What qualities do you need to become a medical biller and coder?
Medical billing and coding is an essential role in the healthcare industry, but it may surprise you that it doesn’t include direct clinical skills. Instead, medical billing and coding professionals are the ones who process and manage health insurance claims so that health care providers are reimbursed on time for their services.
With the baby boomer population aging and becoming dependent on more healthcare services, electronic billing and coding is a prominent part of the industry. Many people may choose to become a medical biller and coder because of an expected increase in job growth from 2014-2024.
Are you considering going to medical billing and coding school? Before you decide on a training program, learn about the five qualities you will need in this career path. The Occupational Outlook Handbook offers five essential qualities needed to become a professional:
1. Analytical abilities
Throughout the day, medical billing and coding professionals will review patients’ electronic health records (EHRs). Analytical skills are needed to determine which diagnostic codes may be used so insurance forms are properly processed. You will have to carefully read through the details of the patient’s appointment to learn about the procedure and the diagnoses. Next, you will have to find the matching ICD-10 code to use. If you don’t analyze the patient chart properly, you may accidently overcharge or undercharge a patient for the services provided. Plus, part of your job is to make sure healthcare providers are reimbursed for the correct amount.
2. Attention to detail
Medical billers and coders carefully read through the details of a patient’s chart to process forms correctly. Attention to detail is key because they need to make sure you understand both the large and small details that surround each procedure so you can use the proper codes. You may have to do detective work to figure out the details of an appointment if a chart isn’t filled out completely. If you’re good at noticing small details, then this career could be a good match for you.
3. Morals and integrity
Being an honest person with morals is essential for this role. Professionals need to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of a patient’s medical history in adherence to federal law. If you have a high moral compass and can easily follow guidelines of medical ethics and confidentiality, you may find managing the security of each record an honorable high-priority responsibility.
4. Strong interpersonal skills
Although medical billing and coding specialists mainly work independently at their desks each day, sometimes you will need more information. You may have to phone a doctor or nurse to clarify information recorded—or lack thereof—in a patient chart. When you speak with another healthcare professional, you’ll need to be courteous and speak clearly, so you can find out what information you need. You may need to discuss in-depth billing issues, procedure details, or verify a patient’s past medical history. Being kind and listening carefully helps you come off as professional and lets you do your job correctly. You can also get your work done faster if others cooperate well with you, so social skills are key!
5. Technical competence
As a medical billing professional, you will be working with coding software and healthcare databases every day. In our technological world, most healthcare facilities have switched to EHR software to store patient data and billing and insurance claims. Employees need to be tech savvy and able to work easily with computers. Being intuitive about how technology works helps! On the job, medical billers and coders may also use special apps to look up diagnostic codes. Many employers offer on-site job training of specific specialized billing programs to new employees. This way they can become familiar with the step-by-step process of the facility’s specific coding software.
Does a career as a medical billing and coding specialist sound interesting to you? If so, think about entering a medical billing and coding training school. A training program can offer you ways to learn the technical and professional skills needed for this specific job. Once you get started, you can become more comfortable with the process!
Harris Casel Institute offers a medical billing and coding program at our Melbourne, FL campus. To learn more about this career path, contact us at a time convenient for you. We also offer other healthcare training programs that may intrigue you. We look forward to hearing from you!