Do you want to pursue a career in the fast-growing healthcare field? After completing your high school studies, you may opt for any of the medical billing and coding programs offered by the specialty schools and community colleges. Medical coding and billing is an important aspect of the healthcare revenue cycle management. In fact, we can’t expect the steady flow of reimbursements from the health insurance companies, without the support of billing and coding professionals. Thus, an associate degree or certificate program will definitely open the door of a highly potential career for you. In this post, we are going to highlight key points of medical billing and coding programs you need to know before stepping in this career.
What is Medical Billing and Coding Programs
People sometimes think that medical coding and billing is a single career but the fact is these are the two different segments of healthcare system. Both the professionals have the duties in the healthcare sector only, but the job and responsibility are different in both the sector.
The duty of a medical coder is to interpret the documentation of the patients regarding their interaction with the healthcare service provider like the surgeon or doctor and others. They need to prepare the proper procedure (CPT) along with diagnosis codes which show the provided services to the concerned patient.
The codes generated by the medical coder is been further used by the biller to enter them into the billing software and then provide the bill either to the payer or to the insurance company in case of medical claims. The basic job of a medical biller is to submit and keep a track about the claims with the insurance providers.
However, both the coder and biller need to work along with each other. Both have the same end responsibility of billing insurance companies and patients appropriately along with providing the best solution.
Most importantly, when you are going to find a new position as a medical coding or medical billing specialist, you will be asked whether you have completed two-years associated degree program or at least a certification program in medical coding or billing. These types of programs are designed to train the aspiring students to perform their duties as an insurance specialist. It also helps them to earn their desired salary.
What Are Included in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
The medical billing and coding programs generally include the following topics:
- Medical terminology and procedures
- Basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pharmacology
- Medical office procedures
- Conventions and rules used in diagnosis and procedure coding
- The details of medical insurance plans
- Claims processing, billing regulations, handling claim disputes
- Medical billing software applications
Why Should You Go For Medical Billing and Coding Programs
Healthcare department is among the few sectors in the world which never gets affected with the market condition like recession, inflation and others. Moreover, the demand of the healthcare sectors is on a continuous rise. Thus, gives a great career opportunity for students with medical billing and medical coding certification.
Over that, the best part of these two programs is the lucrative package that you can earn. You may have to pay some amount for the certification, but the return of this investment is great. The average salary in medical billing and coding is around 35 thousand USD or 14 USD per hour. With the increase in the experience and expertise along with further education will just add more to this figure.
Another big advantage of pursuing medical billing and coding programs is that you can even work from home. There are many companies which provide online jobs for medical billing and coding and you can earn great from there too.
What is the Required Cost for Pursuing Medical Billing and Coding Programs
It will be difficult to notify the exact amount that is required for pursuing these programs. Reason being the fees varies a lot in different institutes. The average cost for the program is likely to be around 3500 USD per annum. Along with this amount, you will also need to pay extra for appearing for the exam along with some other miscellaneous charges. The amount may long a bit higher, but as mentioned earlier too, it is an in investment which will fetch a great return in the coming future along with an attractive career path.
How to Arrange the Money Required for Pursuing the Programs
As the required amount for the course is big, it may be a daunting task to arrange the money. But if you have the zeal within you and had made your mind to go for the medical billing and coding programs, there are many ways by which you can arrange the money. Different institutes offering the programs themselves have the facility of scholarship programs to finance the course. Over that, you can also apply for education loan from financial institutes.
Over that, in compare to the two years or four years degree courses, the duration of medical coding and billing programs are less. So, it will in any ways cost you a bit less than the other degrees.
Future Prospect after Completing Medical Billing and Coding Programs
As mentioned earlier too, there is a great opportunity for an attractive career with lucrative package after completing any of these programs. You can get the job of a billing coordinator, coding specialist, medical record technician, patient account representative, cancer registrar and many others in any of the reputed healthcare centers. Over that, you can even work from home as a medical coder or biller. There are many online portals available which provide freelance job of medical coding and billing.
Prepare yourself for a great career ahead with the medical coding and billing certification. It is a great opportunity to secure a job in this highly competitive market.