When you think of what medical billers do, the answer seems pretty clear—medical billing. But, medical billing is actually a more diverse field than you might think. It is a type of medical records and health information technology management, and getting a diploma or certificate in medical billing can provide you with the basic skills you need to pursue not only a career as a medical billing clerk, but several other career tracks as well. Here are some of the top jobs you will be prepared for after graduating from medical billing school.
The bulk of a medical biller’s job involves talking with patients and managing patient health records to ensure the billing process goes smoothly. Medical billers act as liaisons between health care providers and insurance companies. They are responsible for filling out the insurance forms to make sure that health care providers get paid and that patients get reimbursed. This often requires them to talk directly with insurance companies about patient care, which is why they need to be well versed in medical terminology. In small offices, the medical biller may also be the medical coder, but in larger ones these two jobs are separate.
Medical coders use software to assign codes to patient diagnoses and treatments. These codes are used on the billing statements and insurance forms. It may seem like a pretty straightforward job, but there are thousands of codes and even though the software does some of the heavy lifting, medical coders are responsible for understanding what all of the codes mean. They often work closely with medical billers and in many cases they are the same person.
Medical records and health information technicians
Both medical billers and medical coders are considered subtypes of medical records and health information technicians, but many technicians have expanded job descriptions. These employees are responsible for documenting and updating patient information; entering, organizing, and maintaining clinical databases; tracking patient treatments and outcomes; assigning clinical codes for reimbursement by insurance companies; and generally keeping track of electronic health records. Although it is not required, many medical records and health information technicians have associate’s degrees.
Cancer registrar is another special category of medical records and health information technician. These employees work specifically with cancer patient records and reports, entering codes, maintaining databases, tracking patients, and compiling information for both health care and research purposes. Many states require cancer registrars to be certified.
In this post, we’ve looked at some of the most common jobs for graduates of medical billing programs. In the next article, we’ll explore some less well known options as well as some jobs for medical billers who choose to pursue further education.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook.