What does a Medical Coder and Biller do?
A medical coder has a distinctly different task to perform than that of a medical biller, for instance, a medical coder must document the services provided for the healthcare of a patient in a hospital outpatient facility or ambulatory surgical center (ASC).
Medical coders take the information from the document, using complex code books, like ICD.10 and CPT., and translate them to create claims to be paid. They may also have the duties of refiling appeals for denied claims or be an advocate for the patient and provider in areas of coverage and medical necessity.
How to Become a Medical Coder and Biller
A medical coder and a medical biller can both become certified in as little as 7 months with online courses or in college classes. Thoroughly research the credentials of the school offering the training. Look for program that include courses in medical terminology, basic math, administrative skills, computer software training, and anatomy. All of this coursework will prepare you for you and help you successfully prepare for your certification.
Most individuals entering this career field complete the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Coding Specialist (CCP) certifications which enables them to become more in demand for employment. According to AAPC.com, in 2015 CPCs earned an average of $51,454 and those with specialized or additional credentials earned up to $65,643. Therefore, it may be advantageous to continue your education by obtaining additional certifications, a bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree.
Job Description of Medical Coder and Biller
A medical biller has the job of doing all aspects of the revenue cycle, meaning, payer requirements, claims procedure with government regulations and private payer policies. They have the duties of resolving claim denials, submit appeals and manage collections, just to name a few. A medical biller would also be familiar with different insurance plans and understand rules that apply to the healthcare industry.
Medical billers know coding guidelines, such as HSPCS LEVEL II that pertains to non-physician services such as prosthetic devices or hospital transportation as well as other specialized codes. These jobs may be performed by the same person or two different individuals depending on the level of expertise and certification.
You must be very detailed-oriented, efficient, analytical, technical, and have strong interpersonal skills in order to successfully work in this field. There is potential to work at home with this job, though you may need experience first.