10 Traits of a Great Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

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By DeVry University

February 21, 2022
4 min read

There's more to a job than just showing up and doing your work. There are specific qualities, personality traits and skills that can help you be a better fit for the role. This is true of medical billing and coding specialists.

If you've been considering a career move into medical billing and coding but aren't sure what skills you'll need to develop, we can help. In this guide, we'll take a look at 10 qualities that can help you become a great medical billing and coding specialist. You'll get a sense of what soft skills, hard skills and traits that can be useful in this career, and also learn more about what a medical billing and coding specialist is as we explore the following sections:

What is a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist?

A medical billing and coding specialist is someone who assigns codes to medical procedures or accurately bills insurance companies for care provided to a patient. Both medical billers and coders need an understanding of medical codes and know how to use these codes to accurately bill insurance companies and to simplify data for analysis by other employees.

Much of the work that medical billing and coding specialists do involves combing over details. In this administrative role, their job is to perform their tasks at a high level and in a way that causes minimal interruption to the care process. This attention to detail is vital, as a mistake can either delay billing or cause a patient to be erroneously charged for a procedure they did not receive.

What Qualities Make a Great Medical Billing and Coding Specialist?

While there is no shortage of qualities that make a great medical billing and coding specialist, having a combination of both soft and hard skills can help you this career field.

This is just a sampling of some of the traits that may make you a great fit if you want to pursue a career in medical billing and coding:

  1. Strong understanding of ICD codes: This skill is often learned during school, but both medical billers and coders need to understand ICD codes in order to assign them to procedures and bill for those procedures accurately.

  2. Competency with computer software: Being computer-savvy is always a plus in the modern workplace, and that's absolutely true for medical billing and coding. Medical billers and coders need to understand how to use spreadsheet/workbook software and accounting software, as well as how to navigate ICD code databases.

  3. Insurance knowledge: This is more important for the medical billing side of things but is still useful for medical coders. Having a working knowledge of how health insurance companies operate helps medical billing and coding specialists communicate with them and correct or adjust statements when necessary.

  4. Basic bookkeeping skills: Medical billing and coding specialists should have a basic understanding of how to do simple accounting math. This is necessary for keeping track of the cost of a service and balancing it against the amount that the care facility had to pay to provide it.

  5. Customer service skills: Medical billers and coders often need to work directly with patients or with insurance companies. Understanding what it takes to provide excellent customer service can help the billing process flow more smoothly.

  6. Attention to detail: A large portion of both medical billing and coding relates to ensuring the accuracy of information. Having a strong attention to detail can reduce the potential for mistakes and may contribute to better job performance.

  7. Clear communication skills: Medical coders and billers often communicate with insurance companies and with one another. Having strong spoken and written communication abilities helps reduce the potential for a misunderstanding, which ultimately speeds up the process.

  8. Time management: When working in this field, it's common to have multiple patients going through care at the same time. Knowing how to balance your workload and identify urgent tasks can go a long way towards increasing productivity.

  9. Organization: Staying organized is helpful in any job, but especially so in medical coding and billing. When you have multiple procedures and patients to track, having an exceptional organization system will help you reduce the potential for errors and may help reduce your stress during busy periods.

  10. Conflict management: There may be times when a medical biller needs to track down a patient or insurance company that will not pay their bill. Having the fortitude to remain calm in the face of these situations helps lead to better outcomes than getting frustrated and escalating the situation.

Expand Your Medical Billing and Coding Skills at DeVry

Are you interested in growing your medical billing and coding skills? Our Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding is a great place to develop and hone your abilities. This program is offered 100% online, so you can work toward a career in medical billing and coding on your schedule.

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