Become a Medical Biller or Coder
When choosing a career, good pay and benefits are certainly primary concerns. Everyone has to make a living somehow. Being able to do something you enjoy and feeling fulfilled by it should also be taken into consideration.
Most people will be working a long time before retirement so why not do something pleasing? Helping others can be a very rewarding way to make a good living. Medicine is one of the best fields for this but not everyone is cut out to be a doctor or nurse. Fortunately, there are other medical careers such as billing and coding.
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Medical Billing and Coding
Before searching out medical billing and coding schools, it would be good to know what each job entails. Billing and coding are important to the day-to-day operations of the healthcare industry. Billers interact with patients as well as doctors and nurses gathering personal and insurance information. They use this data to create records and bills. Payments from insurance companies and patients are tracked and recorded. Coders create and maintain a database of alphanumeric codes that represent various medical treatments and prescribed medication. As you can imagine, these jobs do require specific training and there is a path to landing one.
There are several skills and attributes that anyone who plans to become a biller or coder should possess. People who are well-organized, have analytical minds, and pay attention to detail are more likely to succeed in these careers. Completing the necessary training will be difficult for those who don’t have these attributes and they may want to consider a different type of job.
A high school diploma or GED is required before starting any kind of training for billing and coding. It is possible to enter these fields without a degree but many billers and coders earn associate’s or bachelor’s degrees to make them more attractive to potential employers. Some positions will also require a background check.
Medical Billing and Coding Training
If the prerequisites have been met, it is time to move on to job-specific training. This can be a certificate or degree program at a university. Choose a school that has been accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education or other relevant body. Training covers several areas including:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Medical ethics, law, and record management
- Revenue cycle and billing
- Coding foundations
- Diagnostic and procedural coding
The exact program will depend upon whether you are training to be a biller or coder and generally can be completed in several months.
Upon successful completion of training, the next step is to become certified by earning one of several professional certifications offered through the American Academy of Professional Coders. Certification requires passing an exam and will give you a competitive advantage when seeking work.
Working in medicine can provide a nice living and give you the satisfaction of helping others. There are many jobs in this field and billers and coders are as important as any others in the healthcare field.