With the constant developments in the medical field, a number of professions have taken shape. Among the many now growing, the one related to medical billing and coding seems to be gathering pace. What this entails is using accurate codes when the details of a patient are submitted to an insurance company. Licensed medical organizations will need to make such submissions in order to be paid for their services rendered. What the codes essentially do is explain the kind of service that was given – anything ranging from annual medicals and flu shots to more complex medical procedures.

What the job entails

As a medical biller, your only job is to bill patients and companies for services rendered. A systematic process in place with regards to consultation charges, supplies used and procedures that have been executed. You will be sending bills to insurance companies, posting payments, provide information related to the claim if inquiries come in. You also act an intermediary if a claim is rejected, between the patient and the insurance company. Your job will be primarily to reduce the burden on the doctors when it comes to the administrative part of their business.

Medical coders and medical billers have complementary jobs. When the coders put a code on a claim, the medical biller will ensure that it has been done correctly. Only what the doctor writes down as being done is not coded and not anything more. Charts are brought in to the coder, who will decipher each process and code them in a systematic manner. Depending on the extent of processes done, the biller will ensure that all has been accounted for. If there is a discrepancy, the biller goes back to the chart and makes sure that any process that was conducted be added to the bill.

As a medical biller, you will comb through each billing to make sure that it is correct. You do all interactions with the patient and the insurance company. This means have a great deal of interpersonal skills and being able to spend a lot of time on the phone and other means of communication to get the work done right. How complicated this can get is when you comprehend the number of specialties available in medicine, the number of procedures that can be offered, the rules associated with each insurance company and the kind of follow ups that are required for each and every bill.

Why a course is essential

Medical billers as well as coders are qualified individuals who join medical organizations with the thought of making their financial procedures a bit smoother. Currently there are courses that can prepare one for a career in medical billing and coding, however, there is an increasing demand for some kind of formal training and a certification. There are places now that offer medical billing and coding certification. What such courses offer you is an understanding of medical terminology and insurance. It gives you a basic understanding of the human anatomy and physiology so you can put things together when you are coding.

It will also give you a basic grounding in legal and ethical health based issues, Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and an understanding of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). All of this, added to experience in computerized billing and you have a comprehensive course on your hands. This kind of course can be taken online or in a classroom. The duration varies between 55 & 60 hours. Several colleges are now offering you programs that require study times ranging from nine months to four years. The cost of these courses too is varied. An online course, depending on its duration can be between $400 to a $1000. Degree programs of two-year duration and with an average of 60 credit based hours cost around $30 to $40 per hour. Again, depending on the quality of the college, this price can go up to $500 per hour. Four-year programs will set you back in the price range of $4,000 to $60,000.

When you set out to choose a program, make sure you look into the reputation of the organization. Evaluate the courses on offer as well as the level of accreditation. Also, look into the quality of the program in comparison to the amount of money you are spending on it.

If you have what it takes to get into this line, then a medical billing and coding certification course will give you what you need. It will give you the experience and the knowledge you need to get into the line and actually do a good job there. The certification will help you further your prospects in a career line that is poised to go places.