Nearly every doctor visit requires properly coded documents to be completed after it, in order for the doctor to receive payment. This makes medical billing and coding specialists sought after and in demand. BLS.gov projects a fast growth of 13 percent through 2026 (average is 5-7 percent). Are you ready to step in and fill that widening gap?
What Do Medical Billing And Coding Specialists Do?
Medical coding and billing specialists gather and process patient information. This information typically includes medical history, examination results, symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment history. Your main responsibility is to create claims by matching diagnoses, treatments, and procedures with their corresponding numeric codes. Specialists must ensure the accuracy and patient confidentiality of these files before sending them to a healthcare provider or insurance agency, where the claim will then be approved or denied.
If all of the documentation is accurate, then the claim will be approved, and the healthcare provider will be reimbursed. If the claim is denied, the medical coder must investigate why the claim was rejected and make any necessary updates to the claim.
How Do I Begin A Career In Medical Billing And Coding?
You can typically receive a certificate in a year or less. Associate degrees in medical billing and coding are also available; these take two years to complete and include courses required in the certificate program, as well as in general education and healthcare.
If you like the idea of becoming a medical billing and coding specialist but don’t have time to attend traditional classes, know that many schools offer medical billing and coding online. These online programs will teach you the fundamentals of coding and health information management. In medical billing and coding online classes you’ll learn:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology and physiology
- Medical procedures and diagnostic coding
- Professional work ethic
Most medical billing and coding online programs are self-paced, which means you have the ability to study any time and any where. There are no in-person classes to attend, and no class schedules to keep. Additionally, online classes offer an interactive learning environment with tools to prepare you for certification exams. Do your research to make sure the course is legitimate. A good starting point is verifying that it is accredited by the AAPC or AHIMA.
If you’re ready to start learning medical billing or coding, find a school near you offering classes. Within 1-2 years, you will be starting your career, filling the need for qualified professionals in the medical field.