How to Do Medical Billing (And How to Let Someone Else Do It)
Without the help of a medical biller, healthcare professionals are at risk of falling behind in billing their patients for office visits. Falling behind in billing your patients can mean a loss in total revenue. For this reason, medical billing is an integral part of every medical office.
When a doctor’s office bills a patient for an office visit, the medical biller has to submit a claim through an insurance company to receive payments for the services rendered. Medical billing doesn’t just include data entry – it takes customer service skills, attention to detail, and expertise in health insurance.
Many doctors don’t have time to take care of medical billing. That’s why every medical office should hire a medical billing company. Medical billing companies are the backbone of every doctor’s office. Medical billers and coders are there to help you get the most revenue you can out of your healthcare practice.
What Does A Medical Biller and Coder Do?
The most commonly asked question is: what exactly does a medical biller and coder do? Does a medical biller and coder do different tasks than just a medical biller?
In a nutshell, a medical biller does the hard work of dealing with insurance claims. It’s more than likely the average healthcare professional doesn’t have time to deal with calling insurance companies and checking on the status of a claim. Medical Billers are also the ones who follow up with patients that have past due balances on their accounts.
A medical coder uses a coding textbook to code for the type of office visit that occurred. A skilled coder will be able to code quickly with minimal to zero errors. Most reputable medical billing companies will offer both medical billing and coding services.
Medical billers and coders can specifically deal with the ins and outs of healthcare insurance. They have extensive knowledge about insurance that healthcare professionals don’t have the time to learn.
Why Should I Hire A Medical Biller and Coder?
After dealing with patients all day (and sometimes all night), no healthcare professional wants to sit down at a computer and do a ton of billing work.
To put it simply, when you bring in a medical biller and coder, you’re taking the first step to maximizing your profits as a medical business owner. Not only do billers and coders help you with receiving payments from insurance companies and patients, but they can also give you aging reports to assess how your business is doing financially.
Medical billing and coders are usually the ones who perform a follow-up call when a patient has an overdue balance on their account. Basically, they deal with everything and anything to do with medical office finances. If anything is not right with your finances, a medical biller and coder will catch it.
What Qualities Does A Good Medical Biller and Coder Have?
A quality, professional medical biller and coder will have either a certification, a degree, or a combination of the two. There are multiple kinds of medical billing and coding certifications that a potential employee can have – which ones you’ll prefer depends on what skills you are looking for.
Hiring the right medical biller and coder for your company means hiring someone who has the required education and background to fill the role.
Common Medical Billing & Coding Certifications
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
- Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
- Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)
- Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
Checklist for a Good Biller/Coder
- Has a professional degree or certification
- Has relevant experience
- Has references to call upon
- Knows how to use medical practice management software
- Knows all the billing and coding lingo
- Knows how to use the required books (especially if coding)
- Can promptly communicate any issues to the healthcare provider
The Takeaway: Medical Billers Make Office Life Easier
Daily office life should be easy, organized, and as simple as possible for every healthcare employee involved. Work itself is already hard enough so don’t make it harder on yourself as a provider by billing your patients on your own.
It’s not uncommon for healthcare providers to breathe a sigh of relief after deciding to finally hire a medical biller and coder. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers don’t consider hiring a professional biller and coder until they are extremely behind in their billing.
By contacting a professional medical billing service, there’s no need to continue stressing about how to manage the billing and coding part of every medical office. Medical billers and coders are a profession in high demand and with very good reason.