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Sunday, July 1, 2007


Become A Medical Biller
Would you love to work as part of a health care team, but prefer to operate behind the scenes?
Are you highly organized, detail oriented and interested in improving medical care for patients? Then perhaps you should consider a career in medical billing and coding.

Medical Billing and Coding in a Nutshell
Medical billers are responsible for submitting patient claims to insurance companies for coverage, or for billing patients who are uninsured for services they have received from a physician or other health care provider.
Electronic billing programs are greatly simplifying the duties of medical billers in this regard.

In addition, some medical billers, such as claims specialists, rewrite doctors' notes, which detail the treatments each patient has received, into a universally accepted medical short-script. This process is called "coding." While not all coders are medical billers—coders may work in health care clinics, insurance companies or research organizations—many medical billers are also familiar with coding.

Medical Billing and Coding Training Requirements
While education requirements vary, employers typically require a high school diploma, with more job opportunities and advancements offered to those with previous health care experience or a college degree.

Many junior and community college programs, as well as vocational schools, offer 1- to 2-year associate's degree or certificate programs in medical coding and billing, such as the American Academy of Professional Coders and the American Medical Billing certification programs. Some medical billing and coding programs may even be completed through online or distance learning programs.

Day in the Life of a Medical BillerAs a medical biller or coder, your most important duties are to protect patient health information and to maintain highly accurate records so that insurance companies will not deny patient claims for coverage. As part of a team of health care professionals, your duties may include collecting and analyzing data that doctors and nurses use to treat patients, as well as maintaining current and accurate medical records.

You can work at home or in an office. Medical billers and coders work for government agencies, ambulatory care facilities, insurance companies, hospitals and other health care facilities and clinics. In these settings, you will typically have a 40-hour workweek in a traditional office, although telecommuting from home is gaining in popularity.

Job Growth for Medical Billers
Job growth is projected to be slower than the average for all occupations through 2014, due to the increased use of automated and electronic billing programs. As the billing process is simplified, more accounting and bookkeeping clerks are also assuming the role of medical billing and coding. However, individuals with medical billing and coding knowledge should continue to find their skills in high demand.

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