Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Medical Billing and Coding Training


Medical billing training is typically not as involved as the training needs for medical coding. If you’re goal is a corporate job, generally the more training and credentials the better. Even if you’re planning to stay strictly in medical billing, having some coding knowledge is very useful in understanding coding errors. A good knowledge of coding also makes you more valuable to an employer and justifies asking for a higher salary.

The amount of training you need depends on your goals – getting a good job at a hospital, large practice, or insurance company - or starting a medical billing business. Smaller practices will usually not be as stringent for certification or training. The downside is they probably aren’t going to pay as well or have the benefits of a larger employer. One of the nice things about a smaller practice is they tend to be more informal.


Medical Billing Training

Training for medical billing can be obtained from a variety of sources such as local vocational schools, community colleges, or distance learning (or online). A good medical billing training program establishes a basic foundation in medical billing necessary for an entry level job. A good certificate program can can take anywhere from 6 to 9 months to complete.

Topics typically covered:

  • Keyboarding skills
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical office procedures
  • Billing and insurance reimbursement
  • Basic coding
  • Medical law (HIPAA) and ethics

There are also reasonably priced (less than $1000) reputable medical billing courses online which can be completed at your own pace. If you are considering an online medical billing school, the material should be written by someone with extensive experience in the field. You should also receive a certificate upon successfully completion.

If you are really eager to learn but don’t have a lot of money to invest, free medical billing training is possible if you are willing to work for a while for little or no pay. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door and establish yourself in the field. That’s how I got started. Fortunately the billing service I worked for paid me well so I saw it as basically getting paid to learn medical billing.


Medical Coding Training

Medical coding training can run the whole spectrum from associate’s degree to a diploma or certificate program. On the longer end is an associate’s degree in Healthcare Reimbursement. Some schools may describe this degree slightly differently. This is the most comprehensive medical coding training and can typically take 18 months to 2 years to complete.

The curricula would typically cover:

  • Basic keyboard skills
  • Human anatomy
  • Career planning
  • CPT, ICD, & HCPCS coding
  • Billing and insurance reimbursement
  • Medical terminology
  • Advanced billing and reimbursement
  • Office procedures
  • Medical ethics and law
  • Communications
  • Fine arts or humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences

The associates program would prepare a student to take a certification exam by either American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

A diploma program is a more abbreviated medical coding training compared to an associate program. This type of program would include more detailed training in procedures and the nuances of healthcare billing. Approximately twice as many courses as the shorter certificate program typicall taking 9 months to 1 year to complete.

The curricula would typically cover:

  • Basic keyboard skills
  • Human anatomy
  • CPT, ICD, & HCPCS coding
  • Billing and insurance reimbursement
  • Medical terminology
  • Office procedures
  • Medical ethics and law



4 comments:

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    Medical Billing Outsourcing

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