What is medical billing and coding? This is probably not the first time you have heard of the phrase but what exactly does it mean? What do a medical biller and coder do?
Medical billing and coding is essentially a support service designed for physicians who are slumped with endless piles of paperwork or electronic claims. Most patients these days have health insurance providers to pay for their healthcare needs. In order for a physician or the healthcare provider to get paid, they would have to file a claim for reimbursement fees for the services they rendered. This is where medical billing and coding come in.
Medical billing and coding helps support physicians, clinics, hospitals, and patients in handling allied health issues. Medical offices, clinics, hospitals, health insurance companies, and many more seek the help of medical billing and coding professionals. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that medical billing and coding specialists along with health information technicians are one of the ten fastest growing allied health occupations in the medical industry.
Medical billing and coding specialists are considered experts in their fields. They are all highly trained so their skills are therefore much valued by the healthcare community. Medical billers and coders are compensated according to their level of training, experience, skills, and how effectively these skills are used. There have been reports that the average annual salary range for medical billers and coders is between $33,370 and $415,061. That alone is enough attraction for any enterprising individual to start engaging in medical billing and coding.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that medical billing and coding is an easy career to get into. It is a job that requires expertise and highly specialized skill on a field where the scope is broad, encompassing billing and accounts receivable, medical office management, insurance claims processing, submitting claims, etc.
The process starts long before the patient actually arrives for the appointment and continues after the patient has been seen. Delays, inaccuracies, or miscommunications could spell issues which you don’t want to have when you’re trying to get the claim out. Thus, it is important that insurance benefits are verified ahead of the patient’s appointment time. Later, after the physician has seen the patient, the notes he made on the medical record will then be converted into codes for coding the insurance claim procedure.
Medical billing and coding can be a challenging career. But it can also be very rewarding for those who make it. The opportunities for medical billing and coding professionals are numerous. And with further education and training, they could become endless.