Tuesday, June 15, 2021

4 Facts about Medical Billing and Coding You Never Knew

While a prevalent and crucial set of career roles within the medical industry, healthcare information specialists like medical billing and coding professionals are not well known to the outside world. For their function, their job perks, and even the other things that are expected of them in their role, medical billing and coding specialists can be a mystery to many people who do not have intimate knowledge of the healthcare industry. So, if you’re one of the many who want to know more about these two professions, stay tuned! There’s more to learn right here, with four facts you may have never known.

Fact #1: Medical Billing and Coding are Separate Jobs

While they are often mentioned together and are, in fact, trained or categorized under the same wide umbrella, medical billing and medical coding are different. Together, they’re known as medical records and health information specialists, but the difference lies in what specific information they’re meant to manage.

Medical billing, as the name implies, focuses on the back end of transactional medicine: filing insurance claims, verifying patients’ information, and even appealing claims to make sure that healthcare facilities are paid for services rendered. Whether that payment comes from the insurance companies or from the patients themselves, this whole ecosystem of information is built on privacy and accuracy. The former is regulated for patients’ and providers’ protection, especially from social engineering and fraud, while the latter is ensured because it means the difference, at times, between full coverage and none at all. When you have been a patient dependent on said insurance coverage, you can imagine for yourself how nerve-wracking it might be to receive the wrong bill, or a bill that looks right, but bills a patient way more than they need to be paying. As a medical billing specialist, it’s your job to make sure that this doesn’t happen, and that all three parties (the patient, the provider, and the insuring entity) are made whole at the end of the day.

Medical coding, on the other hand, doesn’t deal with the billing side, but rather focuses on the organization and accuracy of treatments documented, as well as documentation of other things, like patient conditions, that can affect treatment and are reproduced not only in billing — but also on a medical report. Just like a medical billing professional, a coder in the healthcare industry is charged with the burden of accuracy: if a code is incorrectly used, it means that someone may be wrongly paying thousands of dollars out of pocket or receiving an inappropriate treatment. Utilization of coding protocols, like the ICD-10, makes coding a part of a huge standardized system that makes the speed and efficiency of modern medicine possible.

Fact #2: You Can Work Anywhere You Like, Anytime You Like

If you’re looking for an office job, something that has a steady 9 to 5, you might see medical billing and coding as professions that suit you. However, if you’re looking to work from home, choose hours that you want, or even travel for work — well, you’re still looking in the right place. Along with being a steady day job, medical billing and coding specialists can also find employers that allow remote work, which is very common. If you take on a career in the field, you may even be given the option to work hours of your choice — because of how independent the work is, it’s not imperative to work according to someone else’s needs, as long as a certain number of hours is met per week. In addition to all this, there are positions as medical coders or billing specialists that take a person traveling from city to city, much like traveling nurses do. In any case, no matter what lifestyle you’re trying to maintain, these two jobs are good options — because they offer stability to those who want it, and offer freedom to those looking for that instead. It’s a versatile career path, to say the least!

Fact #3: You Can Fast Track to the Medical Job You Want

Like any other industry, it helps when you have education and/or experience. But it’s no secret that doctors require years of school on top of a four-year degree. Meanwhile, nursing also has some steep requirements in a lot of fields. But with medical billing and coding, your profession is easily accessible: you can get professional training for your chosen career in as little as 11 months in some medical billing and coding programs. On top of that, when you’ve received your training and certification, you have a job that possesses upward mobility. When you continue to hone your skill set on the job as a coder or billing specialist, you can eventually get the experience you need to apply for other medical professions as well, with a basis of knowledge that can only improve your candidacy overall.

Fact #4: You’ll Feel Good About Your Work

Medical industry professionals of any kind are in a unique position to help people in need. Although you may not be treating the sick and injured with your own two hands, you’re a crucial part of the healthcare industry. Your work in medical billing and coding can mean the difference between someone paying way too much for important care, or them receiving the best possible treatment with reasonable coverage. However you decide to contribute and be a part of the industry, just remember: you make a difference just by doing your job! If you’re looking to get started, find out how you can facilitate the healing process in just 11 months, right here at Ultimate Medical Academy.

This is a blog entry by David Young.

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