How Much Training Is Required To Do Medical Billing On My Own?
Are you considering a career as a medical biller and coder? These professionals play an essential role in the healthcare industry. They enter standard industry codes into electronic health records and billing systems, helping to provide exemplary patient care and ensure providers are reimbursed for their services.
This article will discuss a common problem students have: medical billing training. Unfortunately, most students do not have any clear idea about how much training they need to work on their profession. So today, I will explain what training and credentials you may need to become a medical biller and coder.
Medical billers and coders can work in large hospitals to small private practices in many healthcare environments. They work with patients’ healthcare records ensuring that every diagnosis and procedure is accurately coded. They also confirm that these codes are applied to billing systems, so insurers and patients are correctly invoicing any errors in this process that could be costly.
As they may cause insurance companies to reject claims or leave patients to complain about overcharging publicly, that’s why a medical biller and coder need to have a good eye for detail.
Medical billing and coding training jobs in this field often require post-secondary education. However, some may accept a high school diploma and relevant work experience. The good news is the medical billing and coding training can be completed in under a year. Students can earn a certificate or diploma in less than twelve months. Those who want to enhance their current skills can attain an associate degree in about a year and a half.
Training programs in this field typically include courses in several critical coding systems, current procedural terminology or CPT international classification of diseases or ICD in the healthcare, standard procedure coding systems, or HCPCS. Some employers may prefer to hire certified candidates, so students might wish to pursue the certified professional coder credential from the AAPC. Candidates must meet eligibility requirements in CID for a standardized exam which consists of a hundred and fifty multiple-choice questions. Those who pass the exam will achieve the medical CPC designation.
During your medical billing and coding training, you should come away with an understanding of how ethics relate to your role, the importance of accuracy, and how medical billing works. Some of the topics you’ll study in your courses include claimed cycle claims, medical terminology, and records management. If you have a certification such as the CPC credential, you may be expected to complete continuing education units every year or two years.
Below I’m sharing a student’s experience with medical billing training.
“I’m currently being trained in medical billing and get a salary on the position, as I have no previous experience. However, I just started training last week, and I feel lost. I feel like I can’t do it myself. I constantly ask questions or want my supervisor to guide me or review my work. I don’t feel comfortable doing it myself yet and honestly wonder if I should be farther along than now.”
“Also, I only have a month to learn it as my boss will then be gone for a while for medical reasons. So I have only trained for a few days, so I’m just wondering, should someone being trained in billing on the job feel more comfortable by this point, or am I just going to keep struggling with this? I feel overwhelmed.”
Below are the simple suggestions and solutions for his problems with medical billing training.
Getting trained on the job can be just as good as “formal” training in the classroom. However, one month of training does sound a little fast.
I think a month is a brief training period, but enough to survive or at least not cause irreparable harm. It is better to take some time to grab and read the provider manuals for the biggest payers you’ll have to work with and make sure you can access and navigate their websites. And it will pretty much help with your training on medical billing.
Medical billing for a singular practice will be comparatively more straightforward, as you’ll primarily be doing a lot of repeats, and you’ll get a good understanding of precisely what your clinic does a lot quicker than a more general position.
Just continue to seek advice and guidance. Use whatever resources, even if you think they cannot be helpful. Google is an excellent tool you can use.
Payers themselves are an excellent tool. Of course, they won’t code for you, but payers will help you work through a surprising amount of issues.
Lack of training can be frustrating. It’s an incredibly complicated industry, especially if you don’t have prior knowledge, reasonable access to resources, or inadequate training.
Good training should include many ways to find out this information on your own, how to navigate the resources they have, what types of other resources are appropriate, etc.
It’s tough. Don’t feel down on yourself.
So keep your head up for sure. Your boss may complain, but understand that’s not so much a personal failing as it is likely to be unrealistic expectations.
I can offer a tip to focus less on individual things and more on processes. Get good at HOW to research a problem. Get good at getting information from a payer and knowing what to do with it. Get good at recognizing issues and knowing where to look and find the answer.
Focus on that rather than just “having the answer” to everything. This job goes a lot easier if you focus on getting your processes in order rather than just trying to memorize 1,000,000 individual situations. The common ones will just naturally get remembered over time. You got this!