It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Career in Medical Billing and Coding
Medical Coder Job Summary
Medical coders work on the front line of the billing systems for Wyoming medical practices and healthcare organizations. Coders have the responsibility to examine the treatment records of patients and convert all services provided into universal codes. These services can be for medical, diagnosis or dental procedures, or any equipment or medical supplies used. There are several codes that are used in the conversion, including:
- CPT codes (Current Procedural Terminology).
- ICD codes (International Classification of Diseases).
- HCPCS codes (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding).
Medical coders use information from sources including nursing and physician notes, patient charts, and radiology and lab reports. Coders must know not only what total services were provided for accurate reporting, but must have a functioning knowledge of all private payer and government regulations that influence coding as well. Incorrectly coded claims may result in services not being paid for, services being paid for at a decreased rate, or the physician or facility being penalized for improper or fraudulent billing. Since improper coding can literally cost Wyoming hospitals and doctors multiple thousands of dollars in income each year, a reliable medical coder is a necessary asset for any healthcare team. They can operate in every type of healthcare facility, including private practices, clinics, hospitals and emergency care centers. It is not uncommon for seasoned medical coders to working from home as an independent contractor or offsite employee.
Medical Biller Job Description
As crucial as the medical coder's job is, it would be for nothing without the contribution of the medical biller whose labors produce revenue. Medical billing clerks are extremely important to Wyoming medical organizations and are practically responsible for keeping them in business. Sometimes the biller and coder can be the same person within a medical facility, but they can also be two independent specialists. Once the coder has carried out her or his task, the biller uses the codes supplied to complete and submit claim forms to insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid. After being adjusted by the applicable organization, patients can then be charged for deductibles or other out of pocket costs. On a routine basis, a medical biller may also do any of the following:
- Confirm health insurance benefits for patients and help them with billing concerns or questions
- Check on submitted patient claims and appeal those that have been declined
- Function as an intermediary between the healthcare provider, the insurance companies and the patients for proper claim resolution
- Create and manage Accounts Receivables reports
- Generate and handle unpaid patient collections accounts
Medical billers not only work for family practices, but also Wyoming emergency care facilities, hospitals, nursing homes or medical groups. They may work in every kind of medical facility that depends on the revenues generated by billing patients and third party payers.
Medical Coding and Billing Instruction and Certification
It's imperative that you receive your instruction from a reputable school, whether it's a technical school, vocational school or community college. Although it is not a requirement in most cases to attain a professional certification, the school you select should be accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). Most colleges only require that you earn either a high school diploma or a GED to qualify. The fastest way to becoming either a medical biller or coder (or both) is to earn a certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to accomplish. An Associate Degree is also an option for a more comprehensive education, which for most colleges calls for two years of studies. Bachelor's Degrees for medical billing and coding are not abundantly offered. When your education has been completed, although not mandated in most states, you might wish to acquire a professional certification. Certification is an excellent means for those new to the field to show prospective employers that they are not only qualified but committed to their occupation. Just some of the organizations that provide certifications are:
- American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
- Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC).
- The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS).
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Completing an accredited medical billing and coding course, together with earning a professional certification, are the best ways to advance your new profession and succeed in the rapid growing Wyoming medical care field.
Medical Billing and Coding Online Courses
If you are searching for flexibility and the convenience of attending classes at home, then selecting an online medical billing and coding college may be a great alternative. They can be especially attractive to those in Wyoming who anticipate going to school while still working or have other responsibilities that make going to classes on campus difficult. And as an additional benefit, online schools are frequently cheaper than the conventional classroom alternatives. Costs for such items as tuition, study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated. But be careful, as not all online courses are reputable. That's why it's essential to establish that any online program you choose is accredited to ensure a superior education. We will cover the benefits of accreditation in the next segment. Just make sure to verify that any online college you are considering is accredited by one of the national accrediting organizations, such as the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. So if you are dedicated enough to commit yourself to this style of learning, then acquiring your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.