Medical billers submit patient claim forms to health insurance companies for the purpose of obtaining payment for services rendered by a physician and/or medical facility. Specialized software is needed to input necessary patient information so that an accurately completed bill is generated and sent to the patient's insurance agency.
Medical billing is not the same as medical coding. Instead of replacing all information provided by a physician with specific numerical codes, medical billers interpret two numbered codes that represent the level of service provided by the doctor as well as the final diagnosis. They then use these codes to check whether the patient's insurance covers this service before entering information in a software program and submitting the claim.
Responsibilities of Medical Billers
Coursework Requirements for Obtaining a Certification in Medical Billing
- Working with health insurance agencies to ensure patient account obligations have been satisfied
- Reviewing rejected claims and resubmitting revised claims per instructions by the insurance company for acceptance
- Negotiating disputed claim payments until a resolution is reached and the claim is paid
- Posting, processing and collecting accounts receivables involving patient accounts
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Medical Billing Degree?
- Principles of coding applicable to medical billing
- Medical terminology and procedures
- Human diseases/anatomy
- Basics of biomedical science
- HIPAA privacy laws and regulations concerning release of patient information
- College algebra
- Interpretation of health insurance plans/Medicaid/Medicare
- Operating computer software and electronic data interchanges
Students can complete a medical billing degree program at an accredited school in less than one year, with some schools offering accelerating certification programs that conclude within six months. Those deciding to pursue a medical billing career should be detail-oriented, conscientious, organized and capable of multitasking without compromising quality of work.
Additionally, medical billing is just one of hundreds of health-related careers expected to remain robust over the next decade as a burgeoning aging population seeks medical assistance for age-related concerns.
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