Medical billing and coding is a vague description of an extremely important, detail-oriented job. As a healthcare support occupation, medical billing and coding professionals are essential for the organization of medical and healthcare offices. They are the record keepers and the task managers of the office. The tasks required of them vary depending on where they work, but there are a few standard routines that all medical billing and coding experts will have to complete in their daily work.
- Reviewing Insurance Guidelines
At medical offices, insurance is the dominant form of currency. Medical billing requires an in-depth understanding of the insurance guidelines. This understanding is essential to explain to patients what will and will not be covered by their insurance. Most consumers are not always clear on these guidelines, therefore it is extremely important for medical billers to update and explain the policies to avoid disputes.
- Completing Billing Forms for Patients
Medical records are detailed documents that serve to protect patients and inform their doctors. They are loaded with personal information, some of which is not always provided by patients. Medical billers need to maintain records with up-to-date information and a complete profile of the patient.
- Handling Patients’ Questions
Insurance causes a lot of headaches for the average person because of how often the rules change and how vague the policies can be. Medical billing and coding is a service that helps patients understand their insurance and their treatment. As such, medical coders will be responsible for answering questions that patients have while they are in the office or after they leave. This is a very important part of the job because people will refuse to pay their bills if they do not agree or do not understand their charges.
- Tracking Missing Payments
Some patients have long-relationships with their doctors. Throughout long, complicated medical treatments, the amount of payment due can be hard to track. Just like any business, the offices of physicians need to keep up-to-date records of their balance of payments. Medical billers must be able to track each payment to ensure that their doctors are being properly compensated for their time and work. In some cases, medical billers will have to call collection agencies or engage delinquent payers directly.
- Settling Insurance Disputes
Medical billers act as middlemen between the patient and the insurance company. When an insurance claim is rejected, the medical biller will need to take action on behalf of their office to settle it. Because there are three parties involved (patient, doctor, insurance company), settling insurance disputes falls on the shoulders of the doctor’s office in order to claim their payments. This process requires input from all parties, so the medical coder must be able to mediate between everyone and keep the facts straight.