Thinking of a career in medical billing and coding? Here are some quick answers to frequently asked questions about medical billing and coding.
Q: What is medical billing and coding?
A: Medical billing and coding are two different jobs. The two jobs are related, but usually one specializes in one field or the other. Medical coders have the responsibility of translating various procedures and conditions into a set of alphanumeric medical codes. These codes are used for billing and other operations. Medical billers have the job of billing patients and insurance providers for services. If you are a biller, you can set up payment plans and take other measures necessary to collect payments.
Q: Where do medical billers and coders work?
A: Medical billers and coders can work in hospitals, clinics, surgical centers, and other medical facilities. They may also work from home. Few other professions allow you to be as selective about where you want to work as medical billing and coding. Medical billing and coding is a great choice for a stay-at-home mom or anyone else who wants the freedom and flexibility of working from home.
Q: Is medical billing and medical coding the same job?
A: Medical billing and medical coding are not the same jobs, although both of them can be done by a single person having knowledge of both medical billing as well as medical coding. Basically medical coding is a job of standardizing the different terminologies used by various doctors or medical clinics and classifying the same diseases or conditions into given standard numerical codes for the insurance companies to identify them. Whereas medical billing is job of submitting claims with the medical insurance companies for the medical services provided by the doctors and receiving and disbursing the payment received from the insurance provider.
Q: What is the need of medical coders?
A: Whenever a patient is diagnosed by a physician and medical services are provided by him for the same, a bill is raised for the services so provided. This expenditure on such services is to be reimbursed by the medical insurance companies or the government authorities. The terminologies used for the same diseases or conditions may differ in different departments. In order to standardize these terminologies, The American Medical Association (AMA) has developed a Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding system in which same terms are categorized under a specific alphanumeric code. Medical coders are required to identify such terms and put these under a specific code. This is done to equalize the different parties associated to the process.
Q: What is the need of medical billers?
A: Physicians in a clinic are trained and expected to practice. They can’t handle the medical practice as well as run the business all by themselves. Therefore medical billers performs business related duties for them like organizing medical statements and bills, look for any mistakes in them, inform patients about their healthcare plans, deal with collection agencies as well as the insurance companies on behalf of his clients. Medical billers are equipped with the apt knowledge to carry out all the above duties in a medical clinic, hospital, healthcare center or a physician’s office.
Q: How do I become a medical biller or coder?
A: To become a medical biller or coder you must complete an certified training program. Training programs are offered through online universities, traditional colleges, and vocational schools. Most programs can be completed within a year, which makes this a good option if you don’t have a lot of time or money to invest in your education. Attending school online can be a great cost saver.
Q: Where can I get proper training to become a medical biller or coder?
A: Mostly Medical billing or coding programs are offered online by many universities. This allows you to study from home at your convenience and also saving a lot of time and money which you spend in regular training programs. It is a bless for those who want to train and after that even work from their own home.
Q: How much money will I earn as a medical biller or coder?
A: Most medical billers and coders earn between $23,000 and $50,000 per year. The majority will fall somewhere in the middle of this range. As you gain experience in your field your earnings may increase. The geographical area where you work and also the type of facility where you are employed may also impact how much money you make.
Q: Do I compulsorily need a Medical Billing or Coding certification to get a job?
A: In the USA, a medical billing or coding certification is not required to get a job, as for now but it is highly recommended that one gets the requisite certification from a recognized university. As the duty of a medical biller and coder is to deal with a huge amount of money, most employers prefer to employ professionals with up to date certification. Also certified professionals are paid almost 20% more than those uncertified. So even though it is not compulsory to get a certification, it is highly desirable for a prosperous career in the field of medical billing and coding.
Q: Is getting a certification enough to get a good job in medical billing and coding?
A: Getting a medical billing or coding certification is highly recommended in order to get a good job but if one needs to excel in this particular career field, he must keep his certification up-to-date by enrolling in various continuing education programs offered by different universities. This is essential to make a concrete place for an individual in this dynamic environment.
Q: Is the demand high for medical billers and coders?
A: There are few fields which have as much demand as the medical field. Medical billing and coding is no exception: medical billers and coders play a critical role in the medical industry and without them, doctors would be unable to make money. Since this is the case, training to become a medical biller or coder can really boost your career opportunities in this tough economy.
Q: Do I have what it takes to become a medical biller or coder?
A: If you have great attention to detail, enjoy working with people, and are a problem solver, you can become a great medical biller or coder. Medical billing is more of a customer service role than medical coding, but both can be rewarding occupations where you have a chance to help people. If this sounds like something which would interest you, then start looking into training programs to become a medical biller or coder. You may be on your way to a new career sooner than you think!