If you’re interested in a career in the medical field, but don’t think Medical Assisting is for you, then consider a career as a Medical Biller/Coder! If you are detail-oriented, and thrive in an administrative setting, then Medical Billing/Coding could be a great fit for you. National American University offers an excellent online diploma program that you can complete in as few as 9 months.
This is a great time to consider beginning a career as a Medical Biller or Coder! As the American healthcare system modernizes, there is an increased focus on health data and the digitization of medical records. Consequently, there is an increased demand for skilled billing and coding specialists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the medical billing and coding field is expected to grow 13% by 2026, creating nearly 30,000 new jobs in the next seven years. In a field as promising as this one, it’s easy to see why so many students are turning to NAU to learn the skills to become a Medical Biller or Coder!
But what, exactly, does a Medical Coder or Biller do? Every part of a patient’s medical visit is recorded by a doctor or someone in the healthcare provider’s office. Medical Coders and Billers work hand in hand to translate those healthcare services rendered into requests for payment from insurance companies. A Medical Coder codes these individual patient services and diagnoses, then a Medical Biller uses those codes to request payment from the patient’s insurance company. Together, these two positions perform a vital administrative task of healthcare, freeing doctors and other medical staff to provide care to patients.
Here is a look at each of these positions in more detail:
Medical Coder --
For every medical procedure, injury, illness, and diagnosis, there is a corresponding medical code. Medical Coders act as translators, translating each bit of relevant information, such as a doctor’s diagnosis or a prescription for medication, into the corresponding numeric or alphanumeric code. Those codes can then be used in the billing process. There are thousands of medical codes, and these codes act as a universal language between doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies.
Medical Coders must be familiar with the codes used in the industry, and also understand the guidelines and rules of the codes. Accuracy and adherence to guidelines is imperative as it can affect the status of an insurance claim. The coding process is complete when the Medical Coder enters the appropriate codes into a form or computer program; once a report is coded, it is passed along to the Medical Biller.
Medical Biller --
The Medical Biller ensures the medical provider is properly compensated for their services by taking the codes produced by the Medical Coder and turning them into a financial report. A Medical Biller takes the information from the Medical Coder and makes a bill for the insurance company, called a claim. The Biller sends the claim to the insurance company, which evaluates and returns it. The Biller then evaluates the returned claim to determine how much the patient owes, after the insurance is taken out, and then creates an accurate bill to deliver to the patient. If a patient is delinquent or unwilling to pay the bill, the Medical Biller hires a collections agency to ensure the medical provider is properly compensated for their services.
The Medical Biller/Coder program at National American University trains students in the skills they need to enter into a variety of entry-level positions in this rewarding healthcare field. The Medical Biller/Coder diploma program is a completely online program, culminating with a hands-on, practical learning experience at the end of the program so that students gain real-world experience in the field. Courses in the Medical Biller/Coder program include:
- Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology with Lab
- Introduction to Pathophysiology
- Healthcare Coding & Billing I & II
- Medical Billing & Coding Practicum
NAU students learn comprehensive medical coding and billing procedures, current medical software and trends in the insurance industry. Students learn medical terminology, medical billing software, and how to prepare and file insurance claims and analyze benefits. Graduates are prepared to pursue certification through national professional associations, such as the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
NAU’s program prepares graduates with the training that is needed to enter into entry-level medical careers as a Medical Biller, Medical Insurance Specialist, Medical Coder, Medical Records Clerk, Hospital Admitting Clerk, Medical Office Administrator, or Electronic Health Records clerk. These healthcare professionals are able to work in a variety of medical environments including private medical practices, medical billing companies, hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies. Administrative medical office positions such as these are found in every part of the country, and some individuals may find they are able to work from their own home.
If you’re ready to take the next step towards starting a more rewarding life for you and your family, and starting your career in the medical field, consider National American University. Founded in 1941 as the National School of Business, National American University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and offers Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degree programs online. To learn more about NAU and our online programs, call us at (855) 448-2318. Our friendly and helpful Admissions Representatives are waiting to help you. Make your goals a reality with a diploma from NAU!