Medical billers and coders are an important part of any medical practice that accepts insurance. If you want a job in healthcare but prefer office work to a role that's hands-on with patients, this could be a great career for you.
Here are 7 qualities you need to succeed in medical billing and coding:
1. You're Detail-Oriented
- In billing and coding, you link the medical practice to insurers. You need to make sure that the office bills insurers properly so providers get reimbursed for the correct services. This means that you take what doctors write in their reports—symptoms, diagnoses, prescriptions, and procedures info—and convert it all into industry-standardized codes for insurers to use to determine coverage. Sometimes billing & coding seems like a foreign language. That’s why you need to pay close attention to what the doctors report and how you translate it all into code. You’ll want to double check that the alpha-numeric code you input is correct before you submit it to the insurance company. Incorrect coding and billing can cause big headaches for your practice and patients—and you!
2. You Understand Some Basics about Human Anatomy
- You don’t have to know all that doctors and nurses do, but it will help if you understand a bit about the human body. As you convert a doctor's notes into insurance codes, it’s good to understand what you read. When you know what the doctor is treating, you can be confident that you code it correctly. Some basic understanding of human anatomy and medical terminology can go a long way to helping you understand the big picture.
3. You Work Well Independently
- As a medical biller and coder, you need to do your job well, and on your own. It’s up to you to get the tasks of your job completed in a timely manner. You may work in a medical office setting, but you may also have the opportunity to work remotely. While this might seem pretty exciting, you’ll need to find a way to stay motivated, avoid distractions, and focus well to manage your workload and stay on track.
4. You Are Discreet and Value Privacy
- When you work for a healthcare practice, you must respect patient privacy. A federal law referred to as HIPAA — the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — requires it. This means that you must follow protocols to keep patient records and other information secure and away from people who shouldn't see it. You also can’t discuss a patient's records with anyone not authorized to hear it.
5. You're Tech Savvy
- Now that medical records are required to be kept online and some medical billing jobs are remote, your job is reliant on technology and the Internet. To do it well, you'll need to know how to use billing and coding software, adjust to system updates, and troubleshoot basic issues that might arise with your system.
6. You're a Good Communicator
- There will be times when you need to clarify something a doctor wrote or consult with a fellow coder. That’s why it's important that you can clearly explain your questions, concerns and ideas. It’s just as important that you listen well so you understand those answers and any other instructions you’re given.
7. You're Patient
- You might be eager to know everything there is to know about billing and coding right from the get-go. If you want to be the best you can be, though, you need to be a little patient. The reality is that every year you do medical billing and coding, you will get better and smarter at it as you gain more experience.
- Do you possess these seven qualities? If so, you might love a job in medical billing and coding. At Career Quest Learning Centers, you could complete our Medical Billing & Coding training program in as little as 8 months. Are you ready to get started? Fill out the form and we’ll be in touch soon.