How to Become a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist?

medical billing specialist
Medical billing and coding education should prepare students to pass certification exams.

Eligibility for medical coding course

Medical billing and coding specialists are in demand, and that demand is expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future. Today, more Americans are insured, which is one factor that contributes to the demand for medical billing and coding specialists. Furthermore, the average population age is increasing as baby boomers approach retirement, again signaling increased demand for healthcare services. Finally, a new coding standard called ICD-10 recently went into effect in the US, and since it is more complex than the older coding standard, many facilities are adding staff members to pick up the slack.

Without medical billing and coding specialists, medical facilities would have a hard time remaining open.

Completion of medical billing and coding training can be one of the smartest ways to prepare for an in demand career. This is a career that is growing in every geographic region and is expected to continue to grow at above average rates for many years to come.

Work Environments for Those With Medical Billing and Coding Training

Medical billing and coding specialists usually work in doctors’ offices. When doctors and nurses provide medical services, the billing and coding specialist must record special codes that describe the patient’s complaint, the diagnosis, and what services were given. These codes are used by insurance companies to verify services before reimbursing healthcare providers.

Some billing and coding specialists work in hospitals and imaging centers. It’s very common for specialty practices, such as rheumatology or neurology practices, to hire medical billing and coding specialists who have undergone additional, specialized training and certification in the practice’s area of focus. These specialty coding and billing professionals often earn more than those without the extra certifications.

Education Programs for Medical Billing and Coding

Though the medical billing and coding specialist doesn’t work directly with patients, he or she has to have an understanding of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. Understanding how the business side of a medical facility works is also essential.

Students of medical billing and coding delve deeply into how the health insurance and reimbursement process works and how to create accurate claims. They also spend considerable time learning the most up-to-date medical coding information that assigns numerical codes based on physician notes. The quality of a medical billing and coding specialist directly affects the monetary success of a medical practice, so many practices look to hire specialists who have obtained various credentials and certifications.

Certifications and Credentials

By successfully completing an educational program in medical coding and billing, the student prepares himself or herself to sit for various certification exams. For example, the Certified Professional Biller (CPB) certification is required by most medical workplaces for those who work as medical billers. The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is often required for the professionals who create and submit insurance claims. A Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC) credential indicates a person has been trained in medical coding for inpatient facilities. Look for a program that includes the CPB and CPC exam costs and preparation as part of the educational program.

The Non-Clinical Side of Healthcare Can Be Rewarding Too

When people think of rewarding careers in healthcare they tend to think of patient interactions, and of seeing sick people well once again. But the non-clinical side of healthcare can be remarkably rewarding. Doctors and patients depend on the work of the medical billing and coding specialist to ensure that bills are paid accurately so they can concentrate on helping people heal. The medical setting is generally fast-paced and demanding, and requires excellent attention to detail. If you’re detail-oriented and prefer a dynamic work setting, medical billing and coding training could be a terrific career choice.

Conclusion

A person with medical billing and training education and credentials has a bright career future. While large cities tend to have more of these professionals, they’re found wherever medical facilities are located. Should you want to live somewhere new, or need to follow a spouse who is transferred, medical billing and coding skills can take you just about anywhere, and the compensation is competitive.

Southern California Health Institute (SOCHi) prepares aspiring medical billing and coding professionals to earn the CPB and CPC certifications, and the cost of the exams is included in educational costs. If you would like to know more about where a medical billing and coding career can take you in life, we invite you to get in touch with us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you. Request information today!

Revision Disclaimer: As of September of 2018, SOCHi no longer provides AAPC certification for our Medical Billing & Coding students through our curriculum. As our students grow and learn to discover their abilities at SOCHi, so does our curriculum! Our curriculum is adapting and growing to accommodate our diverse student body. Stay tuned to see how SOCHi is growing to assist you on your journey to success!

Share: