Medical coding and billing. Sounds simple, right? Well, with thousands and thousands of codes – each tailored to fit multiple diagnoses, symptoms, treatments, and medications, medical billing and coding can quickly become far from easy. However, one of the major draws to this career path is the lighter education requirements compared to other careers in medicine and the flexibility of both schedule and work environment that many medical billers and coders enjoy.
Business Process Outsourcing Industry has taken many shapes, offering exciting career options for medical and Science graduates in Medical Coding. It has already emerged as one of the attractive and successful careers, and there is an apparent deficit of right talent in the sector.
Medical Coding & billing activity have become an integral part of the healthcare industry in the recent past, and there is a tremendous demand for Medical coding & billing specialist. As a result, there is a growing demand for certified medical coders across the globe, especially in the US, Middle-east, and India.
There are many opportunities available for certified medical coders in India as there are many Healthcare BPOs in this activity.
What is Medical Billing and Coding?
First things first – don’t make the mistake of thinking that medical billing and coding are the same things. In fact, medical billing is a subspecialty of medical coding. So, a medical biller will prepare reimbursement requests on behalf of medical care providers and facilities to ensure that insurance companies pay them back for providing services. While this might seem as simple as sending the insurance company a bill, it’s not – hence the need for coding specialists.
Mistakes in the medical billing and coding industry can be disastrous – the difference between patients getting the treatment they need and having to pay for whatever treatments they can afford. What’s more, medical billers and coders have a substantial financial impact on both the patients and medical facilities they handle. For example, a patient’s diagnosis and the treatments received are the main factors in determining the amount of money that a hospital gets from an insurance company. However, the specificity with which a patient’s diagnosis is documented can cause the reimbursement amount to vary wildly. For example, according to Richard D. Pinson, MD, of HQC Consulting in Houston, reporting a condition as “simple pneumonia” rather than “aspiration pneumonia” can result in the provider receiving $1,500-$3,000 less in payment.
It is important to remember that coding and billing may not be the only tasks that a medical billing and coding specialist handles. This can justify additional courses in administration and medical documentation during your education. The fact of the matter is that coders don’t just code. According to a 2008 AAPC survey, 58 percent of the participating medical billers and coders stated that 80-100 percent of their job tasks involved coding. Twenty-three percent of the respondents indicated that coding comprises 50-79 percent of their responsibilities, and 19 percent claimed to be coding less than 50 percent of the time. When not coding, these individuals were often responsible for clinical or administrative tasks unrelated to billing and coding.
The medical Coding Industry has met the cutting edge of information technology, due to which there have been several channels opened towards placements in the health information field. Medical billing and coding professionals work in every medical office, clinic, hospital, insurance firm, or work from home, making essential contributions to delivering quality healthcare. Therefore, there is a great demand for this certificate program, especially among Health science students, as an additional qualification.
This program provides the foundation information and skill development necessary for those seeking career opportunities as a certified coder in physician’s offices, hospitals, insurance companies, medical billing service departments, and other health-related facilities. Students will acquire the skills necessary to perform all coding duties, fulfill coding regulations and ensure documentation for reimbursement.
One of the reputed institutes offering Medical Front Office & Billing Program is Anthem College. The goal of Anthem Education schools and colleges is to provide high-quality post-secondary career education and training to students and well-prepared graduates to employers.
Medical Coding Work
Medical coding involves reviewing medical records to determine all the procedures during a specific interval of patient care. Medical coding professionals clarify ambiguous or unclear information in a patient’s record and then allocate codes to the patient’s medical record. Codes are selected from the medical database known as the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, also known as ICD-10-AM. Medical coding also requires substantial interaction with the medical staff and the medical computing and finance staff.
Medical Coding Skills
Medical coding professionals need to have excellent attention to detail and a high degree of precision. This is critical to ensuring a very high level of medical coding accuracy. Furthermore, medical coding requires strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively. In addition, medical coders benefit from having a strong interest in medical procedures.
Medical Coding Training Courses
Medical coding training courses must prepare the medical coder to understand the financial infrastructure of the health care system. Medical coding training courses typically include medical office insurance billing, medical claims, medical terminology, collection, coding, medical records, and possibly more specialized courses such as medical secretarial or alternative medical billing and coding.
Medical Coding Employment
Professionals with medical coding training find jobs working with insurance companies, hospitals, and medical offices. With the expanding health care system, medical coders are in high demand. As a result, medical coders’ job growth is expected to be high over the next decade.
Is Medical Billing and Coding for You?
According to Bethany Despot, a medical billing and coding student studying at Northern Michigan University,
“I would recommend medical billing and coding to people who can learn new things. If you don’t like stress, I won’t take this job. You do deal with angry patients sometimes, which they’re teaching us to do in our classes. If you’re prone to mistakes, I won’t take this job either because a mistake could potentially cost a patient their life, not only you your job.”
But one crucial final thought before we continue with our comprehensive guide to medical billing and coding – a note on work from home jobs. More and more people are looking to work from home, and medical billing is often considered a career that allows one to do so. However, according to a 2008 AAPC survey, two-thirds of medical billers are not permitted to work from home. On the other hand, this statistic also reveals that one-third of medical coders are allowed to work from home at least some of the time.