The medical billing and coding specialist is responsible for translating patient information into medical related codes. The codes are then relayed to the insurance company for payment and then the remainder due is passed on to the patient. The medical billing and coding specialist career takes special training and requires certification obtained from the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) organization in the form of an exam upon completion of your training.
If you have made the decision to become a medical billing and coding specialist, you will need to first decide what sort of training will be best for you. There are several choices to choose from, depending on your career goals. Your program choice may primarily be based on how much time you can spare before getting into the workforce or perhaps, your future earning potential.
Whichever program you choose, be sure to make certain that your training is earned from an accredited school. There are two organizations who guarantee that the school program’s curriculum for medical billing and coding will properly prepare the student for entering this field of interest. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) set the standards for all medical coding and is nationally recognized by government organizations, employers and the healthcare industry.
The most convenient way to earn your medical billing and coding certificate or diploma is to enroll in a program that specializes in this area of expertise. Your training can be obtained by an online school or your local community college. The program typically takes nine months to one year to complete. So, if you are interested in entering the workforce sooner rather than later, this is the option for you.
However, you may also decide to earn your associate degree either online or at a college or university which is a two year program. This option will allow you to complete the usual core classes required to obtain an associate degree, as well as, the opportunity to train for medical billing and coding. The associate degree is sometimes required by employers and, of course, is impressive on your resume.
If your goal is to work in a management position, then you will want to obtain your bachelor’s degree, a four year process. At this level, colleges and universities offer many healthcare related classes in addition to billing and coding, for example, health information management and healthcare administration courses. Earning your bachelor’s degree will provide you with many career options and higher potential earnings.
Classes related to medical billing and coding cover a wide array of coursework. For example, you will learn medical terminology, insurance claim procedures, medical office administration, medical coding, medical office technology and even anatomy and physiology courses to teach you about human body systems and how they work.
With your degree or certification program, you may be required to work an internship. Internships will help you acquire beneficial work experience, assist you in passing the CPC exam and help you to gain valuable work references for your future job hunt.
As a medical and healthcare specialist, you can find work in a variety of settings, including a physician’s office, large hospitals or outpatient medical centers. To get more information about medical billing and coding, see our Top 20 Accredited Online Schools offering Medical Billing and Coding programs.