By DeVry University
The healthcare industry is a continuously evolving field. Whether you’re just beginning your career or have been working in the industry for some time, you should do your best to stay current with medical billing and coding updates, follow the latest industry trends, sharpen your skills and expand your knowledge.
Stay Up to Date with the ICD Database
The ability to navigate and utilize the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) database is a must for any medical biller and coder. The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced ICD-11 and will begin accepting codes from it starting in January 2022. However, it should be noted that the U.S. has not yet announced any plans or timelines for implementation of ICD-11.
Besides the new chapters and diagnostic codes, the database is also structured to integrate with various digital health systems. While the changes will ultimately streamline the billing and coding process, you may need to adjust your workflows and learn new software to perform your job functions. If you haven't already, it’s good practice to familiarize yourself with the latest version.
Keep Up with Industry Trends and Developments
New technologies, such as cloud practice management platforms, electronic health records (EHR) and the medical internet of things (IoT), have created shifts in care delivery, patient treatment and administrative workflows.
Meanwhile, changes in privacy regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) impact how medical billers and coders handle patients' personal identifiable information (PII) and payment details. Understanding these updates help you ensure that your practice stays compliant.
Join Professional Associations and Networks
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offer many resources to help members stay current with medical billing and coding updates. You can subscribe to industry newsletters, participate in forum discussions and attend conferences to gain new knowledge.
Also, joining online and attending local chapter events hosted by professional associations can help you stay informed, and connect with billing and coding professionals in your area.
Prepare For Industry Credentials Through Continuing Education
Academic study in medical billing and coding can help you build a foundation if you’re planning to pursue other roles in the healthcare industry. After gaining a year or two of work experience, you might want to study for various exams or professional certifications to help build your knowledge, allow you to consider other potential opportunities or possibly increase your earning potential.
For example, certifications such as RHIT, HRHIA and CPC-P from AHIMA and AAPC may help you prepare to pursue opportunities such as a supervisory or management role in medical billing and coding. You can also choose to develop your skills in health information management or healthcare administration and services to help expand your career choices.
Learn Through Teaching
Teaching and mentoring others is a great way to gain new knowledge. Learning something with the intention of teaching it later can help you deepen your understanding of the subject matter and enable you to discover knowledge gaps so you can work on improving your skill sets.
You can use the opportunity to mentor or teach as a way to stay current with medical billing and coding updates. Teaching can also add dimension to your experience while allowing you to network with different people in the industry.
Thinking About Continuing Your Education?
DeVry offers a variety of healthcare programs and degrees, from the associate level all the way up to master’s, that are designed to help you stay up to date in the healthcare industry.
Discover how our knowledgeable and experienced faculty can help you gain a deeper understanding of the industry’s technology and trends as you prepare to pursue a career in the diverse and constantly evolving healthcare field.