One of the readily available jobs in the healthcare sector is medical billing and coding specialist. Compared to other healthcare jobs, this one is not highlighted, although it’s one of the best jobs for people with non-medical backgrounds. If you’re considering a career change and are interested in work in the healthcare sector, medical billing and coding may be just what you are looking for.
If you don’t already know the specifics of the job, no need to worry. In this blog, we’ll walk you through what the job is and why it is a good profession.
What is Medical Billing and Coding?
Medical billing and coding are two intertwined aspects of the modern healthcare system. For the simplicity, we’ve divided the two in the following sections to give you a clear idea about this job. Individuals working in both billing and coding are medical billing and coding specialists.
Medical coding is a sort of technical translation. Either your doctor or another healthcare professional will record every aspect of your visit. It’s the medical coder’s job to translate every bit of relevant information in that patient’s visit into numeric and alphanumeric codes. For every injury, diagnosis, and medical procedure, there is a corresponding code. The billing section uses these codes to generate itemized bills.
The convention for these codes include International Classification of Diseases, codes, which detail a patient’s injury or sickness, and Current Procedure Terminology codes, which annotate the services the healthcare professional provided the patient.
The coding process ends when the medical coder enters the appropriate codes into a form or software program. The billing sections work begins once the coding is complete.
You should check out this webinar on Basics of Coding and Billing for more in-depth knowledge.
Medical billing is pretty self-explanatory. You take the information from the medical codes and draw up an itemised bill for the insurance company, called a claim.
From the codes, medical billers get information, such as what kind of visit, what symptoms are present, the doctor’s diagnosis is, and what the doctor has prescribed as treatment. A form or specialised software is used to draw up these claims. The biller then forwards the claims to the respective insurance company, which evaluates and returns it. The final part of the job is to evaluate the returned claim and calculate the amount payable by the patient after insurance money is deducted.
We provide a medical billing and coding diploma course, make sure you check it out.
15 reasons to become a medical billing and coding specialist
While there are countless reasons for doing any job not all of them are for every aspiring professional. It’s important you understand the job you’re taking beforehand. However medical coding and billing also has perks that are quite lucrative in today’s market. The next section features 15 reasons why being a medical billing and coding specialist is worthwhile.
1. Working in Allied Health is Rewarding
Right off the bat, starting a career in the healthcare industry provides a sense of satisfaction through helping others. Medical billing specialists are essential in keeping medical costs low, reducing errors in reporting and ensuring that patients’ medical histories are sorted and recorded properly. This makes the job more and more rewarding.
2. Be part of a fast-paced work environment
The technological boom has revolutionized every industry and medical billing is no exception. While patient numbers rise each year there is no other way but to redefine the billing system to integrate software instead of paper folders. The whole process has become smoother and faster than ever before. Medical billing specialists are a part of this sped up system and must stay in sync to clear out patient claims as fast as possible.
3. No need to go to Medical School
As a billing and coding specialist you do not need to attend medical school and that’s a fact. Very few jobs in the healthcare industry employ non-medical professionals and this one of the most respected in our view. If you are interested in taking advantage of the expansion in medical facilities across the country but don’t have the budget to attend medical school the truth is you don’t have to.
4. Save lives
Ensuring that patient data is accurate every time is an essential behind-the-scenes task that keeps hospitals and clinics functioning properly. When you consider saving lives, work done by clerical specialists doesn’t seem relevant. However, as a medical billing and coding specialist, you’re saving lives doing your job with utmost sincerity.
5. You choose where you work
Unlike specialised professions where you may find a handful of organisations to work for. The possibilities are endless as a medical billing and coding specialist. In this allied healthcare profession, you can find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, private clinics, administrative support centres, and even medical laboratories. With such a wide variety of organizations requiring billing and coding experts, a dynamic job market is waiting for professionals like you.
6. Start your career within a year
Most of us find that spending four years to complete a specialised bachelors quite frustrating. To be a medical billing and coding specialist you do not need any such degree. Most billing and coding programs take less than a year to complete.
Once you take the exams offered under the National Clinical Coding Qualification (NCCQ) you’ll be certified as an accredited clinical coder capable of working anywhere. Check out our CPD accredited course to prepare for your accreditation exam.
7. Comfortable dress code
Working in healthcare is a great alternative if you favour simplicity and comfort. Instead of wearing suits, ties, heels, and other formal wear which are uncomfortable and often unforgiving during the summer months. Medical billing and coding professionals can wear casual clothing.
Some organisations may even require you to wear scrubs at work. Scrubs are by far the most comfortable work clothing you will ever come across.
8. Abundant employment opportunities
The healthcare sector in the UK is one of the consistently growing job markets. As the elderly population increases more and more healthcare organisations are springing up. A medical billing professional can find work in any number of these organisations making job opportunities abundant. If you can earn the necessary qualifications, you can find work fairly easily.
9. Help patients from a distance
Dealing with customers (or patients) in person is probably not one of the most enjoyable parts of any job. On that note, if you’re the kind of person who would love to help people – without facing them, then medical billing and coding is just the work. It is a perfect opportunity for introverts for the fact that most employers are okay with remote work.
10. Do all your work remotely
All of the work done by medical and billing specialists is software dependent. This means you’ll spend most of your work entering information and forwarding final reports. Hence it’s the perfect do-at-home job.
The UK healthcare sector is one of the most technologically advanced medical systems. The billing system is effective both as a system and as employee workstation.
11. Flexible shifts
Medical billing and coding is a data entry job that doesn’t necessarily need you to work 9-5 shifts. You can work in a time schedule as you see fit. Whether you are a night owl or, early bird you can arrange a comfortable shift for yourself. Although, we wouldn’t recommend working exclusive night shifts because it takes a hefty toll on your health.
12. You can work overseas
Medical billing systems are grossly similar across most of Europe and the United States. So if you are an accredited billing and coding specialist you can work outside the UK quite easily. If you have wanted to work overseas, medical billing and coding is a very viable option to realise this dream.
13. Boast your coding skills
While medical coding is vastly different from software coding, you can still claim to be a coder and be correct, technically. Software developers use codes to instruct computers about tasks and operations.
As a medical coder you use codes to document and inform medical billing sections about how to handle each patient’s records. Moreover, these codes can also be used in automated systems to store and manage patient data.
14. Plenty of opportunity to grow
The definition of a good profession includes room to grow for employees. No one wants to work the same job for the same salary for 15 years. As a medical billing specialist that won’t be the case. The profession can lead to the job of head of billing sections. Hence, there is no need to worry, if you want to climb up the ladder to more demanding jobs medical billing is adequate.
15. Earn Salary that is more than worthwhile
According to Payscale average salary for medical coding is £23,152 annually. From Indeed we found the average hourly rate for medical billing specialists £14.93, and the annual average £24,352. Considering the job requirements and the fact that you won’t have to deal with patients directly, the pay is very good and worthwhile.
If you’re looking for more reasons check out 16 reasons to start a career in medical billing and coding specialist.
Ending notes to become a medical billing and coding specialist
The modern healthcare systems require a lot more than doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians. Many supporting jobs are involved in making the whole process smooth for both care providers and patients alike. Medical coding and billing is an apt example of these jobs. So if you’re looking for a job that pays well, requires minimum investment and is readily available there is no reason for you not to become a billing and coding specialist. If you’re looking for training courses on medical billing and coding check it out today.