What does it take to become a medical biller and coder?
Do you like working independently, but desire a role within the healthcare industry? A popular career path to choose is that of a medical billing and coding specialist, also called health claims specialists. In medical billing and coding school, you may learn the skills of how to properly prepare, analyze, code, and submit health insurance claims for reimbursement.
A medical billing and coding specialist job position requires a variety of skills to complete everyday activities in the health claims industry. This might sound intimidating to you at first, but a medical billing and coding training program may help you learn or develop these skills in a relatively short amount of time.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook features five crucial skills needed to manage and process electronic health records (EHRs).
1. Analytical skills
Medical billers and coders need to review patient medical records for appointment details. They must examine the facts of the appointment so they can code properly. The appropriate codes need to be used so that health insurance providers are reimbursed for the correct amount and so that patients are over or undercharged. Occasionally, medical billers and coders may not be able to read handwriting or the details of a visit may not be clear. You may have to do some detective work to determine the correct codes needed to process the claim. Analyzing and using good judgment are essential for this career so that there is no confusion about how much money is owed.
2. Interpersonal skills
If you like working independently, then this healthcare job doesn’t require you to work face to face with patients. Occasionally, you may have to communicate with coworkers or supervisors in your department if there is a question you have or an issue. When you do detective work to figure out the details of a patient visit, you’ll have to talk to doctors or nurse practitioners to clarify billing issues, details, and ask questions. Remember to speak to everyone with a polite and professional demeanor. Interpersonal skills will help you clarify details and it will make everyone’s work day go smoother!
Being detail-oriented is a key skill to have in the health claims industry. Accuracy is key because it helps ensure that healthcare providers are paid for their services on time and that patients are billed correctly. As a medical billing and coding specialist, you’ll need to carefully read and understand medical terminology so you know which ICD-10 codes to look up in your coding handbook. After you carefully review the patient information, you’ll have to identify any errors and fix or update them. You’ll be responsible for any codes that aren’t processed correctly, so make sure you read thoroughly!
4. Technological capabilities
You don’t have to be a computer wiz to be a medical biller and coder. However, on the job, you’ll need to be able to work with coding software. The healthcare companies and facilities you’ll be working in will use electronic health records for billing and coding. A training program can help you become skilled at typing, Microsoft Office, and database management. You’ll also learn the basic computer software applications and databases systems that are frequently used in medical and billing positions. Oftentimes, employers also train their employees on how to properly use their facilities’ software.
5. Strong ethics
Integrity, honesty, and a strong moral code are required of a medical billing professional. You’ll be working with patients’ private medical information each day. The Federal law requires that patient information be kept confidential. Your duty is to protect a patient’s right to privacy by keeping their records safe and secure. If you made an error, admit it right away. Being an honest professional will help your supervisors understand the situation. Plus, you’ll look mature and responsible.
We hope this guide helps you identify the skills you need for this career path. With the assistance of a medical billing and training program, you can be out in the professional field in less than a year. Don’t sweat it if you don’t have these skills yet. A training program could offer you the time you need to make practice these traits until you get better! Soon, you could become a successful medical billing and coding professional!
Want to learn more about why medical billing and coding school may be a good option? Read this article on 5 Reasons to Become a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist.
The Salter School offers a Health Claims Specialist training program at our campuses in Tewksbury and Malden, MA. For more information on this program, contact us today.