Medical billing and coding technicians are skilled in the complex system of medical invoicing for reimbursement and insurance
What is a Health Information Technician (HIT)?
A HIT is a health care specialist in charge of processing patient data such as treatment records and related insurance information. They are tasked with entering the medical coding data of patient’s diagnosis along with a request for payments from the patient’s insurance company.
Some additional duties might include:
- Oversee patient records and ensure bills are paid properly and on time.
- Work as liaisons that are in contact with the insurance company, billing office and health clinic.
- Ensure the quality of medical records by verifying their completeness, accuracy, and proper entry into computer systems.
- Responsible for smooth revenue cycles.
- Be productive and accurate.
First Get Your Basic Medical Coding Training
Where Should You Go and What Skills Should You Learn?
To start working in this industry, you need to receive proper medical coding training from an accredited school.
Peggy Johnson, Medical Program Supervisor at IntelliTec College, also recommends that a student in the Health Information Technician program “be computer savvy, have the ability to maintain flexibility in the workplace and possess exceptional customer service skills.”
Most training programs will provide you the education you need to work as a professional billing clerk or specialist. Students should complete coursework that includes medical coding principles, medical terminology, HIPAA privacy laws and regulatory management. Professionals must also be able to interpret insurance plans and calculate precise payments.
Most schools offer training in the following areas of Health Information Technology:
- Health insurance claim forms
- Health care documentation
- Medical billing and coding management
- Electronic medical records
- ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural code sets
- Various medical software
Then Make Yourself a More Valuable HIT by Specializing in a Certain Area of Medicine
Many medical coding technicians go on to become certified in a specific area of medical billing and coding. Johnson advocates that students, “start with the basics, for example begin working in a family practice facility and learn a wide range skills. This will broaden their knowledge base in order to further their interests and find out what special areas interest them.”
In fact, HITs may make themselves more valuable by specializing in certain areas of medicine. For example, some HITs become cancer registrars or optometry coding specialists. Hospitals frequently hire HITs, but there are also job opportunities in pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, public health agencies and private practice offices.
Medical coders might choose to specialize in physician-based or hospital-based billing and coding. Additionally, some become specialized in a specific field of medicine, such as gastroenterology or pediatrics. These medical billing and coding specialists have knowledge about the specific procedures of these medical specialties as it relates to medical billing and coding.
Job Outlook for Health Information and Medical Coding Technicians
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for medical record technicians will increase by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020. The BLS reported 186,300 HITs working in the United States in 2012, and 41,100 more will be needed in the coming decade. The aging population will drive this job market growth. This is because there will be a greater need for medical procedures that involve more claims for both public and private insurance. In addition, the growing demand for healthcare professionals equates to the need for more medical record technicians who will organize and manage the information supplied to them.
Some professionals choose the Medical Coding field for its organized, detail-oriented work. But for many, it is a challenging and rewarding field that does not necessarily require direct contact with patients. Since most training programs can be completed in less than a year, you can begin building your life through your new rewarding career.
IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs and Pueblo offers a Health Information Technology Associate of Occupational Studies Degree designed to be completed in 18 months. Receive hands-on, practical experience in Medical Coding as you earn your degree and prepare to sit for three professional certification exams. Then you can begin a career and specialize in an area just right for you.
Peggy Johnson, Medical Program Supervisor, IntelliTec College, 25 Nov. 2014
“Medical Billing and Coding.” Career Info, Schools, Training & Programs. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
“Hospital-Based Coding | College in Albany | Business Schools | Massage Schools | Nursing Schools | Online Schools – Mildred Elley.” Mildred Elley. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.