In the market on online training programs, a recent trend saw a spike in the demand for medical billing and coding online courses. People who seek this kind of education are doing so in the hopes of subsequently finding a job in the field afterwards. Everyone knows the medical industry is both a profitable and rewarding line of work, and attaining a job in a medical billing office can help you enter the field without actually going through the ordeal of med school, or dealing with the demands of the job (which, as we all know, isn’t really for everyone). It could be said that a job as a medical biller or coder is among the hottest job entries in the market right now. Put in this perspective, the popularity of online training program who promise certifications just for this line of work is suddenly understandable. But in case you’re tempted to look for a course yourself, here a few things you should know in advance.
According to its official definition, medical billing is the process of submitting and following up claims with health insurance companies. The same process is followed through with all companies, whether private or government sponsored, so for all health care services provided, there will quite a number or bills emitted, so there really is a great need for medical billers. Do note that medical coding and medical billing are not one and the same, though usually there’s a singular person who performs both services. While medical billing means, just as the name implies, sending the bill to the insurance company, medical coding means abstracting the information from the doctor’s documentation, detailing and resuming at the same time the relevant information about the services bestowed upon the client. The information about the procedures underwent must then be coded accordingly, so it’s then easier for the biller to emit the bill and pass it forward to the accountable party.
According to the law, almost anyone can be a medical biller, but the ones who get certified are preferred. The usual certifications are CMRS exam, the RHIA exam and others. Among the possibilities to get certified, a good share is occupied by medical billing and coding online courses. Although you are able to get certified through an online training program, not all of them are one hundred percent legitimate.
In order to avoid wasting the time (and sometimes money) required by one of these programs, take some precautions before enrolling. First of all, when you spot an online course you would fancy enrolling in, don’t actually apply until you’ve made some background checks. If the course isn’t offered by a well-established university or college, make a couple of phone calls and check if the course is indeed recognized and accredited by the state. Even a quick internet search by the name of the site and the word “scam” should take you to forums warning you if something’s amiss, if indeed there is anything amiss about it.
If one of the medical billing and coding online courses which you’ve set your eyes upon passes the test, then enroll in it, provided the sum required isn’t way bigger than the general standard. Another good thing to take into account is the opinion of any friends or acquaintances you may have in the field. If you have any, ask them if they’d recommend a particular course and why. Again, the internet forums can be a good source of feedback for certain online training programs, at least accurately enough to let you know if something is not quite great about them. After you decide you’ve done enough screening for potential issues, all that remains is to actually enroll, study on time (and not allow lessons to accumulate beyond management possibilities by procrastinating) and all should be well. If you want to take your new career even more seriously, you can consider enrolling even further in one of the specialty courses designed for more experienced coders. After graduating from one of those, your career as a medical coder and biller should take flight even within established institutions like hospitals and such.
After graduating from one of the basic medical billing and coding courses (also known as getting certified), you can pat yourself on the back and go search for a new job in the field. You can perform the medical billing and coding services independently, as a freelancer, or you can search for regular jobs as well. You can find a job database for it here for example, but there are other places to look for one of these jobs around the web, especially since they trend so high lately. The most important step of the process – taking the decision to get certified – was already completed anyway, so you’re almost there. Congrats and good luck.