Medical coders are the link between many of the different aspects of medicine and insurance; this means that they must have a deep understanding of medical terminology so that they are able to properly input codes.
Meanwhile medical billers have a similar job but instead of coding medical information they code invoices and send payment requests to customers so that the entire office can continue to run smoothly.
How do I become one?
The path to becoming a medical biller or coder is a long one and in this article I hope to show you all the steps that you will have to take to earn your online medical coding certification.
The first step is to choose what kind of diploma that you would like to earn in the field. The basic medical coding diploma will be 39 semester credits at UMA and will take you a reasonably 11 months depending on your dedication.
Then there is the associate degree in medical billing and coding which will greatly expand upon already understood topics and will give you some more basic information. Trying to get this degree will take a little bit longer with 63 semester credits, but is completable in around 18 months if you stay dedicated.
The second step that you will need to take is obviously studies and having an enormous understanding of the field. This will include but is not limited to:
- Having a complex understanding of medical terminology
- Understanding the in and outs of anatomy and physiology
- Being well versed in the intricacies of medical coding
- Able to be compliant to medicare and private insurance claim processing guidelines
- Able to handle denials and appeals
- Always making sure to avoid accusations of fraud or abuse
The way that you choose to learn these skills is completely up to you since you could learn them from a textbook, a classroom, or in various online courses. The length of most preparatory classes will be in the range of three to six weeks, but you can find shorter or longer ones as well.
With those courses completed you will want to complete the CPC certification exam which is not required but some jobs may require it and all will see you as a more likely candidate if you have it.
Finding a job now
Make sure when you are looking for jobs that you read the description of each job so that you know exactly what they are asking for; This will help you to find the perfect job for you and the credentials that you have.
Then once you have the exact type of job you want in mind you can start looking on quite a few different job search sites. You can use Indeed, Monster, and if you want to go the career networking route then use Linkedin. These sites will allow you to find all the jobs in your area with minimal effort on your part.
When applying to these jobs make sure to use all the referrals and recommendations that you have at your disposal so that the company you are applying to knows how trained and knowledgeable you are in the field.
Now you have the job
Now that you have the online medical coding certification and a job in the field the only thing that you have to make sure to do is keep all of your certifications up to date and stay along the curve in your profession.