It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is booming and its growth is expected to continue into the future. At first glance, doctors and nurses would seem to be the ones running the show at medical facilities nationwide. That is a fair observation, as they are the ones who treat patients. However, there are many other individuals working at hospitals, medical offices and other healthcare settings doing work that makes visits with doctors possible. Two such responsibilities are medical billing and coding.
What is Medical Billing?
Medical billing involves preparing billing claims and submitting them to insurance providers. This ensures that the hospital or medical office is reimbursed the correct amount for the services that they provide patients. Medical offices receive money from private insurances providers and various healthcare programs, such as Medicare, which are provided by the government. Receiving proper funds allows the medical office to stay open. With sub-optimal reimbursement, it is difficult for them to provide stellar healthcare to patients.
What is Medical Coding?
While it also pertains to the all-important aspect of insurance reimbursement, medical coding differs in that it involves a unique code for each diagnosis and medical procedure. The International Classification of Disease, Tenth Edition (ICD-10), is the current book of codes utilized across the vast world of healthcare. The translation of diagnoses and procedures into these universal codes allows the health care provider to process the bill correctly.
The Importance of Medical Billing and Coding
It is pretty clear that medical billing and coding are important processes to the upkeep of hospitals and medical offices. Medical facilities rely heavily on insurance providers and other healthcare programs for funding.
Insurance companies make their profit by charging those who hold policies monthly fees, or premiums. The buy-ins from the individuals in the pool allows the insurance providers to cover the bulk of medical costs of policyholders, depending on the policy. With that in mind, that is a lot of money coming in from reimbursements and not out of the consumers’ pockets.
That is why it is vitally important for medical billing and coding to be done, and done accurately. Every patient who visits a hospital, immediate care centre or other medical facility has information that needs to be documented.
Not only that, but accurate medical billing and coding is important to make sure that patients aren’t left paying more for a procedure than they should, and that they and their insurance are charged for the correct services.
Now that we have established a basic understanding of what medical billing and coding are and their importance, let’s learn a bit more about the individuals who carry out these crucial actions: medical billing and coding specialists.
Medical Billing and Coding Specialists
It is not uncommon for hospitals and medical offices to outsource their billing to teams that are knowledgeable about both medical billing and coding, like Anaesthetic & Medical Billing Services.
Entering the proper codes and other data into a hospital or medical office’s database comprises most of the responsibilities of a medical billing and coding specialist’s job responsibilities. However, they are often tasked with other duties that help the healthcare setting operate at peak efficiency. For instance, medical billing and coding specialists many times function as points of contact between the office’s billing staff and the office’s nurses and doctors.
Like other individuals employed in healthcare settings, medical billing and coding specialists enjoy a promising job outlook in the coming years. The main reason for the uptick in demand for medical billing and coding specialists is the fact that more people have access to insurance. More people with insurance means that there will be more visits to medical care facilities and more billing and coding work to be done.
We should also note that because medical care is needed almost everywhere and that every medical facility needs staff members to handle the billing and coding, medical billing and coding specialists have nearly endless geographical locations in which they can work. It is increasingly common for medical billing and coding specialists to have the option of working remotely, cutting down or eliminating the need to commute.
Looking to make a career in healthcare, but don’t feel like being on the frontlines? Why not consider learning more about medical coding and billing? As you can see from the above, the benefits are numerous.