The healthcare field is made up of many different professionals. We see the doctors and nurses; however, we generally do not see the behind the scenes work that goes on. Many professionals are needed to make this industry run smoothly. Have you ever wondered who generates the medical bills? The medical bills are generated by medical coders.
The most important job responsibility for a medical billing specialist is making sure the claim that is generated accurately charges for services rendered. Medical billers are investigators. They are tasked with digging into the patients medical records and translating medical procedures into codes. The procedures performed are converted into numbers.
A medical biller’s job responsibility includes hunting down a patient’s diagnostic report. The signs and symptoms a patient is experiencing help a medical biller accurately code the procedure. The job involves many complex rules that are used worldwide. These rules are meant to keep medical records relatively consistent around the world. A procedure code in the U.S. should correspond to a procedure in the U.K.
One of the most confusing parts of the job of a medical biller is interpreting the physician’s notes. Often times, a coder must put the pieces of the puzzle together to find the correct diagnosis and code. The job responsibilities also include speaking with the physician about medical records that are not clear. The medical biller and coder must know the right questions to ask the doctor. The medical billing specialist develops a relationship with physicians, and these doctors learn to document more clearly.
Medical coders work with computers extensively; it is very important to have good computer skills. Because new software programs are developed often, coders must be able to quickly learn new programs. One of the main responsibilities of a medical billing and coding specialist is to make sure the assigned codes meet the federal, legal, and insurance regulations. Medical coders do this by assigning the right ICD-9-CM and CPT codes.
The preparation needed to become a medical coder begins with an associate degree in medical billing and coding. It normally takes about two years to take the classes necessary to receive a degree. Many programs in this field are now offered online. The offering of these classes online allow adults the ability to combine home responsibilities and school seamlessly. Many students are able to complete their degree a little sooner. You have the freedom and flexibility you need to perform at the best pace for you.
Before a claim is submitted, a coder must review each code to make sure they are correct. They must verify the information and the signatures so that a claim will not be denied by the insurance company. If a claim is not approved, the coder must contact the healthcare provider and make sure the correct code was submitted.
These professionals have a great deal of responsibility. Medical billing and coding is complex. The number of federal, legal, and insurance regulations are numerous. It takes a very sharp and highly skilled coder to efficiently and correctly code patient medical records. If the codes are wrong, the reimbursement will not be correct. This could be very disastrous for everyone involved. The medical coder carries much responsibility in the accuracy of their work. In fact, all healthcare professionals must be very precise and accurate. There is not a margin for error or mistakes. Lives are involved, and a mistake could mean dire consequences. Imagine a medical billing and coding specialist that codes a procedure as a check up when it was a major surgery. The amount of money that would be loss would be enormous.
Compensation for a medical biller is very good. Because of the importance of the role they play, they are able to command good salaries. The medical profession entrust them to code efficiently and accurately. They are paid to perform this job responsibility. You can be a part of a growing industry that is always growing by leaps and bounds.