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What are the pros and cons of working in Medical Billing and Coding?

Hello, I am someone who is looking for a job where sitting down is ideal and less stressful than most jobs. I've heard that this type of job is ideal, but I would love to hear more hands-on experience in this line of work.

#job #medical #billing #coding #office #stress #experience #advice

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Doc’s Answer

Great Question Nichelle,
Medical Coding and Billing are the fastest growing healthcare jobs. Hospitals, private practices and clinics could not survive without someone who efficiently handles their day-to-day Medical procedures.

MEDICAL CODING VS. MEDICAL BILLING

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
MEDICAL CODERS – Interpret the care provided for patients into codes a computer system can understand. Assigning the correct diagnosis and procedure codes requires sound knowledge of medical terminology and adherence to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding guidelines / standards.

MEDICAL BILLERS – Use the instructions provided by coders to file insurance claims and post payments to accounts. For claims to be paid medical information must be accurate. Billers work with insurance companies to work out denials/rejections, finalize the details and send out statements.

MEDICAL CODING VS. MEDICAL BILLING SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS

JOB DESCRIPTIONS
MEDICAL CODERS – Medical coders work extensively with computers and use specialized programs to edit and store patient data, so typing ability is critical in addition to a general understanding of how to use computers. Because they act as the point of contact between hospitals or other providers and insurance companies, medical coders must have good phone etiquette and be able to clearly and effectively communicate. Since much of their work deals with confidential records, medical coders need to have a respect for privacy as well. Mistakes can cause patients to be treated wrongly or left with a bill that insurance should cover, so an eye for detail and attentiveness at work is also very important.

MEDICAL BILLERS – Need to be comfortable on the phone talking with patients and insurance companies, able to clearly communicate with many different people and smoothly resolve issues when needed.

MEDICAL CODING VS. MEDICAL BILLING EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

MEDICAL CODERS – Medical coding degrees at the associate's degree level take about two years and include a general education component. Holding a higher credential, such as an associate's degree, may offer more opportunity for advancement. Some medical coding programs will also prepare you to obtain certain certifications after completion, which may help with finding employment. Practicums, internships, and other hands-on job experience may also be included in some programs, but are not always available or required. Many medical coding degree programs are available online, and can be done almost entirely over the internet.

MEDICAL BILLERS – While most employers do require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED certificate, some also require a minimum of an associate degree or higher. However, there is no industry standard when it comes to educational requirements. Employers decide what to require and usually prefer to hire someone with professional certification. However, many medical billers have earned vocational or post-secondary education that prepares them for working in a health care office. Related coursework includes medical terminology, computer systems, statistics, communication skills, coding systems and health information technology classes.

MEDICAL CODING & MEDICAL BILLING PROS & CONS

JOB COMPARISON
MEDICAL CODERS – Working with patients in a clinical setting isn’t for everyone. Luckily there are many jobs in healthcare, including medical coding, where you can really help patients without having to work with them directly. Medical coders work behind the scenes in collaboration with physicians, billers and other staff.

MEDICAL BILLERS – Communicate with patients. Things don’t always go smoothly, and it’s a biller’s job to act professionally and empathize with patients who aren’t always thrilled to discuss costs they never expected to cover. Effective billers help patients understand their charges and are an integral part of the overall healthcare experience.

LARGE HOSPITALS VS SMALL OFFICE
HOSPITALS – With greater demand for billing and coding services within larger organizations, hospitals often employ specialized coders and billers to carry out their individual responsibilities. When seeking your first entry-level job in medical billing or medical coding, start your search in hospitals and other large healthcare facilities.

OFFICE – In smaller businesses, such as private practices and physician’s offices, it is more likely to find individuals who routinely perform both medical billing and coding to streamline the process and limit operating expenses. You may look for this type of role as you further your education and continue developing professional experience in both billing and coding.

Hope this was Helpful Nichelle
Thank you comment icon Your Welcome Nichelle, It was my Pleasure. Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Goodness, this is much more information than I expected! Thank you so much for this in-depth description! Nichelle
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Emily’s Answer

Pros:
This type of job is always needed.
Many jobs in this area provide flexibility (work from home, flex hours, etc.)
Pay is usually pretty good, if not really good.

Cons:
This profession requires a lot of study/research to get started.
Keeping up with and staying up to date with medical billing/coding/regulations, etc. can be difficult.
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Bryan’s Answer

All of the prior answers are excellent, the biggest benefit to working in this field is the Work from Home opportunities that many companies provide. With many baby-boomers hitting the "Medicare" age, this field will grow and need more and more people now and in the near future.
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Estelle’s Answer

John and Emily gave great answers! I think that medical and billing are excellent fields and in high demand. You need really good communication skills because you will be working between providers, insurance companies, patients, and hospitals/clinics. I have an electronic medical record system and record my own coding, but I definitely depend on the young woman who does my billing to keep the insurance claims well organized and coherent. Incidentally, in may offices, the people who take care of coding also bill and handle claims.
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