Medical coding and billing professionals are responsible for ensuring that patient services are properly reimbursed. The need for specialized knowledge, increases in technology and constantly changing guidelines guarantee that medical coders and billers will continue to be in demand.
Understanding Medical Coding and Billing
Medical coders assign codes to clinical diagnoses and procedures. Medical billers submit the codes to insurance companies for reimbursement of medical services.
Coding and Billing as Separate Functions
Medical coding and billing are often two separate functions. Medical coders work mainly in hospitals and have little to do with billing claims. Although medical billers may work in hospitals, most work for physicians performing billing and coding functions.
Job Outlook for Medical Coders and Billers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health information technology jobs, including medical billing and coding, are expected to “grow much faster than average” with steady inclines of 20 percent and higher.
Education and Increased Outlook
According to an American Health Information Management Association 2008 survey, 46 percent surveyed stated that vacant coding positions were due to lack of qualified candidates. Education through colleges or vocational programs increases employment outlook.
Coders and billers may further increase opportunities by receiving specialized certifications. Organizations prefer hiring certified coder and billers over uncertified people. Additionally, those with experience and training in technology will be in higher demand.