If you’re looking for a career in healthcare that you can start in less than two years, medical billing or medical coding might be right for you. You will have the opportunity to work alongside doctors and patients to facilitate patient care. While there are several similarities between the two careers, there are many differences. Take the quiz to see which is right for you!
Medical billing vs. medical coding: What’s the difference?
Medical billing and medical coding can sometimes be mistaken for each other since the two professions work closely with one another. In small healthcare organizations, both medical billing and coding might be handled by one person. Additionally, in some job postings, medical billers and coders will be labeled together, so be sure to read the job postings carefully before applying.
Medical billers accurately submit claims to insurance companies for reimbursement and collect payment for the services provided. They’re responsible for following up on claims to make sure that providers get paid. Medical billers must be comfortable using computer software to update spreadsheets and run collection reports.
Medical coders create and maintain electronic health records that follow guidelines for protecting patient privacy. They read and analyze patient charts to determine a diagnosis and must assign the correct procedure codes according to the national classification system. While there is a lot of analysis in this position, there is also a lot of data entry required.
Ultimately, medical coders provide medical information that medical billers need to process insurance claims.
Is medical billing and medical coding a stable career?
Healthcare is a growing industry that has a projected 15% growth from 2018 through 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth is expected to add as many as 2.4 million new jobs.
Billing and posting clerks for medical offices, such as medical billers, make an average annual salary of $38,530 according to the BLS. The BLS also predicts an 9% employment increase for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, like medical coders, between 2020-2030. Medical records technician was ranked #18 in Best Healthcare Support Jobs by the U.S. News and World Report in 2021. As the demand for healthcare workers increases, so will the demand for medical billers and medical coders.
What are the qualifications to become a medical biller or coder?
Medical billing and medical coding are essential to the basic operations of a medical facility and degrees in both careers can be completed in under two years.
At Herzing University, you can complete your diploma in medical billing in as little as eight months after the completion of 28 credits. You can also complete your associate degree in medical billing in as few as 20 months. Both programs prepare you to take the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) exam. After you pass the exam you have a foundation for an entry-level position in medical billing and insurance.
You can complete your diploma in medical coding in as few as 12 months or your associate degree in medical coding in as few as 20 months. After completing one of these programs, you will be eligible to take the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam.
Both diploma and associate degree programs in medical billing or medical coding prepare you for your future career. Herzing’s coursework for billing and coding pathways is 100% online, allowing you to reach your career goals at your own pace.
In order to choose the right program, conduct some research into where you may like to work to see what program employers might prefer. Internships/externships can be a great way to jumpstart your career since it demonstrates experience and shows potential employers that you’re passionate about your career.
Is medical billing and medical coding hard?
One of the biggest challenges for medical billers and medical coders is learning medical codes. Coders must become familiar with various medical codes to correctly enter them into computer systems to process a patient diagnosis. Medical billers must also be able to correctly interpret this code to process insurance claims. There are three different types of medical codes that you need to be familiar with depending on where you work.
While you will end up memorizing many codes, you don’t have to process everything by memory! There are software and medical reference codes to help you along the way.
Learn more about our medical billing and coding program options to kick-start your healthcare career today!