this demanded field and how medical billing and coding programs can help you to start your first step. Here we’ve outlined ten steps to help you get to create your medical billing and coding career.
The following 10 Steps will help you to start a medical billing and coding career:
Step 1: Discover all about medical billing and coding.
Medical billing and coding professionals help medical care providers to manage their organizations efficiently. They do this by confirming the claims are coded correctly and processed in a timely.
As the name medical billing and coding, there are two critical parts to this work: the first one is applying codes to healthcare diagnoses and treatments, and the second one is billing patients and other payers for medical services.
What is medical coding?
Medical codes make accessible communication between medical care providers, insurers, and other organizations by using standard identifiers for each diagnosis, illness, injury, procedure, and treatment. Medical coding specialists should know medical terms to apply the proper codes without errors and delays.
Medical coders depend on several sources for the numeric and alphanumeric codes used in this field. For example, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) allocates standard codes to sicknesses and injuries, Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) and the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) recognize the services and treatment provided.
Medical billing is the following process after the medical coding completion.
What do medical billers usually do?
Medical billing professionals make and send invoices, or claims, for payment. Then, after verifying all sides of an office visit or hospital admission code correctly, they submit the claim to an insurance company or another payer.
Medical billers will apply any required corrections for refused claims and resubmit them. After the insurance provider has paid the acceptable amount for covered services, the medical biller will invoice the patient for any balance due.
Can I carry out medical billing and coding from home?
Medical billing and coding are one of the most flexible careers you can have. You can carry out many medical billing and coding jobs at home. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote medical billing and coding jobs have become much more common.
When you can work at home, you have advantages such as no switching time, flexible scheduling, do not need to go to an office in bad weather, work and be a stay-at-home parent, and work in a most comfortable place. And also, if you have any physical disability, this is a perfect career option.
According to Health Information Management, more than 50% of medical billers and coders are now working remotely, and nearly 18% are on-site. The other 32% is working in a hybrid manner.
Job possibilities in medical billing and coding
The medical billing and coding field has several job titles. Therefore, they can differ based on the job responsibilities of the specific position.
Some job roles may have the same job duties but different titles according to the employer or the location. As a result, management-level careers in this field may need additional education and working experience.
The below list includes several career options in medical billing and coding.
- Medical Records Clerk
- Medical Coder
- Certified Coding Specialist
- Certified Billing Specialist
- Medical Records Technician
- Health Information Management Practitioners
- Health Information Clerk
- Medical Records Analyst
- Health Information Technician
- Medical Billing Manager
- Medical Records Administrator
Step 2: search about medical billing and coding education paths
If you think medical billing and coding career sounds like the perfect match for you, the next step is to decide how you will gain the required training for that. There are many pathways to choose from, so it’s better to do proper research to find the best medical billing and coding program.
You might start by looking at schools in your living area. Which schools are within a reasonable distance? Do they offer lectures that match your schedule?
Online courses can be a perfect option if you’re looking for greater flexibility for study.
Online medical billing and coding courses make balancing lectures with work, family, and personal works easier. You can study on your schedule, at your own pace, by researching online. And also, you can work in a supportive environment with your lecturers and other students.
Because online education needs commitment and follow-through, it is best for self-motivated students. There are plenty of online medical billing and coding schools, so it’s not hard to find the best-suited one for you to study.
Step 3: Find the right school.
Selecting a medical billing and coding program is essential, selecting a well-respected school that will guide you for success. Here are a few key points to consider when choosing a school for study.
Whether the school authorized or not?
The school you selected should have authorization by a particular authorizing organization like the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
What kind of financial support for students have?
Suppose you plan to look for financial support to help pay for tuition. In that case, it is better to check whether the school you’re selecting will help to coordinate financial support if enabled.
Does the program prepare students for industry certification?
Most companies like to hire employees with appropriate certifications like the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) qualification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). So it’s better to consider whether the medical billing and coding program prepares students for industry certifications.
Does the school provide career services or any internships?
Make sure your school offers continuous support after graduation to help you start your medical billing and coding career and prepare for advancement.
Do the subjects of the coursework are updated?
It would be better to search the subjects, whether they are the most important and updated medical coding and billing topics.
For example, Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology, Diagnostic Coding, Medical Terminology, Procedural Coding, Medical Law, Ethics, and Records Management are common topics that a medical billing and coding program should include.
