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Medical Billing and Coding Qualifications and Training

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We come across various people working in clinics, hospitals and medical offices offering medical care but lot of people do not understand that there are many workers who help in running health industry smoothly. Some of them like the medical billing and coding experts work behind the scenes and play major role in healthcare process. They convert a transliterated medical report and transfer it as billing statement. They undergo training about medical procedures and also method for interpreting the procedures to billing codes.
They use classification software for medical billing and coding, but there are some limitations with it. The computer and operator should have particular training to become familiar with medical terminology, pharmacology, human body and CPT coding system that prevails around the world. There is code assigned for every diagnosis and this is converted to billing amount. By using the classification software, the amount to be billed for services offered by Medicare, health insurance and Medicaid can be found. Medical coders and billers should be very accurate and efficient. A small error could lead to losses worth thousands of dollars to insurance company, patient or hospital and hence they should be very accurate and detail-oriented.

They can undergo specializations like cancer registry. They usually maintain list of people having tumors and cancers. Medical billing and coding experts will review the records of the patients and will assign the codes for treatment of tumors and cancers. They will keep track of health care, survival rates and recovery of patients within cancer registry.

Job Environment

Medical billing and coding specialists will be working in comfortable and clean office environment. Their work place could be nursing homes, doctor's office, clinics or hospitals. They will have a personal computer, office equipment and a phone line. They do not require any interaction with patients but tF1ÁI} hey might need to clarify with doctors in case of any doubts with medical records.
Their work duration is usual 40 hours per week as hospital facilities are seven days a week and 24 hours per day. They could also work on shift basis and sometimes work overtime during busy times.

Training and Progress

You should undergo specific training in order to work as medical billing and coding professional. There are courses available in most junior and community colleges. They receive proper education about medical terminology, legal issues, anatomy, pharmacology, computer software, CPT codes and other categories. Students must spend lot of time to learn the classification software and systems. It is an important tool which can be used for their career.

There is associate program for medical billing and coding provided in many colleges which is a 2-year course. Usually people having such certification are preferred by employees. Employees hire people having such credentials to show their skills. There is coding certification provided by Academy of Professional Coders.

It is important that medical coders have great writing and speaking skills. Also they should have computer proficiency and good typing skills. If you need further progress, you must have a masters or bachelor's degree which can help you get into positions related to health information management.

Job Opportunities

As per research in 2008, there are more than 170,000 medical technicians available. The labor department is estimating that the demand will get higher in future. With more senior citizens demanding health care, there is lot of opportunities for medical coders and billing professionals.

Job Prospects

Medical billing and coding experts with computer proficiency will have very good demand in job market. Predictions are that vacancies could rise up to twenty percent in 2018.

Earnings

Medical billing and coding experts can earn competitive salaries ranging from 24,000 to 39,000 dollars per year. Some of them in higher levels can earn as high as 50,000 dollars annually.

Check out our EMT Paramedic page for another interesting health career.

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