Medical Billing and Coding Center

Welcome to the Medical Billing and Coding Center!


Are you looking for valuable information about this exciting field?  You have landed on the right website.  It’s not easy to find good and trustworthy information about this area of the healthcare industry on the internet.

Our website strives to supply accurate and up-to-date information for the career-minded individual researching this medical profession.

Our intent is to provide you with all the necessary information and tools needed to secure yourself a position in this rapidly growing segment of the medical industry.  In essence, this website was built to be a “center” or hub of information about billing and coding.  In that regard, we will offer you insights and tips about jobs, salary, training, certification, schools and much more.

Why is this field growing so rapidly? 

Medical billers and coders are a crucial link in the process for doctors, hospitals and other healthcare facilities to be fairly reimbursed for the services they have rendered.

If the reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies are not made in a timely manner, the resulting cash flow problems (reduction of staff, shorter hours, etc., etc.) may severely hamper them from providing the necessary treatment for their patients.

As a result,  jobs in this area have been and, will most likely continue to be for the foreseeable future, a high demand career field as well as a highly competitive field.

 

 

What’s the difference?

Medical billing entails the process of collecting all the information which must be included on a submitted bill to the respective insurance companies.  This collecting of information will normally involve:   ensuring that all paperwork is signed and completed, all billing information is entered into a computer record, collecting all reimbursements and payments from the insurance companies and the patients, following up on denied claims and appealing if necessary, communicating with patients and or doctors concerning overdue payments or billing errors and in modifying or adjusting medical bills.

Medical coding is the process of assigning a code or number to a medical diagnosis, procedure or service in order to receive proper payment from Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance companies.  A medical coder should be proficient in a basic understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology and diseases.

What training do I need?

Training programs are plentiful, whether found in brick and mortar schools or in online schools.  The key is to find the right program for your educational and work background.

Many prospective students will have little or no medical education or background, but with hard work and the right training they will find success.  Some students will have quite a bit of medical knowledge or experience and will find the training process somewhat easier.

However, make no mistake about it, this intense training will require a “can do” attitude.

Finding the right school for you

One basic element in searching for schools is deciding whether to attend a brick and mortar school or to receive your education from an online schools website.

This is a very important decision and one not to be made lightly.  Some students excel in a regular classroom environment, while other students do much better with online classes, learning at their own pace and fitting coursework into their schedule.

Another crucial factor is finding an accredited school.  A school program accredited by AHIMA, AAPC or CAHIIM will help ensure that your education will meet the requirements needed to pass the certification examinations you will take later.

Do I need to be certified?

Yes, your prospective employer will, more than likely, put great weight upon seeing credentials after your name.  You attain these credentials through a certification examination by a nationally recognized organization like AHIMA or AAPC.

Credentials or certifications assure the prospective employer that you are skilled and dedicated to this field of study, that you are qualified and have the necessary aptitude to precisely and efficiently be a coder or biller.

With the appropriate certification, you should expect to earn more money in an entry-level healthcare job than most other entry-level healthcare positions.

How much money should I expect to earn?

As with any career position, there are many variables that affect the amount of money one should expect to earn in this field.

A salary in this field will fluctuate depending upon your:

  • geographic area – do you live in a large metropolitan city or in a less densely populated area?
  • physical job location – small hospital, large hospital, insurance company, doctor’s office, etc., etc.
  • training - accredited program?
  • job experience - recently certified, have years of hands on experience or specialize in a certain area like nephrology.
  • economy - almost everyone is affected by their local or national economy.

Given all those variables, the overall average salary for a biller or coder will be anywhere from $29,000 per year and $45,000 per year.  Remember, these are just averages and that all the above variables have been thrown in to the equation.  Your actual salary could be higher or lower.

Is this career right for you?

Is this career the right fit for you?  Find out by browsing through our articles.  You will undoubtedly find some helpful information to make an intelligent decision.  Our website is loaded with free information and, who knows, you may make the best decision of  your life.

 

 

 

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Becoming a Medical Coder Infographic

A Medical Billing and Coding Visual-rama

 

A special thanks to Career Step for providing this wonderful infographic and video:

 

considering a medical billing and coding career in an infographic

 

 

 

Fraud and Scam Alert

Medical Billing and Coding Schools – Are They Legitimate?

