In the health care industry, medical billing and coding is expected to experience quite the boom over the next decade or so. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that coding and billing should grow 15 percent by 2024, much faster than the national average. These specialists are often in the background of a hospital or medical office and help sort patient fields, maintain medical records, file insurance claims and handle most billing. As such, not just anyone can be an effective coder; it takes a person with the right skills and traits.
So we have compiled a list of what it takes to be a truly phenomenal medical billing and coding specialist to see if this career path is right for you:
The average coding and billing specialist job exists on a crossroads where it'll be your responsibility to work alongside doctors, administrative staff, payers and sometimes even patients. As such, you have to know how to communicate with everyone effectively. That means having different communication styles and approaches for different people; your conversations with doctors may involve more jargon than your work with payers. Ultimately, though, a great communicator is one who is assertive in stating his or her needs, can be as succinct as possible and knows how to avoid any possible confusion or misunderstandings. This ability to communicate should also extend to the written word, especially emails.
As a coding and billing specialist, you're going to work not only with some specialized medical jargon but also a healthy amount of numbers and math. Because of that, you'll need to be able to process all of this information quickly and efficiently. When it comes to coding, you'll need to know the difference between similarly titled procedures; otherwise, one tiny mistake can throw off the entire process. Billing, too, is similarly detail-oriented, and it takes a truly watchful eye to make sure reports are filed and never double charged. Part of being great with details means being able to order your daily routine without becoming overwhelmed. Without a keen eye for detail, you're bound to be lost under the weight of all that paperwork.
As mentioned above, a detail-oriented worldview is vital for a successful coding and billing specialist. That's especially true when it comes to researching, which you'll spend significant chunks of your day doing. A great researcher doesn't just pay attention to the little details though; he or she can discern what information is helpful and knows how to read and absorb things quickly. Part of that is knowing the proper medical terminology and having resource materials nearby. An effective coder has experience with everything from anatomy to treatment protocols. The research process isn't just about finding the facts, either. You have to be able to present them to your co-workers in an easy-to-read format.
Whether you're researching, analyzing data or simply talking to a co-worker, there is one trait that unites almost every aspect of a coder's job: a sense of timeliness. The medical field as a whole can be quite demanding, and being successful means doing your job in a timely manner. That can only be achieved if you're an especially organized person and have access to every piece of information or equipment you need to sort through the piles of coding and billing in front of you. More than that, you also need to be able to prioritize work, finishing the most important tasks without getting bogged down by some duties that might be saved for later. This should also extend to your communications with office staff, payers, etc.
So does this sound like you? Do you have these traits and skills to master what it takes to be a great coder or biller? CHCP offers Medical Coding and Billing at all of our campuses and online! Learn more about Medical Coding and Billing at a campus near you: