What is Medical Billing & Coding?
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the medical field but would prefer an administrative role with less patient work, then you’ll like medical billing and coding.
This job plays an important role in connecting patients, health care providers, as well as insurance companies.
Here is a basic medical billing and coding job description:
Medical billing and coding professionals are tasked to read patient’s charts. This is to determine the patient’s medical history, diagnosis rendered, and the treatments provided. Based on the file, they apply a set of medical codes and accurately transcribe the data of the patients for the use of healthcare practitioners and insurance companies.
The job of a medical biller and coder is very similar to that of a medical transcriptionist. When we look at it as a whole, both jobs have the same goal – to transcribe or write down medical codes. The only difference is that a medical transcriptionist does this by listening directly to the diagnosis and treatment plan of the physician. Meanwhile, the medical billing and coding specialist acquires the information from reading the files and reports of the patient.
At present, these professionals apply the ICD-11 code or the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases to track the diagnosis and treatments of patients. This current edition is much preferred than the previous revisions. The reason for this is because it allows billers and coders to be more specific in transcribing documents.
Medical Billing and Coding Tasks
A medical billing and coding professional can work in various types of facilities – hospitals, clinics, and billing offices. No matter where they work, they still typically have the same sorts of tasks. They generally review a patient’s chart and apply medical codes to log their diagnosis and treatments.
Their tasks and job description include the following:
- They read and analyze the records of each patient.
- They determine the right medical codes for each of the patient’s records.
- They use the appropriate codes to bill the insurance company.
- They interact with medical professionals, physicians, and assistants to ensure the accuracy of the data.
- They keep track of the patient’s records after each visit.
- They manage all the details and medically-coded data.
- They ensure and maintain the privacy and security of every patient.
A lot of medical billing and coding professionals are employed in clinics and hospitals. But most of their duties are performed far from where the patient care is happening. This means you won’t be seeing them in the operating rooms or patient-care rooms.
Yes, they are required to work closely and communicate with physicians and assistants. But that is only up to a certain degree. A lot of their duties are independent of all other activities happening in the hospital and clinic.
What are the Available Career Paths?
A job in the medical billing and coding field requires an employee to have great focus and concentration. In everyday tasks, a medical biller and coder will have to deal with all types of patient charts. They need to medically code and transcribe the data precisely and then forward them to insurance providers.
There are various areas where a medical biller and coder can work. This includes:
- home health care services
- nursing care facilities
- physician’s office
Like a medical billing and coding professional, a medical transcriptionist will also work in the same types of workplaces.
Those who choose a career in this field can also opt for a work-at-home profession. All that is required is a business license, a room at home dedicated for work, and a business plan.
You would also need to ensure that you are following the standard health privacy laws or HIPAA guidelines like all medical facilities must adhere too. Therefore, it is also important to have a secure place to maintain your records, since medical records are confidential.
Medical Billing and Coding Specialties and Advancement
A lot of professionals under the field of medical records and health information technicians are employed as coders. But there is now an increasing group of technicians that are employed as cancer registrars.
They generally perform tasks such as:
- Examining the records of the patients as well as the pathology reports for accuracy
- Reviewing all patient data and compiling all information for research purposes
- Performing check-ups annually to monitor treatment and progress
- Assigning proper medical codes to represent the treatment and diagnosis of cancers
Job opportunities for medical billing and coding are as strong and steady as before. But the opportunities for cancer registrars are expected to increase. The National Cancer Registrars Association says that the demand for the position is greater than ever.
With an aging population, there is a high chance that there will be more advancement in this medical career. Other types of specialization registries will be developed as more kinds of diseases need to be detected and treated later in life.
If you think becoming a medical biller and coder sounds like a good fit for you, then click the blue find schools button to compare medical coding programs.