By DeVry University
If you're interested in becoming a medical biller and coder, it's a good idea to understand why medical billing and coding is important and how it functions within the world of health and patient care.
Medical billing and coding is an important part of the healthcare system because it enables care providers to accurately bill insurance providers as well as gather useful data about the treatments, procedures and patient experience. Decision makers at a care facility can also use this data to help them choose where to allocate resources, ultimately working toward improving the quality of patient care.
If you’re curious about what it takes to get started in this field, or about what kinds of professional certifications you’ll need to earn and what tasks you might do on a day-to-day basis, read on through the following sections:
Why is Medical Terminology Important in Medical Billing and Coding?
While you may think that medical terminology is only important for doctors and nurses to know, it’s important for medical billers and coders too.
As a medical biller and coder, you need to have a good understanding of medical terminology in order to quickly identify and assign codes for a variety of procedures, conditions and equipment. Having a good grasp of this terminology can help you locate and assign the right codes to make sure the patient’s records are accurate and reflect all the necessary data for medical staff and insurance providers.
How to Become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC)?
A CPC, or Certified Professional Coder, works to make sure that coding is compliant with federal coding laws.
To become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC), you’ll need to pass a certification exam. While there are many different ways to prepare for this and other industry certifications, one way is through education or training. Enrolling in a medical billing and coding course can introduce you to the terminology you’ll be using on a daily basis, as well as the various regulations, processes and data classifying structures used in the industry.
Here's a quick glimpse at some more steps you might take as you work to become a Certified Professional Coder:
- Enroll in a medical billing and coding certificate program: A medical billing and coding certificate program can help you build your foundational knowledge of medical billing and coding concepts.
- Earn a CPC certification: The CPC exam covers 17 different areas of knowledge, including anatomy, physiology, and what codes to use to submit medical claims.
- Apply for medical coding positions: After passing the CPC exam, it's time to look for positions. Do your research to identify employers and positions that line up with your career goals and refresh your resume to reflect your latest credentials. You may also consider looking into medical billing and coding internships to help build connections and begin to gain work experience.
Medical Biller and Coder Job Tasks
As a medical biller and coder, your job tasks will vary depending on the environment you work in and your exact position. However, here are some general tasks you might encounter working as a medical biller and coder:
- Assigning codes to medical procedures, equipment and diagnoses
- Submitting claims to insurance companies
- Managing payments and invoices
- Ensuring the accuracy of patient medical records
- Researching and remaining up to date on the latest coding regulations and standards
Frequently Asked Questions by Medical Billing and Coding Students
Is medical billing and coding a hard career?
Whether or not a career is difficult depends on the individual. What one person may find challenging might be more intuitive for someone else. Medical billing and coding careers require you to have a general understanding of medical terminology, various coding systems, regulations and billing standards, all of which can be a lot to take in. However, with hard work and study over the course of your education and throughout your career, you may find you’re up to the challenge.
What level of education will I need to work in medical billing and coding?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the education-level requirement for medical records and health information specialists (another name for medical billers and coders) is often a postsecondary non-degree award, like DeVry’s Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding. Professional certifications may also be required, or may be useful when searching for positions within the wider medical billing and coding field.
Is medical billing and coding in high demand?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the medical billing and coding field will grow on a national level by about 9% between 2020 and 20301, which is on pace with the average growth rate of all industries in the United States. It’s projected that 37,100 will be added during this time frame, with various factors driving rising demand for this field.
Take the First Steps toward Becoming a Medical Biller and Coder with DeVry
Take the first step toward a new career in medical billing and coding. Earn your Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding from DeVry 100% online, and explore the ins and outs of processes and regulations, learn about insurance policies, international and domestic coding systems and many other aspects that demonstrate why medical billing and coding is important to the U.S. healthcare system.
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1 Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm