Most employers who hire for Medical Billing and Coding positions expect you to have more than just a high school diploma or GED. But unlike many medical professionals, you won’t need a four-year degree or years of medical school to become a Medical Biller or Coder. You could enroll in a certificate or associate degree program and be on your way to a Medical Billing and Coding career in less than two years.
What Does a Certificate Program Teach?
Certificate programs cover the basics about Medical Billing and Coding and introduce you to thousands of codes that will become your new language. The codes come from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and work together to describe diseases, diagnoses, and treatments. A certificate program should also teach you about the health care system and help you become familiar with common medical terminology.
What Will You Learn in a Medical Billing and Coding Associate Degree Program?
An associate degree program teaches you all that a certificate program does, then goes more in-depth. It also sets you up for further education if you decide to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration. Your Medical Billing and Coding education should cover:
Health care System
As a foundation of your Medical Billing and Coding education, you will need to have a good understanding of the U.S. health care system and the critical issues facing health care. You need to understand the complexity and multidimensional nature of health care delivery in the U.S., including the roles of health care providers and the government.
To communicate with doctors and nurses, you need to learn their language, so to speak. Medical terminology includes complex terms for diseases and injuries, but with time, they will become second nature to you.
Health Records Management
To work as a Biller or Coder, you need to understand how health records function. This means taking a detailed look at Electronic Health Records and information about billing, office visit software, medical research, patient correspondence, and the archival of unused medical records.
Medical Insurance Processing and Reimbursement Methods
For every service your health care facility performs, it needs to be paid. Most often, it’s paid by an insurance company. You need to know about different kinds of insurance companies and what they cover. You also need to learn procedural and diagnostic codes, how to use them, and how to work closely with insurance providers so patients and your facility get the benefits and payments they deserve. And you need to understand how to complete, interpret, and process manual and automated insurance claim forms for government and third-party payers.
Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care
To work in any type of health care career, you need an understanding of the laws, regulations, guidelines, ethics, and bioethics in the health care industry. Legal topics might include the various components of the US legal system, licensure and certification requirements, laws specific to health care, and the legal responsibilities of medical personnel. You will also need to know about electronic medical records, record-keeping, charting, and the rules and regulations of the workplace.
HIPAA Rules and Regulations
One of the most important rules to follow comes from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. A federal law that governs how insurance can move with an employee, it also helps protect the privacy of patient information. It guides what information can be shared, when it’s appropriate to send data electronically, and what National Provider Identifiers are.
How to Become Certified in Medical Billing and Coding
Once you complete your program, you can sit for the Certified Professional Coder exam. A passing grade proves that you are qualified for entry-level work in Billing and Coding.
Medical billing and coding need to be done properly, or costly mistakes could occur. To learn the standards, rules, and laws that apply to billing and coding, enroll in a training program. If you’re ready to start learning now, contact Charter College. We offer an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Billing and Coding that will prepare you for a new career in as few as 14 months. Our dedicated faculty have years of knowledge and experience from the industry and are eager to share it with you. Currently, this program is only available to residents of Alaska. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.