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Medical Billing and Coding Tips

10 tips to prepare you for the medical billing and coding career field

By DeVry University


If you want to work in healthcare but prefer management-related jobs to patient-centered ones, a job in medical billing and coding might be perfect for you.

People with this skill set frequently work as billing and coding specialists, which can be a great career field for someone with the right skill set, and it’s a job that impacts upon people’s lives every day.

“Hospitals will be able to get reimbursed properly because of your expertise,” says Raynard Ware, analyst at Triage Consulting Group. “It is important to how healthcare works in America.”

Students looking for a career in this field can follow these ten tips from Ware:

 

BECOME AN ANALYTICAL THINKER
Analytical and innovative thinkers effectively use logic to connect pieces of information and draw conclusions. They thrive in medical billing and coding, which requires them to be able to decide which of thousands of codes accurately reflects a patient’s medical procedure.

 

KNOW YOUR JOB OPTIONS
Nearly every medical facility in America needs someone with medical billing and coding skills, but there are job options beyond those facilities. Many billers and coders also work in insurance companies or government Medicare offices, but some choose more unexpected professions.

 

LEARN TO WORK WITH COMPLEX SOFTWARE SYSTEMS 
Different facilities use different systems, and you’ll need to be able to use each of them. Familiarize yourself with the types of systems you might be using in your job. Epic, NextGen, Athena and Centricity are all widely used platforms.

 

LEARN TO UNDERSTAND COMPLEX LANGUAGE
Medical billers and coders read doctor’s notes to apply relevant codes, so to be able to understand and analyze complex, health-oriented language is a useful skill for a job in this field.

 

LEARN THE CHANGING REGULATIONS
Regulations in the medical industry are changing thanks to the Affordable Care Act, so stay up to date on those changes. “The new code regulations help you see the grand scheme of what you’re doing,” says Ware.

 

SEE THE BIG PICTURE
Billing and coding professionals use information about patient diagnoses to ensure patients are billed correctly and hospitals are reimbursed properly. They’re vital to facility operations.

 

PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL
You’ll strive to ensure that patients aren’t overcharged and hospitals get reimbursed properly, so attention to detail is vital.

 

CONSIDER THE FUTURE
Consider your ultimate career goals. Do you want to be an independent consultant? Or would you prefer to move into healthcare administration? This decision can affect the kind of education and job you seek.

 

CONNECT WITH HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS 
Don’t just look for a job. Connect with doctors’ offices, hospitals and other healthcare institutions in your area and start working in those offices. This will give you more insight and understanding of the medical environment when you’re working in billing and coding.

 

DECIDE IF THIS IS THE JOB FOR YOU
This may seem simple, but there are a lot of career fields within the healthcare industry. Before pursuing billing and coding, you should look into a few options and make sure this is the one for you. It has some great benefits if you’re a person with good communication and technology skills, who likes details and wants to make a difference.

 

DeVry University offers a range of career-focused programs including an undergraduate certificate in Medical Billing and Coding, taught by supportive faculty with real-world experience. At DeVry, you can build your schedule to fit your life with classes offered in eight-week academic sessions year round on campus, online or in one of our innovative extended classrooms.*

DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. To learn more, visit devry.edu.

* Program, course, and connected classroom availability varies by location.