Step 4: Choose a certification program, a diploma, or a degree program
After selecting the school, you have to decide which kind of program you are hoping to study. For example, you can choose a certification program, a diploma, or a degree.
Medical Billing and Coding Diploma
Generally, you can complete a Medical Billing and Coding Diploma within 11 months, depending on the individual student. You’ll have industry-related training and can learn from committed and professional lecturers. The medical billing and coding diploma program focus on practical skills in demand by various medical care organizations.
Associate Degree in Medical Billing and Coding
If you’re like to dedicate more time to your education, it is best to enroll in an Associate Degree in Medical Billing and Coding.
The degree program consists of more subjects than the diploma program. You can have your degree within 18months, depending on the individual student.
To decide which education path is best for you, think about your career plans. Since different employers may have additional requirements to work in this field, check to see the conditions at some local organizations where you’d like to work.
If you wish to move into a management-level position in the future, you may want to consider an associate degree. However, suppose you decide to further your education to better place yourself for advancement.
In that case, the credits you earn toward an associate degree could transfer into a bachelor’s degree program, especially if your school sustains partnerships with other schools that have agreed to accept the credits you’ve earned regarding specific bachelor’s degree programs.
Step 5: Prepare for the CPC certification exam.
After completing a diploma or a degree program, you’ll make ready to take the Certified Professional Coder examination offered by the AAPC. This certification is not a principal requirement to work in the medical billing and coding industry but, many organizations list CPC certification as a preferred job qualification.
Having a CPC credential can be an added advantage for you. It helps to position you as a qualified applicant for preliminary job opportunities in the allied healthcare field.
Step 6: Search for medical billing and coding job opportunities.
Suppose you’d like to know what types of medical billing and coding job opportunities are obtainable in your area. In that case, you can effortlessly search from the internet to dig up which companies are hiring and the job positions they’re hoping to fill.
You can also search directly on job sites like Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, or career networking sites like LinkedIn.
The benefit of using job-search or networking websites is that they commonly allow you to create and save a CV so you can apply for jobs directly from their website.
And also, you can set up alerts that will email you when new jobs match your search standard. You will discover more new chances for job opportunities by registered on more sites.
Step 7: Evaluate medical billing and coding job description
It would be helpful to know about what qualifications employees considering when hiring employees for their company. For example, the following are some of the work responsibilities generally listed in medical billing and coding job description:
- Translate medical terms into relevant ICD, CPT, and HCPCS codes.
- Enter codes into relevant computer software programs correctly.
- Process medical care claims and perform accounts receivable (AR) functionalities.
- Make sure the claims have the details needed for timely repayment.
- Evaluate failed claims, correct the claims, and resubmit or appeal them.
- Submit patient statements without any delays.
- Keep medical billing standards that following to current industry guidelines.
Step 8: See into referrals, recommendations, and networking
Registering in a medical billing and coding program is a great way to meet others in your expected career field. In addition, many companies offer bonuses to employees who refer qualified applicants, so your colleagues may be happy to recommend you if they work somewhere you’d like to work.
You can also ask your instructors to give out references and submit a publicly visible recommendation on LinkedIn.
Step 9: See about the skills that a medical billing and coding professional should have
Medical billing and coding career is not entirely dependent on education requirements. However, professionals should need specific abilities to help them perform the job well.
Here are some essential skills that a professional should have to work in medical coding and billing.
- Decision-making skills will help to study diagnoses correctly and medical records to code them for patients’ medical records.
- Keep awareness of relevant information – which allows to record and code patient data without any errors.
- Good communication and mutual qualities, even in difficult situations like billing disagreements or rejected insurance claims.
- Skills to work with computer skills, such as word, excel, and database software, including electronic health record (EHR) systems and medical coding programs.
Technology skills required to work in medical billing and coding
Medical billers and coders need to know about technologies (software) for working in the job. The relevant programs and applications might differ according to the employer, but the software generally allows users to perform a similar range of basic functionalities needed for the position.
Following are some of the technology skills that are typically need for work in medical billing and coding:
- Accounting software
- Billing software
- Data-entry software
- Database user interface and query software
- Medical condition coding software
- Medical procedure coding software
- Word processing software
- Medical software
- Electronic health record (EHR) programs
- Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)
Step 10: Start your medical billing and coding career!
The medical billing and coding area has qualified professionals with relevant skills, knowledge, and experience. However, keep in mind that you need better training and education and start a medical billing and coding career.
Ready to get started on following your medical billing and coding career? Good luck with that.