How Do I Get A Medical Billing and Coding Certification?

In a swiftly changing economy it is becoming more and more common for men and women to search for non-traditional jobs that put them outside of the traditional work space. That being said, medical billing and coding is becoming more popular as both a primary and secondary source of income for many households. A job that was once reserved for secretaries is now creating its own job market.

What is Medical Billing and Coding?

In order to truly understand what you are getting into when you look for certification in this field you should first know a bit about the job itself. Medical billing and coding is essentially the process of taking medical procedures and translating them into medical codes that can be used by the doctor’s offices to bill the insurance companies of patients. Rather than sending the insurance company a long list of things that have been done for each patient, a medical billing and coding specialist will take data compiled throughout a specified period of time and translate it to codes so that the insurance company can quickly and easily look at what has been done and know how to pay out dividends correctly. This job essentially makes it easier for both doctors and insurance companies to get their billing in order.

What Type of Classes Do You Need To Get A Medical Billing And Coding Certification?

medical billing and coding certificationThere are a few different universities and online schools that offer a medical billing and coding program where you can get your certification. There are first traditional universities that tend to cost quite a bit more than say a technical or trade school. These schools will offer a certification that generally consists of ten or more classes that amount to about 30 credit hours. Classes like medical terminology, some sort of insurance or business terminology classes, and even some computer classes to help you understand the program you will be using will generally be part of the certificate. With a University you can expect to pay full tuition which is generally about $5000 for four classes. With a trade school or junior college you will also be taking the classes mentioned but you will be spending much less.

Depending on where you are trying to get a job it may not matter if your certification comes from a trade school or a university. Generally it only matters that you have a current and up to date certification and that you are able to use the software programs that are available. In most cases, the employer that you settle with will also require that you complete some basic training courses to familiarize yourself with the systems and people that you will be working with to insure that the process goes smoothly and that you are comfortable with what will be expected of you.

What Job Opportunities Are Available When You Have A Medical Billing And Coding Certification?

The most poignant question that you can ask with any degree or certification is what sort of jobs can you look forward to when you complete your classes. There are a few different settings that you may encounter when it comes to medical billing and coding certification. The first and perhaps most alluring is the work from home option. This type of job is excellent if you want to work from home after you complete your traditional job or if you have children for instance that you need to stay home with. If you are working a medical coding or billing job from home you will be given a set amount of codes and reports that you should complete in any given amount of time. How you divide the work and get it completed is up to you just so long as it is done properly and is ready to return to your employer on the specified day. Generally in work from home options you are expected to show up to the physical location at least twice a week so that you can be given the reports and so that you can hand in completed work.

Working a medical billing and coding certification job from home is generally what people choose when they want to take it up as second income as the hours are flexible as is the work load. You may also be asked to work in a physical environment like a doctor’s office, hospital, or even insurance company. If you choose to work the job in a physical location it will be more along the lines of a traditional 9 to 5 job and will be worked as such. You may also want to work your medical billing job over the internet. Generally you will still need to come in every once in a while to check your progress but in this case much of the work is done over a secure internet connection.

Who Needs Medical Billing Specialists?

There are several different companies that need medical billing and coding specialists. The first and most obvious are doctor’s offices. Because their nurses and doctors are busy tending patients, having a medical billing specialist on staff makes it far easier and quicker to treat patients than if the nurses and doctors had to do the coding themselves. Having a trained professional coder makes billing and making insurance claims far easier and more beneficial for both patients and offices. Another place that often needs these specialists are hospitals. Though their nurses do take care of some medical billing, it is often the job of the medical billing specialists on staff to make sure that patients are billed properly and that the insurance is collected on each procedure.

This is incredibly important in a hospital setting as it can mean the difference between someone getting the care they need and being turned away because their insurance will not pay. Insurance companies also need medical billing specialists to check the work that has already been done and to make sure that they are paying out the correct amounts each time a claim is made. This career path is incredibly lucrative and more and more positions are opening up daily making now a fantastic time to get your medical billing and coding certification.

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