Medical Billing and Coding: Your Guide to Getting Started


Are you ready to make an impact in health? Consider a career in medical billing and coding. Medical letter carriers and coders use computer and literacy skills as well as critical thinking to perform their jobs.

Medical billing and coding is in demand and is expected to increase. Explore your career options with a certificate or diploma program or an associate degree.

What is a medical biller and coder?

Medical billing and coding are two separate tasks with some overlap. Qualified medical letter carriers and coders may fill one or both roles.

Essentially, medical coders are responsible for transcribing codes for processing claims. Medical billers file claims and maintain a register of insurance reimbursements.

Medical billers and coders can perform the following tasks:

  • Audit and submission of insurance claims
  • Verification of insurance benefits and eligibility
  • Research and appeal refusals
  • Assessment of medical reports and patient records
  • Ensure HIPAA compliance and patient privacy
  • Maintaining information security with patient health information
  • Translate diagnostic and medical information for coding
  • Communicate with healthcare providers to ensure coding accuracy

Medical billers and coders work in almost all healthcare facilities such as hospitals, surgery centers, and health units.

Industry professionals work with healthcare providers, patients, and insurance companies as well as other health care workers and public health agencies.

Should I get into medical billing and coding?

Billers and medical coders spend extended periods of time on the computer evaluating patient data, tracking healthcare outcomes, and verifying the accuracy of claims processing. Industry professionals must demonstrate their communication, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Think about your strengths.

Qualified medical billers and coders demonstrate organizational skills, attention to detail, and ethics. Professionals in the industry use their active listening skills, communicate effectively, and work well under pressure.

Medical billing and coding roles are well suited for freelancers accustomed to high levels of autonomy. Students with strong analytical skills may have a knack for analyzing health records and verifying the accuracy of patient health information.

Consider your interests.

If you enjoy organizing health data and tracking patient outcomes, consider a career in medical billing and coding. Billers and medical coders adhere to HIPAA laws and patient privacy and demonstrate ethical behavior.

Successful billers and coders work independently while paying close attention to detail and maintaining an organized workspace.

Visualize the type of career you want.

Billing managers and medical coders spend considerable time updating medical records and tracking patient outcomes.

In hospitals and long-term care facilities, billers and medical coders may work in second and third shifts. There are possibilities for remote work or home work.

Medical billing and coding can be stressful. However, with the right balance of organization and time management, industry professionals can achieve productivity.

Industry professionals should keep abreast of medical coding procedures, healthcare compliance, and government regulations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that medical billers and coders earn a median annual salary of $ 51,840 as of May 2020.

How to become a biller and medical coder?

Prospective students can take a certificate or diploma program as well as earn an associate’s degree to broaden their career opportunities.

For management roles, medical billers and coders can pursue their bachelor’s degree. While some employers may accept a high school diploma and health care experience, others require a formal education program.

Many employees expect job applicants to be certified. Students typically complete their certificate or diploma in 9 to 12 months, and their associate degree in two years.

After completing a medical billing and coding program, students can register for the Certified Professional Coder, Certified Coding Associate, or Certified Billing and Coding Specialist exam.

What skills do I need to work in medical billing and coding?

Industry professionals should be familiar with the CPT, ICD-10, and HCPCS coding guidelines and patient privacy laws.

Medical billers and coders apply concepts, procedures, and theories to billing and coding scenarios. Industry professionals interact with vendors, billing departments, and patients while demonstrating communication skills.

  • Effective communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Personal motivation
  • Medical terminology
  • Computer knowledge
  • Knowledge of HIPAA compliance
  • Knowledge of ICD-10 and CPT coding
  • Accounting procedures and bookkeeping

In conclusion

Medical billers and coders are an integral part of the healthcare industry. Industry professionals serve as a liaison between vendors and billing departments and develop procedures for the recovery and reimbursement of electronic records.

If you are passionate about health care, take the next step. Enroll in a medical billing and coding program.


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