The demand for healthcare is growing rapidly, along with the need for health professionals at every corner of the field. From nurses to physicians, radiologists to medical coders, employment of these professionals is booming across the board. At the same time, we know that these can be complex careers, with their own demands. Healthcare professionals must help care for complicated human conditions and administer advanced treatments. Even those who do not work with patients directly – such as medical billers and coders – have pressures and stressors on the job.
Right now you may be wondering, “Is medical billing and coding hard?” You may desire an impactful career on the administrative side of the healthcare field, and medical coding fits the bill perfectly. Yet at the same time, you may be intimidated by what the job entails. This is normal. After all, medical billers and coders work with data every day.
What Do Medical Billers and Coders Do?
Medical coders are responsible for collecting data from patient records, and translating it into a universal, alphanumeric code that will be used by other medical professionals and systems. Medical billers then use these codes to create insurance claims, and ensure providers get reimbursed for their healthcare services. You can learn more about the field here.
Due to the nature of their work, these professionals require skills in detail orientation, data organization, memorization, and communication—and this can sound like a long list for those just starting out. But is medical billing and coding actually hard? It doesn’t have to be, if you prepare ahead of time.
Is it Hard to Become a Medical Biller or Coder?
Medical billing and coding can be hard at times, but it is by no means impossible.
Like many healthcare careers, becoming a medical biller and coder will take education and training. In other words, it will take hard work. You cannot become a great medical coder or biller overnight. This is because, to be successful, you must be well-versed in the industry’s codes and classification systems. You must know how to work with the professional software used to code records and bill patients.
However, if you love learning, the tactics of medical billing and coding may come easily to you. You may find that with the proper training and experience, you will become an expert in the field in just a matter of months. At Goodwin University, the medical billing and coding certificate program helps students get trained, certified, and working in the field in under 18 months—faster than any other programs. Upon completion of the program, you will leave well-versed in:
- Processing medical insurance claims
- Analyzing medical reports and patient data
- Accurate coding of medical procedures and diagnoses, including knowledge of CPT-4, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS
- Recording co-payments, deductibles, co-insurance, and risk withholds
- HIPAA regulations
- Effective communication with the greater healthcare team
Goodwin’s program is taught by industry experts who will help you learn the ropes. Like many medical billers and coders, they love what they do! While medical billing and coding may come with its challenges, there is great job satisfaction within the field. According to U.S. News, medical records technicians (such as billers and coders) rank #7 in the top 30 healthcare support jobs. They report a strong work-life balance, with above-average flexibility. Many medical billers and coders can work remotely, making their day-to-day more accommodating. Stress level of medical billers and coders, which is based on the complexities of the job, was also rated below average in the same survey.
Don’t Be Afraid of Medical Billing and Coding
While it’s true that this career path involves and data crunching and classification, do not be intimidated. As an entry-level medical biller and coder, you will never get thrown in the deep-end. The training program you choose will ensure you have the skills and know-how needed to launch a career in the field. And even as you enter the job, you can still rest assured that:
- You can always use your codebook. There are thousands of medical codes, and it takes time to know them all! If you have a question, your codebook can be your best guide.
- Medical billing and coding technology is user-friendly. The software used in today’s industry is designed to be intuitive, so that you can fulfill this important job. If you have basic computer skills and dedicated training on the specific software you’re using, you will fare well.
- You will be prepared if you have completed a training program. Medical billing and coding programs, like the one at Goodwin, are designed to prepare you for a successful career. They will teach you the basics of health science, as well as the technical skills needed to interpret health records, transcribe code, and bill patients. A college-level program will also give you hands-on practice in working with different technologies, so you can carry that experience to your first day on the job.
Medical Billing and Coding is Rewarding
If you have a passion for helping people, and a knack for detail and data, a career in medical billing and coding may be the path for you. This is an extremely rewarding profession that allows you to make a difference in the greater healthcare field. Without medical billers and coders, patient information would not be processed the same, and healthcare providers would not get compensated for the work they do!
A medical billing and coding career can also mean a journey of learning and growth. The more you gain experience in the field, and the more challenges you encounter in the work, the better you will become in your role. The more you understand what issues might come your way, and what each individual code means, the more armed you will be to tackle the days ahead. Medical coders and billers have the mobility to grow within the field, and become health information managers, hospital coding managers, medical and health services managers, and more, as they build upon their knowledge and experience.
Are Medical Billing and Coding Classes Hard to Complete?
We mentioned that medical billers and coders benefit from a great work-life balance, but how about medical billing and coding school? Is it hard to balance these college classes, while maintaining a job or caring for a family? Is it impossible?
The answer is no. There are flexible medical and billing programs out there, ready to help you take the next step in your career. Goodwin’s medical billing and coding program is offered on days and evenings, so that you can find classes on your schedule. Courses are also available on-campus and online, so that you can choose the format that works best for you.
If you are interested in medical billing and coding, and ready for that next step, please do not hesitate to contact Goodwin University. You may call 800-889-3282 to learn about our program, or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.