Think about the paperwork involved with just one doctor’s office visit or medical procedure. You may not realize it, but there is even more beyond what you see. Whenever you or someone you know visits a clinic, needs emergency medical care or has a planned surgery, it creates paperwork and documentation that must be meticulously processed and tracked. The information that must be properly documented includes the type of procedure conducted and the amount and type of supplies that were used; these are the details your insurance provider and medical facilities need to determine payment for the medical procedure.
A Growing Need for Medical Billing and Coding Specialists
As our population continues to age and the healthcare industry grows it to meet rising needs, so does the number of medical billing and coding specialists employed in the field. Medical billing and coding is how those in the healthcare field keep track of the data and paperwork involved with medical procedures, and keep information flowing efficiently between medical service providers and insurance companies.
Even though every medical procedure is different in its complexity and scope, any medical service provided is going to create paperwork and information that must be processed properly by a medical billing and coding specialist. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small procedure at a local clinic or a complicated surgery in a large hospital, a professional is needed to keep data, details, and important documentation flowing between the facility and insurance providers. That person is a medical billing and coding professional.
The Medical Billing and Coding Career Path
If you are looking for a career path that is stable and growing, The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that medical billing and coding will be in demand in the years ahead.1 Those who pursue a medical billing and coding education may start careers in outpatient clinics, doctor’s offices, dental practices, or anywhere else patient and procedure information is documented and processed. Because medical coding and billing skills are often transferable (coding systems are standardized for ease of communication between organizations), expertise in the field may open job opportunities throughout the United States.
An educational program in medical billing and coding can be completed in as few as one year. Programs are available online and in the classroom.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm (visited June 25, 2014).