In order to provide efficient and effective treatment, doctors, nurses and specialists need a whole range of information about their patients. That information needs to collected, collated, stored, transmitted and be accessed quickly and effectively in order for treatment to be administered. This emerging and growing career area is centred around the study of Medical Billing and Coding.
A medical billing and coding technician plays an important role in ensuring patient data accuracy as well as its organization, quality, security and accessibility. These professionals are also referred to as medical record technicians. A medical billing and coding technician manages the medical records that contain a patient’s diagnosis, treatment, health certificate and insurance.
These essential documents can be both on paper, or more frequently, found encoded in a digital format on a database. Every hospital, nursing home and medical facility will have at least one and in many cases, more of these professionals on their staff. They are an integral piece of the healthcare management setup; providing doctors and other healthcare professionals with accurate and up-to-date patient information in order for them to provide high quality care. In addition the medical billing and coding technician will be responsible for making medical records accessible and retrievable to third party payers, administrators and even researchers. Insurance companies then use the information received in order to calculate reimbursements. One particular area of specialization in medical billing and coding is within the field of cancer registry.
The medical billing and coding specialist provides the data to be used in epidemiological research and also for public health cancer awareness campaigns. Medical billing and coding technicians work as part of a health team even though they are not actually responsible for working closely with patients, and as such they are often required to work full-time with similar night and weekend shifts to those of clinical staff depending on the facility and employer.
More students are needed to undertake medical billing and coding programs in order to cope with the demand from hospitals and medical facilities for the control and handling of their data.
Further reading on Medical Billing and Coding: