How To Get Medical Billing And Coding Certification
Medical billers and coders are the backbone of the medical industry. This field is always growing and looking for motivated individuals with outstanding attention to detail. If you want to work in the healthcare field, here is how to get medical billing and coding certification.
If you’ve thought about working in the healthcare field but worry about dealing with emergencies, blood, and some of the other unpleasant effects, there is another way to get started in this industry. Imagine working and helping hospitals and doctors clinics ensure their billing is correct and patients aren’t getting overcharged for services.
Medical billing and coding certification is a growing field that constantly needs help. Some people have the chance to work from home, with daytime hours that meet their needs.
If you want to learn more about how to get started, dive right in, and see what you need to become a qualified medical cover and biller.
Get Your Education Started on the Right Foot
In order to learn medical billing, it’s important you select a college or university that has a quality program in place. Medical billing and coding are offered at many institutions, giving you options when it comes to learning.
You can select a nearby college that is local, or you can find out about distance learning programs that offer coding and billing for the medical field. Make sure to look at the program and consider factors such as:
- How long the program is
- What courses it covers
- Cost of attendance
- If it prepares you for a certification exam
- If it helps you with finding that first job
It’s sometimes helpful to compare and contrast different programs to find out if one is more comprehensive than another. Whatever the case, it’s useful to feel out and request information on various programs so you know what to expect.
Remember that education is only half the journey. Getting practical experience is another component you’ll need to be successful and truly feel confident when putting your skills to use.
Understand You’ll Need Some Experience
Practical experience is a requirement for getting hired by many hospitals and clinics that need medical coders and billers. Getting your foot in the door is sometimes hard.
Many companies want an experienced person regardless of how much education you have. For that reason, it’s important to choose your school carefully and look for one that helps with employment placement.
Some schools offer internships. Others work with students to help them get placed at their very first job, thereby giving you the experience you’ll need to get your foot in the door.
Consider taking advantage of your school’s resume service. Even if you’ve never held a coding and billing job before, they can work with what education and experience you do have, and help you turn it into something eye-catching to potential employers.
Although you’ll normally have the option of working at home later on, usually in the first few years, it helps to have hands-on experience. That way you’ll have someone to help you answer questions and learn from your mistakes, and can feel fully prepared once you’re ready to work at home on your own.
Find the Right Certifying Body for Medical Biller Coder Certification
Once you’ve gotten your education, the degree alone won’t cut it. If you’re serious about medical coding and billing, you’ll want to get certified.
This shows companies and employers you take your job seriously and have gotten fully trained in billing matters related to the medical field. It makes it easier to get a job whenever you decide to move on to a new company.
The two prominent bodies that you can choose to get certified through are the American Academy of Procedural Coders and the American Health Information Management Association. Both have different requirements regarding how long you must work in the field before taking the exam.
Think carefully about which body you’re going through, so you can prepare properly. It helps to review the different certifying bodies based on what your career goals are and what type of work you’re able to find where you live.
Take the Exam
Whichever certifying body you’ve gone with to learn how to become a medical biller, you’ll need to study and get ready to take the test. Although this sounds intimidating, if you give yourself plenty of time to prep, you’ll maximize your chances of success.
You’ll need to understand different medical codes and how they apply to various situations. Both certifying bodies offer multiple choice exams, but there are some instances where you’ll get asked about which codes to apply based on situations.
Tak advantage of a study guide based on the exam you’re taking. Going over the relevant material is helpful, and gives you confidence when you go in for test day.
Make Sure to Get Continuing Education
Many fields today require continuing education. This ensures that you’re aware of changes to your particular field, and know how to implement them as you come across them in practical situations.
Continuing education comes in various forms that go beyond taking classes from your certifying body. Many coders and billers have the option to take classes from Medicare and have this count as a CEU.
Others can become members of the certifying body and look for opportunities to take a quiz. Often these quizzes give a certain number of CEUs, making it easy to stay on top of education requirements.
For those who have time, in-person (and sometimes even virtual) seminars offer another way to get credits for staying up-to-date on changes within the field. Coupled together with different opportunities, this can complete your CEUs in a short time every year.
Learning medical billing and coding certification offers a career opportunity in a growing sector. Unlike in a traditional medical setting, you’re likely to have normal hours while doing behind the scenes work that is crucial to both doctors and patients.
If you’re curious about medical coding and would like to learn more, check out our blog on what it’s like to work as a coder and biller. This offers valuable insight and helps you determine if this is the career for you.
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Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar brings buyers and sellers together by producing reviews and creating non biased webpages allowing users to share their experiences on various products and services. He and his staff write informative articles related to the medical field, legal, and other small business industries.