Forum - Questions & Answers

Jan 1st, 2016 - eperez89 2 

School Project

Hi my name is Elizabeth and I am currently enrolled at Branford Hall. I am going for Medical Billing and Coding and the class that I am currently taking has a project due at the end. The project itself is that I have to interview a medical biller/coder that is currently working in the field so I can have a further understanding of what a biller/coder does and what I can expect once I get in the field. I was hoping someone can help as posting the project interview on a message board or forum is the easiest way for me; Between work and school I don't really have the time to physically meet someone. The interview consists of 6 questions:

1.) What do you enjoy about your career as a medical biller/coder?

2.) Can you tell me about one aspect of billing that is particularly challenging and some advice about how to work through that challenge?

3.) Besides the education I am gaining at Branford Hall, can you suggest some information resources that you have found particularly helpful to you in your medical billing/coding career?

4.) What are your day to day activities like in your work as a medical biller/coder?

5.) What else would you like to do with your career as a medical biller/coder?

6.) When I am done with school, I will have my certification for medical billing and coding. Will it be beneficial to me to receive other certifications?


I would also need to know the medical facility name were the medical biller/coder works and some type of contact information (either phone number or email).


Thank you,

Elizabeth

Jan 6th, 2016 - MissDecember 5 

re: School Project

Hi Elizabeth,

Has anyone responded to your questions? If not, I work with several biller coders at the Health Organization I work for and had reached out to them to see if they were interested in assisting you. Hope this helps you. Good luck on your school project, I hope I'm not too late to assist you. Here you go...

1.) What do you enjoy about your career as a medical biller/coder?

I like how the field of medical coding/billing exposes you to many different types of areas in-and-around healthcare. You learn not only about the fundamentals of medical coding, but the field also exposes you to how healthcare insurance functions and the financial side of healthcare operations. You also need to be knowledgeable in medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology—so the biological sciences also play a part in the field of medical coding. You also become knowledgeable in the many different types of surgical and diagnostic procedures by working in this field. It is a profession that is vast in terms of the different types of knowledge you need from different subjects in order to be proficient. As a result, it is a field that always allows room for growth, even after many years in the professions, and the opportunity to see new things.

2.) Can you tell me about one aspect of billing that is particularly challenging and some advice about how to work through that challenge?

The most difficult aspect of medical coding, specifically coding in a physician-based setting, is inaccurate or incomplete medical documentation. As medical coders, our job relies heavily on accurate and complete documentation by the physicians and other medical staff for the services they provide in the office or hospital. From this documentation, is it our job to code this information by converting them into procedure and diagnosis codes before they are sent to the insurance company. If the information in the patient’s chart is vague or incomplete it prevents us from doing our job accurately. As a result of this, we often have to educate the physicians and other clinic staff about proper documentation guidelines. The best way to mitigate this problem is to work closely with the physician you are coding for and educate them about proper documentation guidelines; provide them with resources and/or guidelines that will ensure accurate documentation.

3.) Besides the education I am gaining at Branford Hall, can you suggest some information resources that you have found particularly helpful to you in your medical billing/coding career?

The two largest organizations in the medical coding and medical billing field are the AAPC (American Academy of Professional Codes) and AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association). Both organizations provide certification, education, and training for entry-level and experienced professionals in this field. While enrolling a medical coding/billing program at a college is a good way to get an initial first impression of the field you’re getting into, the best resource I have found once I finished my education is to look at actual job postings and use what they require from potential employees--in terms of experience, education, and/or certifications they are looking for—as a guide to show you what else you need to add on your resume. Looking at job postings will give you a more specific look into what employers are looking for and will help you to determine if you need any further education or certifications.

4.) What are your day to day activities like in your work as a medical biller/coder?

As a medical coder, I spend the majority of my day reviewing medical documentation, both from office visits and surgeries, and coding any procedures and diagnoses that were documented by the physician. It is my job to review any charges submitted by the physician for diagnoses treated and procedures that were done during the patient’s visit for accuracy, as well as to ensure that the codes adhere to specific coding guidelines. I work multiple specialties such as Dermatology, Orthopedic Surgery, and Primary Care, so the kind of information and procedures I see will be different from day-to-day.

5.) What else would you like to do with your career as a medical biller/coder?

I would like to eventually transition to hospital-based coding because it is a very challenging and exciting setting to work in: you are exposed to many more different types of procedures, treatments, and medical conditions than you would normally see in a physician’s office.

6.) When I am done with school, I will have my certification for medical billing and coding. Will it be beneficial to me to receive other certifications?

Most people starting off in the medical coding field work primarily in physicians’ offices since they generally require less starting experience and/or education compared to working in a hospital setting. The AAPC (American Academy of Professional) offers an entry level coding certification called the CPC (Certified Professional Code) which is the standard certification demanded by most employers in a physician/clinic setting. If you eventually want to work in the hospital setting, AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) offers the CCS certification (Certified Coding Specialist) which is the industry-standard certification for Hospital-based coding. Most, if not all employers, require either one of these certifications. I would recommend starting with the CPC first, since there are generally more job postings for physician-based coders and the CPC is easier to test for than the CCS certification.



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