Medical billing and coding is one of the fastest growing healthcare professions. If you're considering becoming a medical biller and coder, read here.

Health care needs are sharply on the rise, and The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that medical biller and coder professions will grow 13 percent in the next several years. Modest predictions show more than 25,000 jobs added to the field.

But what do you need to know about medical billing and coding in order to start your career?

You should know what the work is like, what educational requirements there are, and an overview of the certifications you can get in this exploding profession. Set yourself apart with a desire to help people and a knack for detail.

Medical billing and coding might be the perfect career for you.

What is Medical Billing and Coding?

Medical billing and coding is a necessary and integral part of any health care provider's record keeping process. These professionals work hard to create and maintain functional records systems. Doctors wouldn't get paid without the help of these vital workers.

Medical records are created when a doctor prescribes medication, procedures, or identifies a disease. To treat a patient, the doctor makes a file explaining the issue.

To morph those detailed files into a universal language, hospitals hire medical billers and coders.

There are thousands of medical codes that represent different diagnoses and medical procedures, and a coder's job is to correctly identify them.

This takes education in electronic medical records systems as well as translation itself. It's not an easy task!

For example, if your doctor diagnoses you with Type II Diabetes, there is an alphanumeric code that corresponds. A trained professional will need to enter that code into an electronic medical record system.

A medical biller will take that code and charge both the patient and the insurance company with the proper fees.

Often, a medical biller and coder can be the same person. There are many certificate and degree plans that can help you achieve these goals.

Medical Biller and Coder Education

Medical billing and coding professionals don't always require a four-year degree. Associates degrees and certificate programs can provide you with the education you need to begin your career in this burgeoning field.

Although highly technical in nature, you will not have to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt just to get your start in medical coding and billing.

Medical billing and coders will have to learn two "languages" in order to be able to complete their tasks. The International Classification of Diseases, a standardized set of language from the World Health Organization, is a set of codes that explain diagnoses.

Second, medical billers and coders must learn the billing codes set forth by the American Medical Association. These are called the Current Procedural Technology.

The International Classification of Diseases (or ICD) is used in medical coding, as it explains a patient's symptoms and underlying health problems. The Current Procedural Technology (CPT) is used primarily in medical billing.

This language translates prescribed remedies and interventions.

Medical billing and coding schools teach students how to translate medical records into these codes, or languages. Ethics training is also a large portion of a medical biller and coder's education.

Technology literacy and the ability to learn electronic record keeping methods are also key to your career success.

You will likely need at least an associates degree to be competitive in the field. If you are planning to study online, check out these online study tips for distance learners.

Certification Exams

Make sure you are prepared for entrance into the medical field with your education. And to make yourself a more competitive job applicant, some medical billers and coders will take certification exams.

Administered by AAPC, the Certified Professional Coder exam is one of the premier tests to pass. Receiving the certification will let a medical office know that you are proficient in translating narrative medical records into universal alphanumeric codes

This rigorous test is one of many that medical billing and coders may take. Passing them is a way to get elite certifications. The test has more than 100 multiple choice questions and takes over five hours to complete.

Medical billers and coders might also sign up to take the Certified Professional Biller exam. In addition to schooling, this credential helps prove yourself to employers.

Certification means you are accurate in your medical billing abilities.

This test also takes more than five hours and contains 200 multiple choice questions.

Finding a Job

After you have received your education and gotten your certifications, you're ready to look for a job!

Getting hired as a medical biller or coder may not prove as difficult as other fields. Employment prospects are on the rise through the health care and medical realms.

Start out by sending your resume and educational history to prospective employers. Attending health care career fairs can also help you get your foot in the door.

Some medical billers and coders "reverse engineer" their certifications and degrees. Finding a job in a health care company that will reimburse for tuition can help wary students stay out of debt.

Often, you will work for a hospital or service provider for a set number of years. In exchange, they finance your degree.

Call hospitals, insurance companies, and do other local and regional workforce research to see if these programs are available to you.

Professional Development

Getting your first job is amazing, but keeping it and advancing yourself is really the secret to living the dream. Stay relevant and up-to-date with industry trends. Learn about changes by seeking out professional development and growth opportunities.

Medical billers and coders need to renew their certifications and learn about new procedures, languages, and medical interventions. Having a good idea of the medical and health care landscape can keep you on the cutting edge of billing and coding trends.

Learn More About The Field

If you are a prospective medical biller and coder and you want to know more about the field, check out these tips for making a medical clinic more patient-friendly.

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Published by Sister wives