Many people want to start a business in healthcare but are uncertain what field to specialize in. To start a business in medical billing, it is important to be able to distinguish the tasks between medical billing and medical coding.
Medical Coding is the process of converting written statements from healthcare professionals into alphanumeric codes for the later purpose of documenting and billing patients. As noted on MB&CC, there are three sets of code that are used by medical coders on a daily basis:
- ICD – International Classification of Diseases
- Represent doctor’s diagnosis and the patient’s condition
- CPT – Current Procedure Terminology
- Document performed medical procedures
- HCPCS – Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System
- Covers additional procedures and equipment such as ambulance rides and prosthetic limbs
Medical Coders are responsible for analyzing reports from doctors regarding procedures, prescriptions, and equipment. After all the information regarding a patient’s care has been collected, medical coders transcribe these items into alphanumeric codes for internal processing.
Medical coding is an internal healthcare position that takes place within a hospital environment. It is considered a non-customer facing job that occasionally works with other healthcare professionals. The most common occurrence of this is speaking with a doctor to verify a written report before transcribing it into medical code. This job has been considered as the “introverted” role because it does not involve talking to patients or making frequent phone calls to any entities outside of the hospital.
Education and Certifications
It is recommended that medical coders have either an Associate’s Degree in Medical Coding or successfully complete a certification program. One of the certifications you can earn is the CCA, or the Certified Coding Associate certification.
Certified Professional Coders are estimated to make $54,405 every year, according to Salary.com. Like most jobs, years of experience and additional certifications will advance not only your career, but also your salary.
Medical Billing is the process of compiling medical codes into medical bills. These bills are then submitted as claims and if accepted, healthcare workers will be paid for their services, and patients will be informed that they are required to pay for their visits.
Medical Billing Specialists are responsible for analyzing medical records and creating medical bills. Additionally, they format medical bills into claims that are submitted for later use in the healthcare billing process.
Medical Billing Specialists can work within a healthcare facility, within a traditional office setting, or even remotely from a home office. In every work environment, Medical Billing Specialists are on frequent phone calls communicating with insurance companies, healthcare facilities, and patients.
Education and Certifications
It is recommended that Medical Billing Specialists obtain certifications from either the American Medical Billing Association or the American Association of Professional Coders. The AMBA certifies medical billing professionals through their Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist exam. Similarly, the AAPC offers a certification upon completion of the Certified Professional Biller exam.
According to Salary.com, Medical Billing Specialists have an average yearly salary of $41,876. Additional education and certifications can increase your salary prospects.
After learning about both professions, maybe medical billing or coding is the right path for you! Check out our website to learn more about medical billing and starting a business today.