Are you wondering how to become a Medical Biller and Medical Coder? Medical coders and medical billers are skilled professionals who organize and manage health information. Medical coders and medical billers use a variety of coding systems to organize, manage, and classify health data. Coders and billers process patient records – like diagnoses and procedures – as well as insurance claims and other data using software and electronic health record keeping systems. These professionals must be able to understand and efficiently, securely, accurately, and accessibly utilize a number of coding systems based upon insurance programs, health care facilities, and patient bases. As the health care system expands and transfers information to electronic formats, the training to qualify as a medical coder or medical biller involves successful completion of an associate degree combined with work experience.
Individuals interested in establishing careers as medical coders may begin to prepare long before formal educational training. Medical coders must be able to proficiently use computers, software, and other technology and serve as liasions between patients, insurance companies and health care facilities. Medical coders and billers must have excellent oral and written communication skills, be detail oriented and gain the education required to efficiently manage all aspects of the occupation.
High school students may prepare for employment as medical coders and billers by participating inc courses like: communication, English, biology, computer science, communications, maathematics, and chemistry. Most certificate or degree programs require students to have a minimum of a high school diploma in order to advance studies.
Associate degree programs offer students an expanded understanding of the field of medical coding and billing. Courses include: medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, health data requirements and standards, health information technology, clinical classification and coding systems, health reimbursement methods, data analysis, database security and management, medical ethics and laws, abstract coding, medical insurance and finance, and quality improvement methods. Many associate degree students may specialize studies within medical insurance billing or office management field to expand knowledge and augment skills.
Bachelor degree programs offer students the ability to specialize knowledge in the discipline of health information with a concentration in medical coding. Courses include: introduction to management, the digital firm and business communications, leadership and team dynamics, principles of marketing, organizational behavior and human relations, quantitative decision making, principles of microeconomics, medical law and ethics, healthcare finance, health care human resource management, management of patient records, healthcare quality, epidemiology and applied healthcare statistics, anatomy and physiology, healthcare information systems, radiology coding, pathology coding, medical terminology, pharmacology, ICD coding, CPT non-surgical coding, healthcare laws and ethics, insurance compliance, and insurance abuse and fraud. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs often advance to employment or continue studies within related educational fields as graduate level medical coding and billing programs do not exist.
Most medical coders and billers are required to continue education or gain licensure to remain current of industry changes, increase knowledge, and refine skills. Additionally, many health care organizations and employers require coders and billers to gain or maintain certification in order to qualify for employment. The Board of Medical Specialty Coding and American Academy of Professional Coders provide credentialing and continuing education to graduates with formal education. Certification often allows medical coders and medical billers to be recognized as Registered Health Information Technicians. Now that you have this information on how to become a Medical Biller and Medical Coder, you are well on your way to a rewarding career in this field.