I am sure you have seen commercials and the various ads about the medical billing and coding field and that it is a rich and rewarding career. Some of those ads are for vocational schools that are there to provide their students with the proper training and education required to succeed. However, some of the ads are there with the purpose to get you to purchase a medical billing and coding self-study course.
The unfortunate truth is that there are many commercials and advertisements that surround the medical billing and coding field, which are riddled with diploma mills and scams. You will find that this site has articles that will help you spot the signs of a scam or diploma mill so you can avoid them and spot a quality medical billing school.
1. What is Medical Billing and Coding?
As a medical billing and coding specialist you play a vital role as a health care professional and you will find that you have the responsibility of processing patient data which will include patient treatment records and other information related to the patient insurance carrier. Medical billing and coders that focus in medical insurance will have to code the patient diagnosis along with a payment request from the insurance company.
2. What are the working conditions?
Typically if you get a job as a medical insurance biller and coder you will work in a traditional healthcare office or agency environment and will work with the following equipment:
On a regular basis the hours are a generally 40 hours a week 9AM-5PM and some will work part time. Depending on where you work you may also find that you can work overtime hours for additional pay. It would be best that you know the hours you will be working before you applying for a medical billing and coding position. The size of the office will determine the working conditions and responsibilities you will encounter. Typically many possible employers will provide you with a tour of the facility prior to you applying or being hire for the job. This will allow you see the office atmosphere and meet your possible colleagues. It is best to keep in mind that whether you are meeting with patients in person or speaking with them over the phone, working with patients can be difficult, the patients you run across will be sick and short of patience, so will have to learn to bear with them and always be polite.
3. How much would I earn as a medical biller and coder?
There are a few factors that should be taken into account when looking a salary.
According to the BLS.gov U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual wage for those in the medical records and health information field was approximately $31,000 in 2009. The highest 10% in this field earned well over $51,000 for the year. It is expected that we will continue to see a steady growth in the field which may lead to more pay in the future and thus more competition.
4. What type training will I need as a medical biller and coder?
One of the most important topics you will cover as a medical biller and coder is medical terminology. Medical terminology is what will help you read and understand the content of a patients chart and medical record. The reading of a patients char will require that you know what procedures the patient had and why the procedure was necessary. If you are truly serious about pursuing this career then the training program you enroll in should include the following topics:
- Medical Billing and Coding Software
- Medical Document Evaluation
- Government Programs (Medicaid, Medicare, etc.)
- Basic and Advanced Computer Skills
- Administrative Tasks
Medical billing and coding programs may involve you performing hands-on practice to manually prepare insurance claims as well as preparing claims electronically. A good medical billing and coding program will teach you valuable tips on conducting interviews and error-free documentation skills.
As with any career, you should always take the time to do the proper research on the school before you enroll. There are a number of scams and you could end up giving your money to a program that will not provide you with the best possible education that you deserve.