The field of medical billing is one where a person works in a medical field but does not work directly with patients. In fact, it is one that is more to do with correctly encoding data that is understandable throughout the health industry. If you are interested in the career as a medical billing & coding program, there are a number of things you can do.
To start off, you should at least have a high school diploma, preferably having taken science, health and math classes in high school. Although most companies prefer hiring degree holders, some do take in candidates with high school diploma and teach them about their duties and responsibilities throughout the job training. However, as said, degree holders are much more preferred because they would have been properly equipped with the knowledge to properly code billing information, as well as carry the understanding of the medical field, which can be much more cost-saving to the institution. Hence, one should look for accredited programs on medical billing and coding, which can be an associate or bachelor’s degree. Throughout the program, a person will learn a wide array of related subjects, including general education, anatomy, physiology, statistics, medical data coding, computer science, and medical law. In the meantime, taking part time jobs or internships with medical centers can be advantageous since most employers prefer candidates that have had some working experience in the field as well.
To become certified as a Medical Billing Expert, one can obtain the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification, which is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). However, in order to attain this certification, one will need to have completed two years of degree from an accredited program and pass the AHIMA exam. You can check out the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) website to find out which programs are accredited. If you were trained on the job, or had attended an unaccredited program, you will not be allowed to take the exam to get the credentials.
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Apart from that, if one has had their general training and have gathered enough experience, they can choose to specialize in specific medical fields, for example, nephrology, chemotherapy, radiology, cardiology, or vision care. With specialization, specialists have higher pay, plus have better advancement opportunities. On the other hand, a medical billing specialist can work directly from home since most of the work can be completed on the computer without the need to actually see patients in person.