The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States, and it requires many different types of professionals to ensure it functions smoothly and cohesively. Medical billers and coders play an important role in this industry. They collect and process patient medical history, such as symptoms, examination results, treatment history, and more. Not only do they gather and process these details, and then match it with corresponding medical codes, they also ensure the accuracy, completeness, and confidentiality of the data before they provide it to insurance companies.
Online Program of Study
While not requiring the same amount of formal education as other medical professions, you can earn a certificate or associate’s degree through medical billing and coding online programs at vocational schools. While some aspects of becoming a medical biller and coder, such as an internship, must be done in person, you can complete many classes online. Programs offering medical billing and coding online courses will cover many of the essential the topics listed below.
Medical terminology classes introduce you to the fundamentals of medical speak, such as spelling, pronunciation, usage, and abbreviations from the perspective of medical billers and coders. You will also learn how these terms relate to human anatomy and the insurance process.
Anatomy and Physiology
To appreciate medical terminology, you need to learn about human anatomy and physiology. Specifically, you will need to study the nervous, circulatory, skeletal, and muscular systems; biochemistry and some facets of cell biology; know how to describe cell activity, human tissues, various pathologies; and finally, be able to relate all of these systems to medical billing and coding processes.
Medical Billing and Coding
Of course, one of the most important online courses you will need to take is medical billing and coding. You will study the foundation of code categories and guidelines, health insurance, billing, reimbursement, and claims processes. Next, you will learn how to identify standard billing codes and apply them appropriately. Additionally, you will need to read and understand healthcare documents, verify their contents, and ensure that the information complies with facility, insurance, and governmental requirements. And while errors do occur in any industry, you will be taught about common errors and how to avoid or prevent them.
Health Information Management
Medical billers and coders must be aware of the ethical and legal issues that occur in health care, such as HIPAA regulations, facility policies, patient privacy and consent, requests for information, and other disclosures. Additionally, you will need to become proficient in using electronic record keeping systems for recording, updating, reporting on, and retrieving patient information.
Medical Office Management
Finally, to succeed as a medical bill and coder, you also must know the administrative, technological, financial, legal, and ethical facets of working in a health care office. You should ensure that your communication skills, both written and verbal are clear, direct, yet concise.
Before enrolling at any educational institution for medical billing and coding online, make sure that it is accredited, like Southern Careers Institute, and that the curriculum works with your schedule. Finally, check that your program contains subjects similar to the ones above to know that your education will be top notch.