Partially because of a rapidly aging U.S. population, healthcare jobs are in demand, because as people age, they usually need more medical care. Medical billers are needed to handle insurance and patient claims. MTI College offers a Medical Billing and Coding Professional Diploma Program that can prepare you to enter this in-demand field. You could be working alongside doctors and nurses in a hospital, doctor’s office, clinic, nursing home or other medical facility using your skills to provide much-needed assistance.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for medical records and health information technicians (billers and coders) is growing much faster than the average rate for other occupations. Because more people have access to health insurance these days, claims on behalf of patients are going to increase. If you have a medical billing job, you will be the one to submit the bills for insurance reimbursement.
Does this sound like a job you would enjoy? Find out what a medical biller is responsible for on a day-to-day basis and learn whether it is a good career choice for you.
What is the job of a medical biller?
The medical biller plays a vital role in the relationship among medical providers, patients and insurance companies. Although the medical biller is not responsible for patient care, he or she should have a good understanding of medical terminology to be able to discuss medical bills with both insurance carriers and patients. These are a few duties of a medical biller:
- Audit and submit claims to insurance companies for patient procedures and treatments.
- Obtain insurance referrals and pre-authorizations for patient procedures.
- Verify insurance eligibility and benefits.
- Understand insurance guidelines, including those for HMO/PPO, Medicare and Medicaid.
- Review patient bills for accuracy and fill in any missing information.
- Check payments for accuracy.
- Research and appeal denied claims.
- Talk with insurance companies about payment discrepancies.
- Set up payment plans for patients.
- Collect delinquent accounts.
- Answer phone inquiries from patients and insurance companies.
- Use medical billing software to perform job duties.
- Update software with rate changes.
- Know Fair Debt Collection Practices.
As a medical biller, you may not perform each of these duties every day, but they are all considered responsibilities of the job.
Is a medical biller the same as a medical coder?
When you train at MTI College, you train for both positions. If you work in a small office, you may also perform the duties of a medical coder, a person who applies industry-standard codes that relate to specific medical diagnoses, treatments and procedures to patient health records. The medical biller then takes the coded information and submits the bill. However, if your job is for a larger organization, you may just do medical billing.
What personal skills are helpful to have if you want to be a medical biller?
A medical biller’s job is very important to the financial cycle of a provider, and you need to always strive for accuracy.
These are some other skills you should possess if you want to be a medical biller:
- Attention to detail. You’ll always need to check bills for accuracy and identify discrepancies.
- Excellent communication ability. Much of your job will involve phone conversations with patients and insurance companies.
- Good customer service. Remember that the bottom line is a person’s healthcare management, and it can be an emotional topic for some people. You need to speak diplomatically, compassionately and accurately to answer questions.
- Computer knowledge. Since you will be using medical billing software, you should know how to use a computer and the Internet.
- Accounting and bookkeeping. An understanding of the basics can be very helpful since you will be sending out billing statements and will need to reconcile them as payments come in.
- Medical terminology. Your MTI training will cover this, but you need to keep up to date to be able to converse with patients, providers and insurance companies.
- Problem solving. Sometimes there will be discrepancies or inconsistencies, and knowing how to go about solving the problem is necessary.
- Being comfortable with teamwork. Since you will interact with other medical staff members, you should enjoy working as part of a team.
MTI College’s Medical Billing and Coding Training Program gives you the background you need to enter the exciting, busy world of healthcare. Contact MTI College Sacramento today to jump-start your medical billing career.