Is a career as a medical biller or coder, also called a medical records specialist for you? If you’re looking for fulfilling, stable employment, the answer might be yes. A career in healthcare is usually a steady one, with lots of room for growth and advancement.
Medical billers work in various settings, including hospitals and doctor’s offices. Some also work for government agencies. Before you enroll in a training program to become a medical records specialist, take a look behind the scenes to see what a typical day on the job is like for a coding and billing specialist.
Medical Biller and Coder Job Responsibilities
Medical billers and coders act as the intermediaries between healthcare providers and billing offices. Many work in offices, either from their homes, a physician’s practice, or at a hospital. Being computer literate is a must, as the job requires inputting data and working on a computer. Many medical coders use two monitors to streamline their workflow and increase productivity.
The primary responsibility of a medical coder and biller is to keep patient records up-to-date. They review patients’ charts and assign codes to various procedures and treatments physicians perform. As a medical biller/coder, you need to be familiar with medical terminology for health professions and the relevant Current Procedural Technology (CPT) codes for each treatment and diagnosis.
The codes a medical biller assigns to a patient’s chart determine how much the practice or hospital bills an insurance provider and how much the practice can be paid for the treatment. Accuracy and attention to detail are must-have skills for coders. If they mistype a code or miscategorize a procedure, insurance might refuse to pay or the practice can land in hot water.
Along with inputting the right codes, a medical biller and coder might be responsible for submitting bills to insurance companies or patients. Depending on the size of the practice, the role might be split into two. One person handles coding and the other billing.
Medical coders don’t have to memorize all of the CPT codes, as there are thousands of them. The codes also change periodically. What they do need is to know how to look up the appropriate codes and how to classify various procedures and treatments.
Medical Biller and Coder Work Environment and Hours
Medical billers and coders work in office settings, usually in front of a computer. The job might require you to sit at a desk for hours, so it’s important that your workstation be ergonomically designed. Taking regular breaks to stand up and walk around can help you stay focused and productive.
Most jobs are full-time, 40 hours a week, though you might be able to find a part-time position if needed. Depending on the setting, the typical workday might be nine to five. Since some healthcare environments, such as hospitals, are open 24 hours a day, there might be coding and billing jobs that take place during the night or overnight shifts.
Who you work with depends on the size of your employer. In a large practice or hospital, you might be part of a distinct medical billing and coding department. You’ll work directly with other billers and coders and your supervisors. In a smaller practice, you might be the only member of the medical billing and coding team. Your supervisor might be an office manager or a physician.
Medical Billing and Coding Salary in Florida
Florida is one of the top five states for medical records specialist employment.1 As of 2021, 15,370 people were employed in medical record specialist roles in the state. The average annual salary for billers and coders in Florida is $44,930, slightly higher than the national median annual salary of $44,090.2
How to Become a Medical Biller and Coder
While some practices might hire coders and billers without any training or experience, you’ll increase your chances of finding a job if you earn certification first.
Accredited medical billing and coding schools in Florida provide classroom instruction and hands-on training that prepare you to pass either the Certified Professional Coder or the Certified Coder Associate exam.
Orange Technical College offers a Medical Coder/Biller career certificate at our East Campus. The certificate program takes about 12 months full-time and prepares you for entry-level employment as a medical coder or biller. To learn more about the program and how to enroll, request information today.
Medical Records Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292072.htm
Medical Records and Health Information Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm