Health Care Guide 101: Differentiating Medical Coding And Billing Programs

If you are interested in joining the healthcare industry but do not have the necessary financial funds to cover your tuition fee or are still waiting for your medical license, then you might be interested in taking up some medical coding and billing programs being offered online. These alternative programs are excellent for medical professionals who want to jumpstart their career in the medical field.Medical Coders and Medical Billers – Are they the same?In a typical health care setting, patients who receive treatments from their physicians would receive a detailed document of what treatments they have received as well as the total amount they need to pay the hospital. Those who document the treatment are called medical coders and at the same time they may be the billers as well; however, their job descriptions are different. This is the reason some schools issue separate certifications for the two programs.Medical CodersMedical coders’ main job description would include identifying the patient’s treatments, verifying the test(s) done, understanding the physician’s notes as well as requesting for other tests. Once these are done, the coders will then segregate and assign codes to the report and provide the medical biller the said information. Medical coders must have a deep understanding of the human anatomy and the materials that doctors used in performing the procedure. Medical coders who have finished their programs will usually find themselves in hospitals, private clinics, nursing care homes as well as other health care agencies. Medical coders are currently in demand especially in the US. Job growth is projected at 21% with an entry career salary of $21,000 up depending on the person’s education, skills and credentials.Medical BillersThe medical biller will check for the insurance policy of the patient as to whether it applies or not, understand the coding guidelines, checking for compliance as well as doing follow up for claims and collect total and accurate amounts from the patient. Medical billers undergo exams with regards to insurance types, billing regulations, reimbursement, billing and coding. Samples of exams would include knowing the HIPAA guidelines and Healthcare Reform Acts. Medical billers must also be knowledgeable in terms of using the right insurance claim forms, understanding the government health programs and understanding common medical billing errors that result to rejection of claims.Medical billers who have obtained their certifications would expect to earn $32,000 annually and can also find job prospects in most healthcare agencies, private health sectors as well as government medical agencies.