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Medical Billing and Coding Schools

Medical billing and coding is one of the best careers for people who enjoy working with numbers and want to be involved in the medical field. Billing and coding can be learned through a specialized career or vocational school and does not require a four year degree.

What Is Medical Billing and Coding?

When a patient visits a doctor for an exam, has a procedure or has a test, the doctor's office files a claim with the patient's insurance company. The medical office works with both the patient and the insurance company to receive payment for the exam, procedure or test.

In order to file the insurance claim, the medical office staff must use standardized codes which all medical facilities and insurance companies use. These codes indicate the patient's diagnosis and the treatment received.

The medical office's billing and coding staff use the appropriate codes to file claims with the insurance company and bill the patient if necessary. Without this coding and billing, the doctor's office, lab or hospital could not be paid for services provided.

Why Choose Medical Billing and Coding?

Whether you're considering a career change or entering the job market for the first time you have many options. Why choose medical billing and coding over another career?

You can train quickly for a medical coding and billing career. Training programs may be as short as a few months. You may even be able to complete your training from home in your own time.

Once you've completed your training, you're set to become either an employee or an entrepreneur.

Medical coding and billing training allows you to start your own business on a shoestring and work from home. Many medical providers now outsource their billing and coding rather than paying a full-time employee. You can work at home on your own schedule.

Owning your own business as a medical billing and coding specialist is great if you're a stay at home parent who wants to continue staying at home while earning a nice part-time or full-time income. You work around your home life rather than arranging your home life around your work.

Medical coding and billing services are in high demand. Without these services physicians and medical facilities don't get paid. Coding and billing are literally their paycheck. Employers and clients value their coding professionals.

If you've thought of working in the healthcare field, you may have hesitated due to the physical demands of nursing or working as a nurse's aide. As a medical coding and billing specialist you work at a computer, with none of the physical demands common other health professions. This makes coding and billing perfect for individuals with disabilities or physical limitations.
Medical Billing & Coding Careers
As a medical billing and coding specialist you will work either at home in your own business or in the billing office of a medical facility.

To be a medical coder you should be good with numbers and have a good eye for detail.

You should be comfortable with computers and able to learn and use various types of software for medical coding and billing.

You should also have good interpersonal skills. Much of your work will involve administrative tasks and computer work. You may, however, need to interact with medical providers or insurance companies. Comfort in interacting with other professionals will make your job easier.

Your days will be spent reviewing, processing and submitting medical claims to insurance providers, Medicare and Medicaid.
Medical Billing Training
There are no prerequisites for medical billing and coding training. You do not need experience in the field. You do not need any college credit or specific healthcare-related training. The training program will cover everything you need to know for your career in medical billing and coding.

All medical billing training programs start with the fundamentals of medical billing and educate you completely for your new career.

Your training will start with medical terminology. If you have any healthcare experience you will be ahead of the curve in this area. If not you will learn it all during training.

Many training programs for medical coding and billing include basic education in human anatomy, physiology and diseases. This training will help you understand the codes you use and avoid errors.

Coding forms a large part of the training program. There are many codes in medical billing. Learning these codes and how to use them is one of your primary tasks during training.

You'll also learn how various insurance types work and how to bill insurance companies for services, as well as how to bill patients for services not covered by insurance.

You'll learn how providers are reimbursed and how the whole process works from start to finish.

In many programs you'll then get hands-on practice in medical coding and billing.
Medical Billing and Coding Schools
Many schools offer medical billing and coding training either in person or online. Some of the better known schools are Heritage College, DeVry University, Remington College, Ashworth College, Drexel University, Kaplan University and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
Medical Coding Certification
Medical coding certification is not required by any state or federal law. Most employers, however, do seek certified applicants for billing and coding positions. When you consider that the medical facility's entire income depends on proper coding and billing it is easy to understand why certification is in such high demand.

The AAPC offers certification as a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) as well as other certifications useful for medical coding professionals.
Medical Billing & Coding Salaries
According to the average hourly wage for medical coding and billing technicians is $15. The average annual salary for full-time employees is $30,000. The average range of hourly wages is between $13.49 and $17.19, or roughly $34,000 per year.

Medical coding and billing is a profession that will continue to grow as more people enter the healthcare system due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Software programs may make coding and billing less cumbersome and time –consuming but cannot replace a skilled technician. Professional coders not only enter the data into the system but also notice, follow up on and resolve discrepancies or errors to insure that the provider is paid correctly and in a timely manner.

Medical billing and coding is a great career for anyone who likes working with numbers and wants to work in the healthcare field. It can also be a good first step toward a more involved career in medical office management.

Whether you are looking for the right career or the right career for now with options for moving up in the future medical billing and coding offers a bright future.