 

Be informed

Medical billing and medical coding professionals are the most important aspects of the medical billing process. Any time a patient interacts with any part of the medical and professional health care industries the interaction must be documented and display what services have been provided.

Someone who is employed as a medical billing and coding professional will have to analyze that information, create and delegate the appropriate tags and codes, and create the bill-of-sale form to complete the payment process. While medical coding and medical billing are two different professions, both require a good deal of specialized knowledge and training to become skilled.

Those interested in pursuing this form of employment need to be well-informed of the properties of both legitimate medical billing and coding schools and those are who are going to scam you.

 Working from home

Working from home is a dream that many people have and there are medical billing and coding companies that prey on people with that dream.

While the medical billing industry is still growing many companies spend money on advertising their teaching services unfairly in order to take advantage of the unsuspecting public. These companies can almost guarantee that the people interested in their programs will do none of their own research and will be easy to con out of money.

It’s important to know how to avoid being scammed by one of these companies.

 Computer displaying internet fraud and scam warning on screen

 

Be on your guard

When you begin looking into this industry be wary of any advertisements you see in local shopping magazines, in major newspapers and on the computer that are for medical billing and coding courses or opportunities.

Many of these schools have simply spent their entire budget on advertising and getting someone to sign some papers and hand over the money before they have even start to teach you.

If you believe that the advertisement or offer is too good to be true then it probably is and you should be careful.

Many so-called schools will also offer “specialized” training packages for unreasonable amounts of money. They claim that by purchasing and completing the program they offer you will be able to easily find employment afterwards. They use false statistics and dishonest testimonials in order for you to buy their product.

 

Many medical billing and coding schools that offer the option to “work-from-home” should be checked and researched for scams as well. This is one of the most popular scams these companies like to pull on the unsuspecting population of the unemployed.

a medical billing and coding school

Do your research

You should always spend a good amount of time doing research on any of the medical billing and coding schools you’re interested in. Spending a few minutes to see if the company is legitimate could save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run.

If you are disciplined and self-motivated it’s possible that you can start your own medical billing business at home.

Overall, working for medical billing and coding businesses are a great way to get into the healthcare industry and it’s easy to forget that these people are providing a much-needed and important service.

 

Don’t Be A Victim To A Scam

 

Look Before You Leap

 

Using a well-worn phrase like “look before you leap” may seem overly trite, however, in the world of vocational education it’s a phrase well worth heeding.

Woman leaping into the air.

 

A career in this field has bесоmе super popular due to many reasons, but the prime reason is the atrocious economy we are dealing with today. Since this is a vocational career, many so-called “schools” have been setting up shop physically and online, just waiting to take your hard-earned money in the form of tuition and school loans.   Continue reading

System Rife With Errors

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This article paints a picture of why it’s critical for any person studying medical billing and coding to gain a full understanding of this field.  Your decisions may affect people’s financial lives for years after their medical treatment has ended.  

The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s year-long look at medical billing continues:

 

 

 

 

Medical billing, a world of hurt: Error-prone system is headache for insurers, providers, patients

Published: Sunday, May 06, 2012, 6:00 AM     Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012, 9:50 AM

 

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Early last month, federal health officials made an announcement that brought cheers in hospital boardrooms nationwide and prompted the American Medical Association, the nation’s largest physicians group, to release a rare letter declaring its appreciation for government regulators.

From all the hoopla, you would think that there had been a breakthrough medical discovery.

But the big news from the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services was that there would be a one-year delay in implementing tens of thousands of new medical billing codes, part of an arcane system that directly affects every patient in America.

Medical billing codes tell the story of a patient’s treatment, dictating how much is paid to medical providers and, ultimately, who pays it — an insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid, or you. They also are at the heart of many, but not all, of the billing issues that drive consumers crazy.

The world of billing problems is as vast as medicine itself. Among the many frequent complaints are: patients being billed for the wrong treatment, receiving double billing for the same treatment, being charged for more than an insurance contract allows or getting a bill for unexpected costs, such as a “facility fee.”

Insurance companies and medical providers share the blame for the problems, which are common, maddening and expensive. The Plain Dealer will< spend the next year examining these issues. We’re hoping you will help by telling us about your problems with medical bills in our online survey.

“It all comes down to human beings being involved in a process that is very complicated,” said Kevin Theiss, a vice president at Summa Health System who oversees an operation that sends out roughly 800,000 bills a year…continue reading at “Medical billing, a world of hurt…”

 

 

 

 

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