The job of medical coders and medical billers is an essential one in the healthcare industry. What’s more, there is a growing need for experienced and knowledgeable coders and biller. If you want a fulfilling job helping to bridge the gap between providers, payers, and patients, a career in this field is in reach. Continue reading to learn how to become a medical biller or coder.
There is no formal education, such as an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree required to become a medical coder or biller. However, having some sort of post-secondary education can be helpful and obtaining an Associate’s degree is never a bad idea. Most medical coders and billers attend either a certification program or work towards an associate degree to learn about the field.
Courses either at a college or a certification program teach medical billing, coding, medical procedures, insurance billing, and medical terminology. Students learn about CPT, ICD-10, and HCPCS and their various medical codes for insurance and reimbursements. Most programs will also teach students how to fill out forms and file claims.
Programs will sometimes ready their students to take certification exams, like the Certified Professional Coder certificate from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the Certified Coding Associate certification from the American Health Information Management Association. It is recommended to find a program that offers such preparation, as it will save you time and money in the future.
An employer will want to know that their hire is knowledgeable and experienced with medical coding and billing. You should take any opportunity you get to receive hands-on experience or training. Try to gain some experience with all aspects of medical billing and coding, including at different types of healthcare facilities, such as at both a private practice and a hospital. The more you’ve been exposed to the industry, the better chance you have at getting hired.
Certification is not always required by employers, but it’s better to err towards the safe side. Additionally, the need to be certified will varies from employer to employer, but you’ll increase your job pool if you have one. Plus, you’ll never suffer from too much knowledge and experience.
If you love the field of medical billing and coding, there are many areas of advancement within the career track. To move up, work towards obtaining more education. If you only attended a training program, consider working towards an Associate’s degree. If you have an Associate’s already, apply for a Bachelor’s in healthcare management. More education will better prepare you for advancement.
Medical coders and billers will always be a necessary aspect of the healthcare industry, even as technology becomes more and more prevalent in the field. The path to becoming a biller or coder is straightforward and rather uncomplicated, and the field is more rewarding and exciting than you might think. If you’d like to become involved in the healthcare industry, this might be the perfect job for you.
Originally published on PatsyGallian.org on May 24, 2019.