Top 4-week online course for medical coding and billing

The decision to choose a career in Medical coding and billing is a good way for you to get into the healthcare providers’ community and we have listed 4-week online course for medical coding and billing.

7 Helpful Tips For 3rd Year Medical...
7 Helpful Tips For 3rd Year Medical Students

The need for professionals who are trustworthy and competent to submit essential claims to insurance companies for payment cannot be overemphasized.

In this article, we will be looking at 6 as well as 4-week online course for medical coding and billing. These online courses are accelerated and they allow you to earn a certificate in medical billing and coding in 4 weeks.

Of course, there are other medical billing and coding courses that let you earn the same certificate for a longer time. 

The factors that matter in making this decision are your schedule, the amount of time you are willing to spend on the coursework, and how fast you want to enter into the work field.

Apart from the fact that students get to complete a program in medical billing and coding very quickly with an online program, they also get to save money when it comes to educational costs.

Before you decide to jump on this train and go start a career as a medical coder or biller, it is pertinent that you understand what you are getting yourself into. 

This means you have to know what is entailed in this career and if it is a good fit for you. Let us start by explaining what these terms mean.

You should know that medical billing and coding are two closely related terms. They translate a patient’s encounter into languages that healthcare facilities would use for the submission and reimbursement of claims.

They are separate processes that ensure providers of healthcare services receive their payment. The process usually begins with patient registration and ends when full payment is received by the healthcare provider. 

Whenever medical billers and coders work in healthcare industries, they have several roles and responsibilities they perform. 

They both work in healthcare settings such as a physician’s office, a hospital, or a clinic. They can also work in nursing homes, or rehab centers.

One of such duties for medical billers and coders is that they are responsible for reviewing patient files and doctors’ notes. 

To ensure the accuracy of the information, bill insurance companies, audit claims, and review claims, they also work with medical personnel.

To explain better, we will look at them separately. Let us start with medical coding.

Medical Coding

A basic definition of medical coding is that it is like a translation. The job of a coder is to take something that is written one way and translate it accurately into a numeric or alphanumeric code. 

What this means is that, for every injury, diagnosis, and medical procedure, there is a corresponding code.

The process of medical coding starts with the encounter with a patient and it is usually in the office of a physician, a hospital, or any other healthcare facility. 

When this patient encounter happens, the healthcare providers are to detail the service they rendered in the patient’s medical records and also explain the reason for specific services, items, or procedures.

The accurate and complete documentation of these patient encounters is important for medical billing and coding.

When a patient is done with their encounters, the clinical documentation is reviewed and analyzed by a professional medical coder. 

This is done to connect the services with billing codes that are related to a diagnosis, a procedure, a charge, or a facility code.

There are thousands of codes that are used for medical procedures, outpatient procedures, and diagnoses. There are several sets and subsets of codes that a medical coder is expected to be familiar with. 

These codes are the universal language between healthcare workers and facilities such as doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, insurance clearinghouses, government agencies, etc.

Each code set has its own set of rules that coders have to follow. For instance, certain codes need to be put in a specific order. 

There are several code sets that medical coders make use of during this process. They are:

  • ICD-10 DIAGNOSIS CODES: 

The health industry makes use of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) in capturing diagnosis codes for billing.

ICD codes show the condition of a patient, the location, and the severity of the injury or the symptom. 

There are over 70,000 unique identifiers in the ICD-10-CM code set. The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains this coding system and it is used internationally in modified formats.

  • CPT AND HCPCS PROCEDURE CODES:

These codes complement diagnosis codes by showing what providers did during a patient encounter. CPT means Current Procedural Terminology while HCPCS means Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System.

CPT modifiers show if healthcare providers performed multiple procedures, the reason service was rendered and where it was rendered on the patient.

Most HCPCS and CPT codes intersect, but then HCPCS codes describe non-physician services, such as ambulance rides, durable medical equipment, and prescription drug use while CPT codes only indicate the procedure.

  • CHARGE CAPTURE CODES:

A charge capture code can include the descriptions of procedures, time reference codes, the departments involved in the medical service, and other billable items and supplies.

In this process, the prices here are used to negotiate claims reimbursement rates with payers. Medical coders would submit the codes and corresponding charges to the payers, while the providers bill patients for the remaining bill.

  • PROFESSIONAL AND FACILITY CODES:

These professional codes capture clinical services that are delivered and then connect these services with a code for billing.

On another hand, facility codes are used to account for the cost of the healthcare services that were provided. The codes would capture the charges for medical equipment, supplies, nursing staff, medication, and others.

The integration of professional and facility coding can help with the facilitation of the process for hospitals. The use of technology such as computer-assisted coding (CAC) solutions can help make the medical coding process faster and more accurate.

The process of coding comes to an end when the medical coder has put the appropriate codes into either a form or a software program. After the report gets coded, it is passed on to the medical biller. 

This brings us to the next term; medical billing.

Medical Billing

On the other hand, medical billing is when the information is taken from the medical coder and a bill is made out of it for the insurance company. This bill is called a claim. You should know that even though this seems simple, it is not.

A medical biller is a waypoint between patients and healthcare providers, and insurance companies. He is also some kind of translator, but in this case, he translates the code from the medical coder into a financial report.

This process involves healthcare organizations submitting claims so that they can bill patients and payers for their financial responsibility. 

Medical billing starts when patients go to register at a hospital and make an appointment. During the registration, patients complete the required form and their patient information is confirmed. These details would include their home address and their insurance coverage.

After it has been confirmed that the health plan of the patient will cover the services that are requested, staff would also confirm the financial responsibility.

During this process, patients are informed about any costs they would be responsible for. After a patient checks out, medical coders would obtain the medical records and then begin to translate the information into billable codes.

