Industry Overview: Medical Billing & Coding

 

Medical Billing and Coding: One of the Fastest Growing Careers

This is such an exciting time to enter the field of Medical Billing & Coding! This industry is projected to be among the fastest-growing industries overall. Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Outpatient, or also known as “Ambulatory Care Settings” ( ie..diagnostic centers, rehabilitation centers) including offices of health practitioners, are expected to grow the fastest, as well as to be the largest sources of future employment growth. Outpatient and Ambulatory Care settings include:

· Physicians’ Offices: This is one of the fastest ways to gain the experience needed to move forward in your career. In the physician’s office, you’ll be cross-trained to work in multiple positions. Getting this type of training is exciting because you will gain an understanding of the flow of patients, knowledge of medical forms, learn the nuances of insurance plans, develop a strong understanding of medical terminology, and gain knowledge of the laws and guidelines that need to be followed in dealing with patients. This environment will keep you challenged and provide an opportunity to deepen your learning

· Same-day Surgery Centers: Patients who are scheduled at a same-day surgery center, so they don’t need to be admitted to a hospital for an overnight stay. Staff will work closely with the physicians, nurses, patients, and insurance companies. In this environment, you’ll work on various coding for surgeries, which makes it interesting, challenging, and exciting.

· Medical Billing Companies: Medical billing companies are a great way to gain knowledge with both Medical Billing and Coding. These types of companies receive health insurance claims from different types of doctor’s offices, such as family practice, orthopedic, cardiology, etc. This environment provides a great opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in a variety of medical specialties.    

The Medical Billing & Coding program at Laurus College is career-focused and prepares you for an exciting career in the field of Medical Billing & Coding. While this field is called “billing & coding,” these are two very distinct careers, each equally important and in-demand. Additionally, upon graduating from Laurus College, you should have the skills to enter this field in many different entry-level positions. Billing & Coding Specialists are not limited to billing or coding jobs, and often obtain employment in various healthcare positions such as:

· Medical Records Clerk: If you want to gain knowledge of medical records–which is crucial for any healthcare facility–this is the position for you. This position is responsible for filing various medical forms, retrieving any records needed, and preparing medical records for upcoming visits. You will also be responsible for maintaining patient medical records’ confidentiality and communicating with physicians in regards to documentation missing or needed for the patient visit.

· Health Insurance Specialist: This position carries many responsibilities, such as reviewing patient records using medical coding procedures, examining claims, and verifying insurance benefits, as well as, recording medical charges, payments, and adjustments. The specialist is also responsible for detecting any coding errors.

· Medical Scribe: Medical scribe is a new and upcoming position in the medical field. The main function of this position is to increase the quality of care given to patients. The Medical Scribe duties entail gathering information while the doctor is seeing the patient, which allows the doctor to focus on the patient’s needs. The information is then placed in the patient’s electronic health record. You will be the doctor’s personal administrative assistant, which gives you one-on-one time with the doctor and a chance to deepen your learning.

As you grow your career and gain experience, career advancement opportunities will also grow. You will learn important skills at Laurus College, such as:

Accurate claim form completion
Knowledge of how medical insurance works and how plan options and carrier requirements differ
Knowledge of medical terminology
How to create appeals to claim denials
Knowledge of Explanations of Benefits (EOB)
How to work with Aging Reports
● Health Information Technician
Scheduling
Medical records filing systems and regulations
Posting and applying insurance and patient payments
● Differences between CPT and ICD codes, and how to correctly assign these codes
● An understanding of modifiers and when and how to use them
● Knowledge and understanding of HIPAA guidelines

As in any new career, new graduates begin in entry-level positions, then “grow” their career in the direction that interests them. Your training and education in this program gives you an edge when applying for billing positions. If coding interests you, you will steer your career in that direction, gaining on-the-job experience as you go. In a smaller setting, the medical biller and medical coder may be the same person, but usually, they are different people who work together to make sure claims are paid properly. 

Medical Billers prepare and submit claims to insurance companies for services rendered by a doctor or other healthcare provider. The biller follows up on the claims, making sure the practice receives reimbursement for the work the doctor or other provider performed. A biller uses their understanding of medical insurance, claims, appeals, and contracted agreements to maximize the practice’s revenue and success.

Coding is more specific as far as hands-on experience goes. Students interested in coding will steer their entry-level positions in that direction, seeking jobs with exposure to coding, in order to gain more coding experience. The liability with assigning codes is high; coding positions are usually achieved after being in the field for a while, with on-the-job exposure to coding. Most providers prefer to hire a certified coder, and coding certification exams require a year or more of on-the-job coding experience.


The Laurus College Career Services Department can help students search for jobs that expose you to coding as a part of planning a coding career. For students looking to fast-track their way to coding certification, the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) has Coding Apprentice certifications. Experience is not necessary to sit for an apprentice exam. Those who pass this exam and do not yet have the on-the-job experience required for certification will be designated as an
apprentice on their certificate. For more information on the apprentice certifications offered by AAPC, as well as the requirements for removing the Apprentice designation, visit the AAPC website: https://www.aapc.com/certification/apprentice_status.aspx

This is such a great time to enter the field of Medical Billing & Coding! Upon earning your Associate degree from Laurus College, you will be eligible to enter a career field with:

Excellent growth
Multiple career options
Career advancement possibilities
Excellent pay

Students wanting to continue their education beyond the Associate degree can choose to continue at Laurus College to earn their Bachelor’s degree in either Information Technology or Business. Either degree is a good complement to the Medical Billing & Coding degree for those students with a goal of management positions, or for those wanting to explore Health Information Technology – a fast-growing, very exciting new area in the Medical field! Congratulations on beginning your journey to a new career! Your team (Instructors, Career Services, Student Services, Student Advisors and more!) is ready to help you reach your goals! Let’s get started!

For more information on Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, visit the BLS.gov web site: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292071.htm#ind


Would you like some assistance?

The Laurus College Career Services Department is available to help students set up their LinkedIn profiles and take advantage of the features discussed in this article.
Call or e-mail us today to set up an appointment: (805)-267-1690 or [email protected]


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