Not all workers within the healthcare field are doctors and nurses — but those without medical degrees are just as necessary for delivering high-quality health services to patients. A good example of this is the medical billing and coding specialist, who translates specific services a patient receives into codes that allow the healthcare facility to file the correct claims with insurance providers and ensure that patients receive the health coverage they deserve.
To become a medical billing and coding specialist, you need to earn a medical billing and coding certificate, which you can do through an efficient online program. Once you have the certificate in hand, you are qualified for any of the following useful jobs in healthcare:
Perhaps the most obvious job for someone with a medical billing and coding certificate is that of a coding specialist, which requires a professional to produce a transcript of codes that explain a patient’s visit to a healthcare provider. This coded transcript is used in many ways by healthcare facility, insurance providers, patients, and others, so it is imperative that coding specialists are fast and accurate with their transcription.
Medical billers work directly with medical coders, using the coded transcripts that contain the summary of a patient’s visit to file claims with the patient’s insurance company. Billers function as go-betweens for insurance companies, healthcare providers, and patients, which means they tend to develop a profound understanding of both the healthcare system and the health insurance system that allows them to navigate both spaces with ease.
Medical Records Technician
Before a medical coder puts the effort into translating a patient’s medical records into a coded transcript, a medical records technician usually reviews the patient’s medical records to ensure accuracy.
Records technicians work to keep a patient’s medical history up-to-date, to include information about past claims, and to maintain various types of confidential information. Some employers may task medical records technicians with transcribing records into code after review, which is why they can benefit from having a medical coding certificate.
After an insurance provider has dismissed certain claims, the healthcare provider then sends a bill to the patient. Billing analysts work with medical billers and medical records technicians to ensure that every item included on patient bills is completely accurate and that patients will receive the correct amount to be paid. Often, billing analysts also provide customer service by communicating with patients who are confused or concerned about their bills.
Even with the help of insurance, medical bills can be high, and many patients may struggle to pay their bills in a timely manner. Thus, medical collectors are tasked with collecting payments from patients who have allowed their bills to become overdue. Medical collectors may need to review the codes associated with different treatments to communicate more effectively with patients about their bills. They can also help patients register for payment plans that make large bills easier to manage.
In a high-level position within billing and coding, coding auditors oversee coding operations and review the work of coding specialists to ensure that all transcribed information is entirely accurate. Often, coding auditors maintain a record of consistent coding mistakes and provide feedback to both management and coding specialists to improve the coding process for all.
Medical Records Coordinator
If you remain in the medical billing and coding field, you may reach the senior-level position of medical records coordinator, which has the responsibility of managing and maintaining all confidential patient records for a healthcare facility.
Coordinators work with medical staff to ensure that all information is correctly and securely collected; then, coordinators maintain specialty software that organizes and protects sensitive data.
If you become remarkably adept at translating medical services into code, you may eventually choose to work as a coding educator. These professionals teach the next generation of medical coders how to understand medical records and select the correct codes to produce the most accurate transcripts. Coding educators most often work for established medical billing and coding programs, but they may also create their own schools to help students achieve success.
Medical coding is an underappreciated component of the healthcare system. If you have a good eye for patterns and a desire to do good, you might consider entering the medical billing and coding field today.
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