This is a great time to consider beginning a career as a Medical Biller or Coder! As the American healthcare system modernizes, there is an increased focus on health data and the digitization of medical records. Consequently, there is an increased demand for skilled billing and coding specialists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the medical billing and coding field is expected to grow 13% by 2026, creating nearly 30,000 new jobs in the next seven years. In a field as promising as this one, it’s easy to see why so many students are turning to Lamson to learn the skills to become a Medical Biller or Coder!
Medical Coders and Billers work hand in hand to translate healthcare services rendered into requests for payment from insurance companies. First, a Medical Coder codes individual patient services and diagnoses, then a Medical Biller uses those codes to request payment from the patient’s insurance company. Together, these two positions perform a vital administrative task of healthcare, freeing doctors and other medical staff to provide care to patients.
Here is a look at each of these positions in more detail:
Medical coding is like translation. Every part of a patient’s medical visit is recorded by a doctor or someone in the healthcare provider’s office. The Medical Coder then translates each bit of relevant information, such as a doctor’s diagnosis or a prescription for medication, into the corresponding numeric or alphanumeric code, which can then be used in the billing process. For every medical procedure, injury, illness, and diagnosis, there is a corresponding medical code. There are thousands of medical codes, and these codes act as a universal language between doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies.
Medical Coders must be familiar with the codes used in the industry, and also understand the guidelines and rules of the codes. Accuracy and adherence to guidelines is imperative as it can affect the status of an insurance claim. The coding process is complete when the Medical Coder enters the appropriate codes into a form or computer program; once a report is coded, it is passed along to the Medical Biller.
The Medical Biller ensures the medical provider is properly compensated for their services by taking the codes produced by the Medical Coder and turning them into a financial report. A Medical Biller takes the information from the Medical Coder and makes a bill for the insurance company, called a claim. The Biller sends the claim to the insurance company, which evaluates and returns it. The Biller then evaluates the returned claim to determine how much the patient owes, after the insurance is taken out, and then creates an accurate bill to deliver to the patient. If a patient is delinquent or unwilling to pay the bill, the Medical Biller hires a collections agency to ensure the medical provider is properly compensated for their services.
Individuals that graduate from Lamson’s Medical Biller/Coder/Office Assistant program will be trained in the skills they need to enter this rewarding healthcare field. Students in the Lamson program learn medical coding, billing, filing insurance claims, medical billing software, and medical terminology and anatomy. Lamson students will be prepared to earn certification, known as the Certified Professional Coder-A (CPC-A), from the AAPC certifying agency, and be ready for entry-level positions in the field. Graduates from Lamson’s program can expect to find work as a Medical Biller, Medical Coder, Medical Office Administrator, or Electronic Health Records clerk, and may work in a variety of medical environments including private medical practices, medical billing companies, hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies.