For students to succeed in medical billing and coding courses, they must possess seven essential skills. Read on to find out if you would be a fit.
A career in medical billing and coding sounds appealing to many people — you will have the chance to work in health care at a stable job, receive good earnings, and may even have the possibility to work from home. However, medical coding is a competitive field, and to succeed, you must possess a number of critical skills. Everyone considering enrolling in medical billing and coding courses should possess, at a minimum, the following skills and abilities.
1. Attention to Detail
It is crucial that you never make a mistake in your coding or when submitting billing information. Even a minor error can lead to serious problems for patients or insurance companies. You must be able to keep a sharp mind and never lose your concentration while working to ensure that every detail, down to the tiniest piece of coding, is correct.
In a medical coding position, you will be constantly handling sensitive patient information, and you have the responsibility for making sure that these details remain confidential. If you share the information with anyone, even a co-worker, you may be subject to a lawsuit. For this reason, it is necessary to be discreet, including when requesting support from medical staff or other coders.
3. Computer Skills
Most of your work as a medical coder will involve using a computer. You should be comfortable using basic word processing and spreadsheet software as well as electronic health records and medical and coding software. You will be an asset to any health care service if you are able to learn quickly how to use new technology.
4. Office Skills
Even if you work from home, you will need to have good verbal communication skills and a solid understanding of customer service. This will help you in work with other professionals at hospitals and with insurance company representatives. In addition, you should be able to type at a reasonable speed to be productive in your work.
5. Organizational Skills
You may have to handle a large number of cases at the same time. Organizational skills will enable you to work efficiently, stay on track with tight deadlines, and send records to the correct places. This is particularly important for freelancers working at several medical centers.
6. Basic Understanding of Physiology
To convert information into the correct codes, you need to learn medical terminology. This means possessing a basic idea of human anatomy, physiology, and common diseases. You will also need to understand the concept and purpose of simple procedures.
7. Writing Skills
Finally, you should be able to clearly express yourself in words, eliminating the risk of confusion in your reports. This means forming grammatically correct sentences, free from typos and spelling mistakes.