6 Ways Medical Billing & Coding Is Like a Foreign Language

Medical Billing and Coding


Did you know that Medical Billing & Coding can seem like a foreign language when you first get started? But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn it! Check out these 6 ways Medical Billing & Coding is a lot like learning a foreign language, and let us know if you think you’re up for the challenge.


Words You May Know Are Represented in Another Way


Si means Yes. Oui does too. So does Ja. But they’re in Spanish, French, and German. Often times, when you first start to learn about Medical Billing & Coding, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Short abbreviations stand for really long words; numbers mean words; a mix of both can mean a whole lot more. For example, to a layperson, K35.80 probably doesn’t really mean anything specific. But if you work in Billing & Coding, you understand that alphanumeric combination refers to a diagnosis of appendicitis. Billing & Coding uses a combination of symbols, numbers, and letters to represent something else.


It Takes Practice to Get it Right


Once you complete your training, you should practice to hone your skills and expand the codes you know by heart. And because the healthcare industry is always changing, there will be changes to Billing & Coding that you’ll have to add into your vocabulary. Medical billing and coding is a constant state of flux. The changes in governance and healthcare regulation all impact medical codes and it is super important for coders to stay on top of these changes.


There May Be Different “Dialects”


One of the challenges of learning Medical Billing & Coding is knowing the different types of classifications: Current Procedural Terminology, International Classification of Diseases, and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System. It might feel like you’re learning three different languages. But you can do it with the right career training.


Once You Get It, You’ve Got It!


Just like learning a foreign language, once you “get” Medical Billing & Coding, it becomes second-nature. You’ll always know what resources to use and where to find what you need, but you’ll also memorize lots and lots of code just like foreign vocabulary becomes part of your vocabulary. The trick is to put in the effort and energy at the beginning and after you find your groove, continuing the learning process will be a piece of cake. Many billers and coders find it helpful to use flashcards to learn codes, just like you would if you were learning French or Spanish for vocabulary. Keeping your mind sharp on codes will allow the new ones you come across to sink it faster.


You Feel Smart and Confident


Learning any new language can be difficult but once you master it you will have inner confidence that you can take into the workplace. This will allow you to feel more comfortable in what you do and who you are and will make your office a more pleasant place to work.


It Can Be Fun!


Learning a new language might be challenging, but it can also be fun! Many new billers and coders think of themselves as detectives trying to crack a case. You might even find joy in connecting patient diagnosis to treatment—and it’s all in a code that only you can figure out.

Learning a foreign language can be really hard but people do it all the time. Medical Billing & Coding might seem like a challenge, but it’s one you can tackle! Use flashcards, try different memorization tactics, and have people quiz you. If you are interested in preparing for a Medical Billing & Coding career, let us help. We offer our Medical Billing & Coding program at our Lansing and Jackson campuses. Fill out the form to learn more now.


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