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  • A Day in the Life of a Medical Billing Coder*

    Medical coders have the ability to work in the health care field without being responsible for a patient's physical care. After a patient receives treatment at a doctor's office or hospital, medical billing coders are responsible for billing the patient's insurance company. Each treatment and diagnosis is assigned a unique code, which the medical billing coder enters into a special software system. These codes tell insurance companies exactly what the reimbursement for each treatment should be, allowing the billing and payment process to run quickly and efficiently.

    What Does a Medical Billing Coder Career Entail?
    On a typical day, work as a medical billing coder may include any of the following tasks:

    • Code patients' medical information for reimbursement
    • Ensure insurance companies are being billed properly
    • Troubleshoot with insurance companies
    • Use classification systems software to assign codes
    • Communicate with doctors' offices, clinics, and hospitals

    Medical billing coders typically work forty hours per week in an office environment. Much of their time is spent in front of a computer, entering codes and processing billing information. They should possess good communication skills in order to communicate effectively with insurance companies and other health care organizations.

    Getting There: A Medical Billing Coder Diploma
    A medical coding school may include instruction in medical billing systems, fundamentals of anatomy and physiology, HIPAA regulations, and medical terminology. Some of these programs may take less than a year to complete. Medical billing coders may become credentialed by one of the three medical coding credentialing organizations.

    (1)Adapted from www.bls.gov/oco/ocos103.htm