Both medical coders and back-end medical billers make use of codes and patient information to create a superbill. This is a form that providers use to create claims. The form usually includes the following:

  • Provider information: provider’s name, location, and signature, National Provider Identifier (NPI) of ordering, referring, and attending physicians.
  • Patient information: patient’s name, date of birth, insurance information, date of the first symptom, and other important data.
  • Visit information: the data of service or services, procedure codes, diagnosis codes, code modifiers, time, units, the number of items used, and authorization information.

A superbill might also include notes or comments from providers that justify medically necessary care. There are two types of claim forms that billets deal with.

Medicare created the CMS-1500 form for healthcare facilities that are non-institutional to submit their claims. The federal program, on the other hand, makes use of the CMS-1450, or UB-04 form for the claims from healthcare facilities that are institutional.

Third-party payers such as private payers or Medicaid can decide to make use of different claim forms based on their specific requirements for claim reimbursement.

During the claim preparation, billers go through claims to make sure that the procedure, diagnosis, and modifier codes are accurate. Then, the back-end medical billers transmit claims to payers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made more payers and providers make use of more electronic claims management systems.

Medical billers send claims directly to the payer. Another way they can send claims is to use a third-party organization like a clearinghouse. A clearinghouse would send claims from providers to payers.

For several reasons, billers can correct and resubmit the claims for reimbursement. After medical billers receive reimbursement for a successful claim, they create statements for the patients.

Providers will charge the patients the difference between the rate on their chargemaster and what the payer reimbursed.

The last phase of medical billing is patient collections. Here, medical billers collect the payments of patients and submit the revenue to accounts receivable management, where payments are tracked and posted.

When a medical biller receives the total balance of the patient’s financial responsibility and payer reimbursement for a claim, they can then close the patient’s account and conclude the cycle.

Before we move on, the process of medical billing and coding can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few months. It all depends on the complexity of services rendered, claim denial management, and how organizations collect the financial responsibility of the patient.

The Outlook For Medical Billers and Coders

Medical billing and coding also happen to be among the fastest-growing careers in allied health. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has an estimate of an 8% growth in job openings between 2019 and 2029.

The most interesting part about this career is that it is fairly quick to enter. They have accelerated programs for students who want to hurry into the field.

We mentioned earlier that the pandemic prompted many changes to the process of medical billing and coding. Let us expand on that, shall we?

In 2020, electronic claims management adoption increased by 2.3% across the medical and dental industries. 

In March of the same year, the WHO went on to create the first code for Covid-19; ICD-10. Ever since there have been several new ICD procedure codes that are related to the virus.

Also, more changes have been made to CPT and HCPCS codes so the documentation of Covid-19 and other related conditions would be possible.

Talking about programs in medical billing and coding, you should also know that not all the programs are accredited. 

Even though going for a medical billing and coding program that is not accredited might not affect your employability, the best 4 and 6 weeks online courses for medical billing and coding are accredited.

Accreditation simply means the institution or program meets specific academic, administrative, and financial benchmarks set by accrediting organizations. It also means you are assured of quality education.

4-Week Online Course For Medical Coding And Billing.

When you are deciding to study medical billing and coding, you have to keep in mind the type of degree you want, if you would prefer to study online, and the accreditation of the program.

If you would prefer to get certification quickly, then there are 4 weeks of an online course for medical billing and coding. These courses can help you speed up the certification process

Also, if you earn a professional certification from groups such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (CPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), it would help a great deal in boosting your career options.

Medical Billing Course:

Medical Billing Course offers an online course in medical billing that can be completed in 4 weeks. This program focuses on the skills one would need to become an effective medical biller.

The curriculum is a practical one that requires 50-60 hours of coursework. Topics will arise from the day-to-day operations of a medical billing professional. These can include patient data, medical data, and revenue cycle management. 

Each student has a course instructor assigned to them and also access to a student support forum that is 24/7. Despite not being accredited, Medical Billing Course is still a nationally recognized institution.

When students complete this online program, they receive Certified Medical Billing Professional designations.

This program has several features, such as:

  • Hands-On Experience:

It simulates billing issues of the real world and utilizes practical study guides, helpful videos, and examinations that can be re-taken if need be.

  • Real Instructors:

The exams and answer questions are graded by real instructors. This is so that you can be given critical feedback that will enhance your learning experience.

  • Job Placement:

When student graduate, they are put in the job’s placement database of the Medical Billing Course. The database helps them find a job to start their career.

AI and Big Data in Global Health Improvement:

Although Al and Big Data in Global Health Improvement‘s course does not specifically aim at medical coding and billing, it looks at AI and big data in the medical field as a whole.

This background is vital to a foundation for becoming a professional medical coder or biller.

The course is offered by Taipei Medical University via Future Learn. Future Learn is an online course platform and educational website. It offers several rotating classes that take about four weeks to complete.

Throughout the online course, you will learn about how big data can make both the healthcare industry and healthcare communication better.

The course teaches students how to improve and make the healthcare sector more standard by making use of data science and artificial intelligence.

Is The Medical Billing And Coding Exam Hard?

The duration of the exam is almost 6 hours during which your mental endurance and knowledge will be tested. Now, you know the thing, you went through school for it, and at the end of the day, it is just a test. You got this.

Is A Medical Coding Certificate Worth It?

We say a resounding yes to this question. The job outlook for medical coders and billers in the next couple of years is looking good, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

How Much Does Medical Coding And Billing Pay?

The reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the median salary for medical coders and billers is $19.40 per hour or $40,350 per year. Professionals in the top ranks earn more than $62,000 per year.

Do I Need To Memorize All These Medical Codes?

Yes, there are several different universal codes across several different classification systems. But not to worry, you do not need to memorize all these codes. There are codebooks and coding software programs that medical coders and billers can reference to make the correct assessment.

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