A Typical Day For a Health Claims Specialist
You may have heard that medical billing and coding is a great field to get into right now.
But let’s be honest: beginning any kind of career training program is a big investment in terms of time, money, and attention. If you’re going to make that kind of commitment, it’s wise to know as much as possible about your choice before you begin.
A good place to start is with the official numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Right now, that agency forecasts a 22% increase in job prospects for health claims specialists.
Keep in mind that the numbers only tell part of the story. Remember: you’ll need to show up someplace and actually do this job every day. That’s why it’s a good idea to set yourself up for success by making sure that your personality aligns well with the daily duties of the job, as well as the work environment.
It’s all in the details
Every procedure that’s carried out in a medical facility has a corresponding code. Medical billing and coding specialists ensure that codes are properly applied so that each procedure can be billed through insurance.
However, with so many codes there’s a lot of room for error, which may result less reimbursement for a medical practice. That’s why the work of skilled health claims specialists is so important.
For example, a coder may notice that a doctor only coded for three types of treatment for a certain condition, even though that condition normally requires four. Then, the coder may have to do some “detective work” to determine if the physician missed a code, or if the patient’s condition didn’t follow the typical treatment plan.
What the office is like
Health claims specialists often work in the “back office” of medical facilities, that is, the office area of a clinical environment, such as a hospital, outpatient facility or doctor’s office. However, some health claims specialists work from home.
Medical billing and coding specialists have very little patient contact even when they’re employed in a clinical setting. Rather, most of their time is spent at a computer reviewing healthcare codes that have been applied to different forms of patient care.
While some health claims specialists may work traditional hours, it’s not unusual for hospital coders to begin work very early in the morning, allowing them to leave work early in the afternoon.
Independent initiative and some collaboration
People who may be well-suited for medical billing and coding are able to work independently. However, some collaboration with other health claims specialists may necessary to troubleshoot difficult cases. Contact with doctors, other clinicians, and insurers is also part of the job.
Medical billing and coding requires extreme attention to detail. In addition, successful coders should expect to continuously expand their skill sets, as new regulations create hundreds of new medical codes.
If you think you might be suited to a career in medical billing and coding, request more information about career training programs at Salter.