Job growth in healthcare administration is generally focused in the medical coding and billing area. The Medical Coding and Billing specialist position is growing in importance in a number of healthcare fields; private practices, hospitals, insurance companies, and government agencies.
Medical coding means changing clinical terms or medical terms to coded data, this information is given to the medical biller to process the claim for reimbursement by the appropriate insurance agency.
Medical coding is fairly independent work, but interaction with other coders, medical billers, physicians, and additional office staff is important. Medical coders are usually placed on fairly tight production schedules and are expected to complete a certain number of notes each day. The key date is usually between 2 to 5 days at most. On correct claims, the diagnosis (ICD) will support the procedure (CPT) and vice versa.
The medical biller must understand how to read the medical record and, like the medical coder, be familiar with CPT®, (Current Procedural Terminology), HCPCS Level II (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System and ICD-9-CM codes, ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS. (International Classification of Diseases). The National Center for Health Statistics and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare release updates for the ICD-9 on April 1 and October 1 of every year. New codes must be used as of the release date.
Because medical coding and billing is considered to be one of the most important functions in a medical office, it is usually taught in the Medical Office Procedures programs offered in most career schools. There are many courses in the MOP program that are required before you become a medical biller and coder; Medical terminology, Anatomy and Physiology. The goal of every medical biller and coder should be to become a CPC (Certified Professional Coder). Certification as a professional coder offers an exceptional rote to a successful career. Many employers require certification for employment. Becoming an expert in a healthcare specialty, such as oncology or surgical coding, also may offer advanced opportunities.