If you have strong computer skills, have great focus and attention to detail and you would like to work in the medical field, a career in medical billing and coding might suit you well. In this profession, you will process insurance and patient payments for medical facilities, use universal medical codes to translate doctors’ orders to insurance companies and submit insurance claims and be responsible for a variety of other important tasks. Much of the time, you will work in the office attending to your work via computer and the phone. Sometimes, however it may be necessary to consult with patients or patient caregivers to double-check information. You must be able to communicate effectively in person, over the phone and via the written word.
This is an industry where there is a great deal of change coming in the next couple of years and that change is creating opportunity for new coders.
This medical career requires taking a course at an accredited institution and receiving certification. As it is a high-demand career, you will find many opportunities for study including medical billing and coding at Sanford Brown. You may receive a diploma or an associates degree. The latter is preferred and the degree will open up more job opportunities for you. This takes approximately two years to complete. It may take more time or less time, depending on your personal circumstances. Financial aid, such as government loans, is available.
During your course of study, expect to learn medical terminology, medical record keeping, coding, physiology, and anatomy. You may also have coursework in biology, computers, algebra, and office administration. The more comfortable you are working on computers and handling data, the easier this will be. It is also very helpful if you have good memorization skills, although now, with new computer software that makes it easy to look up important data, this is not as important as it was in the past.
There are several types of certification exams for medical billing and coding. For instance, you may initially receive certification as a Certified Professional Coder – CPC. After you have worked in coding for approximately two years, you may take the test to become a Certified Professional Coder – Hospital Outpatient –CPC-H, a Certified Professional Coder-Payer — CPC-P, or Certified Coding Specialist –CCS.
After working for at least two years in medical billing and coding, you may choose to specialize in specific medical areas. These areas include oncology, pediatrics, family practice, internal medicine, cardiology, radiology and many more.
Trained and certified medical coders and billers continue to be in demand. Job prospects for those entering this field are expected to increase in the near future. Advancement in this career is possible for anyone who is dedicated and willing, and brings an accompanying pay raise.
Most jobs are on-site in hospitals, doctor’s offices and other medical institutes, but there are also work-at-home possibilities. However, when you are job seeking, you must be alert to scams. Although there are legitimate medical billing and coding positions that allow you to work from home, some you see advertised may be illegitimate. Check work-from-home companies with the Better Business Bureau before you apply.