Looking ahead to the 2020 presidential elections, candidates are strongly focusing on healthcare issues. Quite a few ideas are on the table; they range from universal healthcare to single-payer plans and from “Medicare-for-All” to Affordable Care Act enhancements. Whatever the future holds for healthcare in the future, there is one technical aspect that will not change: medical coding and billing will continue to be the cornerstones of this important economic sector. Even under the universal healthcare model, the American medical industry will still depend on a revenue cycle, and this is what billing and coding ensure.
South Florida residents looking for a new career that is both viable and in-demand should consider medical coding and billing. This is a career field that can lead to essential work positions within large healthcare facilities, clinics, doctor’s offices, insurance companies, and even from home. such as a hospital or a doctor’s office. Several schools offer this program, which means that students can choose between certificates, diplomas, associate’s, or bachelor’s degrees before they enter the workforce. The most enterprising and ambitious students may even pursue a Master’s in Business Administration graduate program.
Here are a few academic and professional aspects to consider when choosing a medical billing and coding school in Florida.
Billing and Insurance Coding as a Career
Sometimes referred to as Health Information Technology, this career consists of billing and insurance coding within a medical office environment. Even though coding and billing are separate tasks, they are usually performed by the same person, and they require a familiarity with various protocols such as the precise medical codes that correspond with the vast quantity of treatments for illness and disease.
The Importance of Medical Billing
This essential element in the business of medical care ensures payment for treatments received by patients from healthcare professionals. An assigned code is given by the patient’s insurance company, which is a requirement for processing the claim, whereby the service provider is then notified of acceptance or denial. This type of insurance coding ensures that the patient’s medical procedure or visit is accurately submitted to the insurer, complete with the correct insurance code for processing.
Familiarity With Codes, Insurance Plans, Regulations, and Guidelines
Through the use of codes, insurance companies can control and organize both investigations and payments. Medical coders must be familiar with these codes, as well as the various types of insurance plans. Additionally, they must be up-to-date with regulations, compliance, and the three resource books associated with coding: CPT®, HCPS Level II, and ICD-9-CM International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification, along with their respective guidelines and other exigencies that apply.
Understanding the Medical Billing Protocols
As a medical billing specialist, you are required to transcribe the doctor’s notes as well as accurately make notations of-of lab tests results, imaging studies, and other protocols to verify accomplished work so that the appropriate claim can be processed. Collecting and collating this relevant information for payment is the precursor to creating a bill for services, which is then forwarded to the correct person or organization. A medical billing specialist will also be responsible for maintaining records, handling any necessary follow-ups, and inputting all information relating to the patient in a database.
Understanding the Medical Coding Protocols
A coding specialist is responsible for assigning a particular code based on the specific classification system used by insurance carriers. Once the claim form is completed and submitted to the insurer, it is then reviewed by a processor for approval, denial or revision. If it is approved, the insurance company will then reimburse the healthcare provider. If it is denied, the billing entity will need to determine the reason and then notify the healthcare practitioner before creating a proper invoice for the patient.
Carrying Out Detailed Tasks
Medical coding and billing professional may also be responsible for the collection of unpaid bills as well as working with insurance companies to investigate possible fraud if there are questions about the validity of claims. In essence, this career requires a great deal of knowledge plus the ability to carry out detailed tasks vital to billing and collection.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment prospects for Medical Coders and Billers are enjoying a growth rate of approximately 13 percent, which is believed to maintain this rate from now through the election year in 2020. Keep in mind that certain healthcare reform scenarios could increase the demand for professionals in this field. There is also the factor of a burgeoning aging population, increased demand for healthcare services, and a greater proliferation of medical testing leading to earlier detection and treatment of illness and disease. For more information about medical billing and coding employment prospects, contact a Florida National University admissions counselor. FNU offers online education plus classroom instruction at two Miami campus locations; this is a private university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges, and it also offers financial assistance plus scholarships to qualified students.
Knowledge Via Accredited Training Programs
Healthcare organizations are recognizing that there is a need for a larger amount of skilled professionals in the medical coding and billing field. With this need in mind, formal training at an accredited institution is becoming more important than ever. According to the American Academy of Professional Coders, the required skill sets for this career should be obtained through programs offered by accredited institutions.
Your Competitive Advantage
Employers prefer to hire individuals with formal training, especially because a deep knowledge of medical terms and insurance codes is required and takes time to learn; for this reason, choosing an accredited institution in which to study is imperative. By obtaining your diploma in Medical Coding and Billing, you will have a much better competitive advantage for employment over applicants who only have a high school diploma or GED.
Florida National University Degrees and Certificate Programs
At FNU, you can earn a diploma in the Medical Coding and Billing Specialist career education program. Upon successful completion of this program, you can graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in this in-demand field. Medical insurance coding and billing is also part of the core requirements of the Health Services Administration programs, which you can pursue at the associate’s, bachelor’s and master degree levels.
What to Look For
Many coding and billing schools in Florida offer the appropriate coursework for concluding an in-depth education. It is important that you look for the following studies if you intend to fulfill all of the requirements when it comes to the knowledge you need as a professional:
- Medical terminology
- Clinical Pharmacology
- CPT coding classification systems and software
- Medical office management
- Insurance claim processing
Additionally, in-the-field practical experience working in a hospital or in a doctor’s office setting is advantageous.
Fully Accredited Programs
FNU programs are designed to give you the educational tools you need for a fulfilling career in medical billing and coding. As a regionally accredited university, FNU can grant the diplomas and degrees you can use to bolster your potential of landing a job in this stable career field.
For more information on our medical billing and coding program, please contact us today. FNU is proud to offer flexible schedules, financial assistance, scholarship opportunities, and job placement counseling to the South Florida community. Students who need to balance workplace and family obligations will find FNU very accommodating.
Contact Us Today
For more information on our Medical Billing and Coding program, please contact us today!
“Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical Records and Health Information
Technicians.” United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 07 Aug 2012. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm>.
“What is Medical Coding?.” AAPC. American Academy of Professional Coders, n.d.
Web. 15 May 2013. <http://www.aapc.com/medical-coding/medical-coding.asp&xgt;.