Medical billing and coding specialists process medical information and insurance claims for doctor's offices, hospitals, and other health care facilities. Medical billing involves organizing medical information, including patient health histories, diagnostic test results, examination results, and treatment methods. Medical coding specialists codify patients' treatments for insurance purposes to make sure the physician's office is reimbursed for treatment. As a medical billing and coding specialist, you must be computer literate since many billing specialists use special coding software. Communication skills are a plus because you are the liaison between health care facilities and insurance companies.
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Preparing for a Medical Billing and Coding Career
Although medical assistants in smaller offices are tasked with billing and coding, most specialists in this field need a medical billing and coding degree. This is typically an associate degree in health information technology.
Medical billing and coding programs include classes in:
- Health terminology
- Clinical coding systems
- Health care reimbursement
Once you finish your medical billing and coding training, one can earn coding credentials via the American Academy of Professional Coders, the Board of Medical Specialty Coding, or the Professional Association of Health Care Coding Specialists. Certification can mean more job opportunities, and if you go earn a bachelor's or master's degree in health information management; you may qualify to become health information managers.
Like many health care careers, the medical billing and coding job field is expected to grow much faster than average. The average salary for medical billing and coding specialists is $32,960.