Providing high quality healthcare relies on a team of professionals, from a variety of specialties, to operate smoothly and efficiently. Medical coding and billing professionals are essential to the work of this team and the success of the revenue cycle. Their responsibilities include reviewing patient records to assign medical codes for procedures and supplies, maintaining patient and provider data, tracking outcomes, and submitting claims for reimbursement from patients and insurers.
Coding and billing professionals are in high demand as our country’s population ages. An aging populace requires increasing medical care which results in more reimbursement claims from providers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that the demand for coding and billing professionals is increasing at an above average rate compared to other professions. The job outlook is for a 21% rate of growth and an overall employment of change of 37,700 by 2020.
A career in medical billing and coding will allow you to:
- Put your skills to use If you are comfortable with numbers, formulas, and figures this may be the perfect job for you. The medical revenue cycle is complex and involves providers, insurers, and patients. A coding and billing professional must be good with numbers, effective at communicating with others, and able to serve as an advocate for providers who rely on reimbursement and patients who are seeking care.
- Provide a valuable service Medical providers rely on billing and coding professionals to support the practice’s revenue cycle. If a provider doesn’t receive payment the practice and its patient care will suffer. A coding and billing specialist must pay particular attention to detail in analyzing patient records to assign accurate codes. If a procedure, service, or medical supply is incorrectly coded it can affect reimbursement claims, compensation, and the overall revenue cycle.
- Discover workplace flexibility Coding and billing professionals work in a variety of settings throughout the medical field. While all settings directly support the work of healthcare providers individuals may choose to work on-site within a practice, as part of a larger healthcare system, or as a freelance coding and billing specialist. Many professionals also have the option to work from home and set their own hours. This requires the ability to work independently and the discipline to telecommute to contribute as part of the larger medical team.
- Be a part of a medical team Although patients see just a small percentage of medical professionals on the “front lines” those working behind the scenes are vital to providing high quality medical care. The medical field could not operate without a team approach that values each speciality’s essential contributions. Providing accurate coding and billing services is crucial to the success of a medical practice. Providers rely on the behind the scenes work and dedication of those working in billing and coding.
When hiring coding and billing specialists employers often ask potential employees:
- What is your educational background and how will your training impact your work?
- Are you certified by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) as a Certified Medical Coder and Biller? What did you learn from the certification process?
- Describe your coding and billing experience. What experience do you have in our area of practice or medical speciality?
- Explain your technology proficiency and which electronic health record software programs you have experience with.
- What professional and personal skills will you bring to our medical team?
Choosing to pursue a career in medical billing and coding may be your first step toward an exciting future. This in-demand profession will allow you to put your unique skills and talents to use as part of a high quality healthcare team.
What will your future as a professional medical coding and billing specialist look like?