You are likely to associate anyone working in the healthcare sector with being all doctors or nurses. However, the medical industry incorporates many other professionals such as engineers, data analysts, and medical billing and coding experts. Yes, not everybody who works in a healthcare facility interacts with patients directly.
Medical billing and coding experts ensure the hospital data and records meet specific standards and are beneficial to various data users such as the administrators, doctors, pharmacists, insurance, and the ministry of health. Hence, the need to have more medical billing and coding specialists. Here we look at how to become a medical billing and coding professional.
Medical Billing and Coding Career
Medical billing and coding systems support medical operations in a significant way, and hence the sector is developing more interest in having more medical billing and coding specialists. As such, the demand for medical billing and coding as a career is growing.
Medical billing and coding professionals use modern technology to organize, categorize, and input medical data and records that will be easy to access, use, and understand by other professionals in the medical sector. The medical billing and coding specialists use codes to represent different diagnoses, medical procedures, and additional information, which appears in the patient’s record.
How to Become a Medical Billing and Coding Professional
Some people start their training as on-job training. However, most employers will require specialized formal training.
To get a job as medical coder, you will need to train as a medical biller and coder; you can start with a certificate, diploma, or degree course. A certificate and diploma course will take less than two years to complete. A degree course will incorporate other education lessons in addition to healthcare billing and coding lessons.
With a degree in medical billing and coding, you will be able to transition easily to the management level, of course, after proving your worth.
IT capabilities are essential in medical billing and coding career. You should be able to competently use different software suitable for use in various departments within the healthcare system. Such software may include;
Medical Billing and Coding Certification
It’s essential to pursue certification since some employers may require industry certification to grant you an opportunity. You can get a medical coding certification from the university or enroll in an online education program to help you prepare for the certification exam. However, most bodies that offer online training will require you to attend the exam in person.
For Certified Professional Coder (CPC) full certification, you will have to provide proof of education or work experience, even after passing the CPC exam. Otherwise, you will get CPC-Apprentice certification.
After getting the necessary educational training and certification, you must prepare a CV and start applying for jobs. Equipped with your formal education and certificate, you are ready for employment, build your confidence and start searching for jobs in the local available medical facilities.
If your application impresses the employers, you may get a chance for an interview. You may need help preparing for an interview and practicing what you have learned as well.
Once you get the job, it is now time to show your professionalism and become a valuable asset to your employer.
In addition to formal training and certification in medical coding and billing, employers will require competency in other additional skills such as;
- To have good communication skills and the ability to remain calm even when under pressure.
- Be attentive to detail to be able to code and record patients’ data accurately.
- Excellent decision-making skills to help you make a proper judgment when analyzing records and when coding.
- Employers will also require competence in IT since medical billing and coding is a technology-based career.
Duties of A Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
As a medical billing and coding professional, your employer will expect you to use modern technology to organize, categorize, manage, and input medical data and records that other professionals in the medical sector will easily access, use, and understand.
In addition, the medical biller duties will include competency in using IT systems such as;
- Billing software
- Medical software
- Data-entry software
- Accounting software
- Word processing software
- Medical condition coding software
- Medical procedure coding software
- Electronic health record (EHR) programs
- Database user interface and query software
- Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)
The salary of medical biller may vary depending on location, medical facility, level of employment, and responsibilities. However, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical records specialists earned up to $45,240 annually in 2020.
The Healthcare sector is here to stay, and the demand for experts in careers that support healthcare services is growing. Medical billing and coding are some of the essential support occupations in the health sector. It’s therefore wise to take up a path into becoming a medical biller and coder. It will take you some time and resources, but it is worth the struggle. Take action now, do not hesitate towards becoming a medical coder.