Medical Billing and Coding: the name implies a profession in which one is responsible for simply recordkeeping and administrative duties. To an outside observer, it may seem like a tedious career – however, what most of our medical billing and coding students quickly discover is that there is much more to this growing field than just housekeeping.
Although the two terms are lumped together (Medical Billing and Coding), there is an important distinction between them. In a nutshell, medical coders review clinical statements and apply codes to them using the CPT, ICD-9-CM, and HCPCS Level II systems. A medical coder reviews patient records to review diagnoses and procedures performed during their visit. Medical coders also review important information such as dates of visits, laboratory test results, and physicians assigned to the patient. Medical Coders are integral to the overall organization and flow of a healthcare facility.
The primary goal of a Medical Biller is to manage relationships with healthcare providers by processing claims and handling any reimbursements for services performed. Another main goal of a medical biller is to avoid insurance payment denials.
Depending on the practice, medical billing and coding may be handled by the same person, or by two separate individuals. If the latter scenario is the case, the medical biller and coder must work in tandem to ensure a smooth operation. Not only do physicians and other members of the primary care team rely on the medical billing and coding team, but so too do insurance providers. Medical bills must be coded in a very specific format, and there is also a uniform system for processing payments, which requires training and certification to understand. It is up to the medical billing and coding team to maintain the equilibrium of a medical office and address any issues as they arise.
If one thing is for certain, it is that the medical billing and coding profession will keep you on your feet! Due to the volume and importance of the information that they handle, medical billers and coders are among the most important positions in the healthcare industry.
At BCI, we fully you prepare you for both medical billing and coding before you step foot in your first medical office. We offer students a real-world classroom experience, preparing them for their first billing and coding internship, and eventually, a permanent position in a medical office. Interested in getting involved in the medical billing and coding field? Contact BCI today for more information!