Imagine yourself in a new career!
Considering a new career path within that healthcare industry? If you think that medical billing and coding training may be an interesting career choice, you may wonder what a typical day is like on-the-job. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this position? What is the work environment like?
The Salter School wants you to understand the ins-and-outs of the medical billing and coding profession so you know if its correct career path is for you. We offer you a guide to the typical day for a medical billing and coding specialist.
The beginning of the workday
In the morning, medical billing and coding experts start their day off at their work desk. They log into their computer system and check any emails for urgency. You’ll see a list of patient charts for you to review. These charts include diagnoses and procedures that have been conducted on patients. Your role is to assign diagnostic codes to these medical procedures. As you code, you will use the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) resources. These systems will allow you to carefully enter codes with accuracy, step-by-step.
Throughout the day, you will be processing numerous patient charts. Many of these medical charts and records will be straightforward, so all you need to do is identify a procedure or term and code it accurately. You can simply enter the code into the software system and some of these codes will be so common, it may eventually become second nature for you.
However, you’ll also frequently come across procedures and diagnoses you aren’t familiar with or don’t have enough detail to identify. This is where your detective skills come in. You will have to research the procedure and find the correct diagnostic code to use. There are over 68,000 codes and you need to find the one that most accurately represents the procedure so that patients are charged correctly and insurance claims are filed and paid on time.
If there is missing information, you may have to contact the doctor’s medical administrative assistant to ask about the procedure. A chart may not include follow-up information that is needed to properly code the billing statement for patients.
If you like detail and researching, then this career path may intrigue you.
Many medical billing and coding experts work at their own desk in a shared work station or cubicle with a computer. It’s suggested that you keep two monitors so you can use one screen to view the patient charts and the other to research coding systems.
Some employers expect you to complete a specific number of charts per hour or per day. Depending on the employer, your required amount could be as low as 60 forms if you’re reviewing more complex procedures or 120 charts for more simple cases. To meet quotas, medical billers and coders need to stay focused and efficient.
Depending on what type of healthcare facility you work in, the number of coworkers may vary. If you work in a hospital network, you may work in a room alongside dozens of other medical billing and coding professionals. Since hospitals are open every day, year-round, they have a high number of charts that need to be processed. When you work with a team, you may find it easier when you come across an incomplete chart or another problem. Your co-workers may be able to help you out.
Smaller offices and private medical practices may hire only one or two medical billers and coders. However, you may get to know the other medical staff better in a small work environment.
Hopefully, this short guide gives you a good idea of what to expect each day as a medical billing and coding specialist.
The Salter School features career topics, program-related information, and health and wellness tips in our bi-weekly blog. Want more information on our health claims specialist/medical billing and coding program? Contact us!