A Day in the Life of a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

A typical schedule for a medical biller and coder!

Medical billers and coders offer a distinct, behind-the-scenes role in the healthcare industry. They are needed to code patient charts, electronically record information, and process insurance claims and payments so the healthcare industry can continue to operate smoothly. These professionals can also be called medical billing and coding specialists or health claims specialists.

Are you curious to know what it’s like to be a medical billing and coding specialist? Perhaps taking a peak into a typical, everyday schedule will help you understand what the job, work environment, and the responsibilities requried of these healthcare professionals.

The Beginning of your shift

Medical coders work in office settings. At the start of each day, they begin by checking their email inbox and logging into the facilities’ database system. Next, they will find a list of patient charts to process throughout the day.

Each patient chart is reviewed for certain details. When you examine each chart, you are responsible for labeling and assigning the correct diagnostic and procedure codes. In your medical billing and training program, you will learn about three diagnostic codes which you will use on the job. They include the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), and the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT).

When you assign the proper coding for each chart, you then complete and submit insurance forms to be processed by the patient’s private insurance handler, Medicaid, Medicare, workers’ compensation, or any other private insurance provider that the patient carries.

During your shift

Sometimes there may be a complication that arises at work. On an average day, there may be a chart that you are unsure of how to code because you’ve never heard of the procedure before. However, you have the opportunity to talk with your supervisor to clarify any issue or problem you may have. You may also have to do extra research. If a doctor or nurse doesn’t complete a patient’s chart, you may have to call the doctor or nurse to find out which service was provided to the patient.

In 2015, the new ICD-10 coding system was enacted. You may find that other professionals may still be getting used to the new system. This could slow down the process, but with time, you can become familiar with the new codes. Although you might have to search around for the correct code to use, you may find that the “detective work” you do on the job is satisfying.

End of the day

Towards the end of the day, you will have completed coding many forms. Once you log off, you can take the time to prepare for the next day. Make a to-do list , organize your desk, and put important documents or papers back in the correct folder or location.

Your work environment

Medical billers and coders work in office settings of hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Throughout the day, you’ll be working at a desk on the computer to look up and enter codes. You will either have your own cubicle or share an open desk setting with other coworkers. Most employers will expect you to work relatively quickly. Sometimes you will need to get through a specific number of claims throughout the day so you need to stay accurate, efficient, and organized.

Your coworkers

If you’re employed by a large business, you will work with several other medical billing and coding specialists. If you appreciate a sense of comradery and a group dymanic, then working in a large department might be a good option for you. Smaller medical offices may only have one or two workers specializing in coding and billing. Sometimes workers enjoy being part of a smaller office because it feels more personal and private. Sometimes, medical billers and coders get work from home with a computer and a coding manual. Wherever you work, you can gain satisfaction knowing you’re helping your patients.

We hope this article gives you a better idea of what a typical day is like for a medical billing and coding specialist. For more information about this job, read about How to Become a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist!

ACMC features a Medical Billing and Coding program at its campus in Orlando, Florida. Learn more about our program and services by contacting us today!