Five Tips for Becoming a Medical Billing Specialist

I was around nineteen when I decided I wanted to go to medical billing school. Of course that desire was induced by the fact that I had on child and another on the way and I learned that medical billing was a trade that was quick and easy to learn. I was right, there is money to be made in that profession, but there is more to it than what they offer in school.

Do you need to understand medical terminology to be a medical biller?

I learned about medical terminology which, to this day, I still appreciate. It isn’t necessary to learn medical terminology just to be a medical biller however, learning to be a coder is where those medical terms come in handy. I was a medical biller for five years and I have learned a few things about this profession that are not taught in school.

Will you learn about CPR in medical billing school?

In school we learned CPR and medical terms, we also learned how to take a pulse. Why? I’m not really certain, but I do appreciate the knowledge. One of the biggest things that I learned was a priority with medical billing was typing. I started out not knowing how to type more than twenty words per minute and by the time I was done with school I was typing about thirty five words per minute. There are typing tests and ways to practice typing online; I also learned how to type quickly by using MySpace and Facebook (believe it or not).

Do I deal with the public and with insurance companies when I become a medical billing specialist?

People skills are an important part of the job. I thought all along that with medical billing I wasn’t going to be dealing with the public. This isn’t the furthest thing from the truth but it is significantly far from the truth in the sense that you are still dealing with patients who can’t pay their bill or who don’t feel it is fair to pay the amount they’re paying. When they call and wonder why they owe the amount that they owe, you can’t simply tell them to contact their insurance company, you have to explain to them why their insurance company doesn’t cover this or that. They can contact their insurance company but it is likely that the argument won’t favor them and that they will call you (the medical billing specialist) to try and get something taken care of that will work in their favor.

Is it difficult to deal with patients as a medical billing specialist?

You will get attached to patients in this profession. You may not think so because you are not dealing with them directly, but you will be involved. Reading and dealing with the paperwork that is contained in their medical records will get to you, especially if certain important aspects of their care isn’t covered and they’re having difficulty paying for it. Take it from me, you will get attached to patients, and the best thing you can do is to establish a relationship with them so they feel like they are being cared for on a whole other level that money can’t even provide.

Preventing duplicate medical records

Duplicate medical records have been a problem from day one but they lead to even larger problems that last longer when a duplicate record is produced. Medical billing specialists don’t often produce medical records but it depends on who they are working for. If the person you are working for wants you to produce medical records, it’s easy to create duplicates. Perhaps you aren’t familiar with patient or their condition. It would be easy to assume that they are a new patient. Maybe they don’t remember visiting your clinic in the past. Medical records are kept for up to seven years and if they have visited your clinic in the last seven years and don’t remember, it is now up to you to decide whether or not they have ever been there and provide information in an effort to give them the appropriate care.

How much does a medical billing specialist make?

The pay isn’t that great. You may spend up to ten thousand dollars to become a medical billing specialist when all it really takes is to know a doctor or somebody already in the business to guide you. I spent about ten thousand dollars to become a medical billing specialist and I know at least eight people who are now in the profession who didn’t even need any schooling. They just knew somebody or new a physician who needed one and gave them a crash course. I would highly recommend going that route. Typing is important, medical laws are important, and understanding the different insurance companies is important, but I would say spending more than six weeks learning about medical billing is just a scam. Understand that this is just my opinion, it’s not legitimately a scam, but it is not necessary to spend almost a year and ten thousand dollars learning those things for twenty three to twenty seven thousand a year.

Understanding ethics and morals is an important aspect of this profession, read about it here:

Ways to avoid duplicate medical records:

Switching from paper to electronic medical records:

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