Making important decisions is a part of life, particularly when it comes to your career. Before you settle on one job or transition to another, learning about different career choices in which to invest your time and money can help make your decision-making easier.
Interested in a career in medical billing and coding? Learning how to prepare for such a role and whether there will be ample job opportunities now and in the future can help you decide if this is the right path for you.
What is Medical Billing and Coding?
While the term “medical billing and coding” may imply one overarching process in healthcare, the billing and coding sides of things are indeed different. Each process helps in different ways to translate a patient’s clinical or hospital experience into codes that are used for claims submissions and reimbursement.
A patient’s clinical or hospital experience starts from the moment they’re first admitted until they’re eventually discharged. The diagnosis, services, and procedures the patient receives during this visit must be documented with detailed explanations in his or her medical record.
Afterward, the medical coder reviews, analyzes, and translates what was transcribed in the medical records into billing codes that are related to diagnosis, procedure, charge, and professional or facility codes that will allow the healthcare provider to get paid for their services.
If you’re interested in becoming a medical coder, you’ll reap the benefits of a career where you can get started quickly and continue to learn as you grow in your position.
When a patient checks in with a healthcare facility, the medical billing starts the moment they walk in the door.
The patient’s personal and financial information, such as insurance coverage and their address, have to then be gathered by completing the required forms. At this stage, you’ll also need to establish whether there are any co-pays or other patient financial responsibilities.
Once the patient’s visit has been completed, medical billing specialists use the codes translated by coders to create an invoice or bill created to submit claims. Medical billing specialists review claims to ensure the accuracy of the patient information and codes provided.
How Can You Prepare for a Career in Medical Billing and Coding?
Enrolling in and completing medical billing and coding classes from a trusted institution of higher learning is truly the best way to get your foot in the door. Not to mention, taking such classes will go a long way toward fulfilling a desire for professional growth, as well as helping you pass the American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam.
Are Medical Billing and Coding Jobs in Demand?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for medical records and health information specialists is expected to increase by 9% from now until 2030, which indicates continued growth for this career in the medical field. About 34,300 job openings are projected each year until the turn of the next decade.
A Career in Medical Billing and Coding Can be Yours
No matter how the economy fluctuates, there will always be a need and demand for healthcare professionals, including medical billing and coding professionals.
Thus, knowing the benefits of this career path, how to get started, and the number of job opportunities that are available now and in the future should help in your decision-making to start or transition into a career in medical billing and coding.