So you want to become a medical biller and / or coder? Often times, the two are grouped together as the same job when they are actually two separate positions. Either way, you can purchase a billing and coding license and fill in either, or even both, depending on the organization you work for.
In this guide, we’ll focus on covering some of the details of the job so you can better understand what you’re getting into. We’ll also show you the best way to get into the field and make a living in a stable, growing career option.
You can become a medical biller and coder in no time!
Understand the job
First and foremost, you should always fully understand any job you are looking for. You should know what your responsibilities are and what trends in the industry could support or hinder your progress. As of now, the field will grow by about 8% over the next decade, so you should be able to find employment opportunities after you graduate.
As a medical coder, you act as a kind of translator for medical documents. A standardized code is assigned to every medical procedure, every prescription, etc. It is the job of the coder to assign a code to each item so that insurance companies can be billed accordingly. Without these codes, there is no payment – so you are part of an integral part of the healthcare industry.
Once the codes are set, they need to be converted into an invoice. This is usually where billing and coding are kept separate, but for smaller organizations there might be a biller and coder or a small team of just a few people. Larger organizations may have coders and billers in separate roles. It all depends on the size of the organization and the scope of the incoming claims.
In either case, you will be handling sensitive information, which means that you must respect that fact and be careful / responsible with the information that comes in your way. Medical information is protected by HIPAA and a number of other laws that keep the information secure and private.
Decide on an educational route
After we understand the job description a little better, let’s talk about yours Medical billing and coding training. You have to choose the best path to education, and it is usually different for everyone. Some people want the notoriety and added benefits of an associate’s degree, while others need a quick start on a new career. and seek certification instead.
In most cases, certification only takes around 10 to 12 months, depending on the program and your level of commitment to completion. There are thousands of schools that offer a medical billing and coding program, but you need to make sure the school you choose is accredited. Otherwise, your certification might mean nothing when you graduate.
Just remember that if you are going for an associate degree, which can cost thousands of dollars, you are paying full price. In many cases, it costs less than $ 10,000 to obtain certification. Think about it – a ten thousand dollar investment could change your life forever in less than a year. I would like to think that this is worth the gamble, right?
Whichever route you choose, you will also have to make another financial decision about student loans. Some schools do not offer government student aid, but if you do, keep in mind that you will have to repay it (with interest) after you graduate.
There is You can get multiple certifications in this area, including a CPC, COC, CIC, CRC and special coding certification as well as a CPB certification for billing. In general, the more certifications you get, the more opportunities you have to both increase your salary and work in a senior position. So don’t stop at one – expand your knowledge and skills and you can make a living as a medical biller and programmer.
Find work in the field
After you graduate, you will need to find employment. Some training programs / schools actually provide post-graduate placement services, while others do not. In any case, the first thing you need to do is decide which environment you want to work in. Make no mistake – this is a “desk job” so you don’t stand on the front lines saving people’s lives. What you are going to do is make sure these people are not hit with all of their medical bills. Coding and billing insurance helps the people behind the scenes, but it still helps others.
The bottom line
Becoming a medical biller and coder can take as little as ten months, cost less than $ 10,000, and get you started quickly in a rewarding and stable career. First, understand the job and look for your training opportunities. Remember to get as many Certifications / specializations as you can to increase your chances of growth and raises. Good luck!