If you would like to play an integral part in the healthcare system as a medical billing specialist, it is important to learn about the degrees available for jobs in medical billing and coding. Years ago, you could enter the world of medical billing with little to no educational background and some on-board training. Now, with all of the experienced and educated professionals that are competing for jobs in the field, having a certificate or a degree is essentially a must. Read on and learn more about how you can get qualified to keep medical records and code invoices in a healthcare setting.
What Does a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Do?
Before you can really commit yourself to spending days in school and nights in the books, you need to know that you will enjoy working in the medical billing environment doing what you are responsible for doing on a daily basis. Specialists can work in hospitals, clinics, physician offices, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers or outsourcing centers and will work in an office setting. Most will work during business hours on a full-time basis, but some who are in centers open 24 hours a day could work weekends or nights.
Your role as a billing and coding specialist will be to ensure that the institution or the facility that you work in receives payments from clients and reimbursements from insurers in a timely manner. Some of your duties will include:
- Accurately coding invoices
- Entering medical coding into patient’s medical history
- Reviewing entries for diagnosis, tests and treatments to verify they are accurate
- Submission of coded invoices to patients and insurance companies
- Recording patient payment information and insurer in the electronic system
- Updating records when payments are made
Educational Path to Take to Prep for a Career in Medical Billing
If you want to work in healthcare, but do not want to hold a clinical role, working in an administrative role will require less education and experience while still giving you the opportunity for growth and job stability. There may not be a formal education requirement to hold the title of medical biller or coder, most employers are looking for candidates who have no less than an associate’s.
Even bigger employers will prefer those who are certified in the field as Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialists. Before you can hold the CMRS certification, you will need to take a certificate program, according to the American Medical Billing Association. This program will take about 12 months to complete and will cover coursework in:
- Medical Terminology
- Insurance policies
- Billing and Coding
- Computer Database Management
If you earn your certificate and you then prove that you have ethical standards, you can succeed in this field. While a college degree in public health or health administration will familiarize yourself with the industry, there are other options that you should always know about.
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There is a rising demand for highly trained and talented medical coders as the demand for medical services rises, according to CNBC. There is also a shortage of skilled workers who have taken the time to earn a degree or a certificate that will make them more marketable. If this sounds like the field of work for you, it is time to compare educational programs. Once you know the degrees available for job in medical billing and coding, you can make the best selection.