Doctors’ offices and healthcare facilities are busy places that need precise communication from qualified professionals to keep patient records and payments straight. Responsible for collating all records, bills, and insurance information into a usable database are healthcare documentation specialists, as they’re commonly called, medical billers and coders. Medical billers and coders are crucial to good patient care—without the detailed records that they touch, it’s possible that the medical system would collapse. Without them, patient data wouldn’t get organized, insurance information would go unverified, and bills might not get paid.
The Future of Medical Billing & Coding
Even without being “hands-on” with patients, medical billing and coding specialists provide a big part of our medical care. And, now, they’ve become more important than ever.
As of October 1, 2015 the healthcare system’s set of codes transitioned from ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases, version 9) to ICD-10. That’s a bigger deal than you might think. Healthcare providers use these ICD codes to record, identify and treat health conditions--and the change from ICD-9 to 10 means moving from about 13,000 codes to nearly 68,000 under the new system.
That’s a five-fold increase in diagnosis codes that, if not recorded properly, could result in improper treatment of patient conditions and confusion over insurance company and patient payment responsibilities.
How To Become a Medical Billing & Coding Specialist
If you’re looking for a healthcare career that’s important for tracking and managing diseases, managing patient health, and treating illness or injury- but doesn’t involve needles, blood, or similar direct-patient procedures -- then studying to become a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist (MBCS) at a school such as Fortis may be a good choice for you. With programs in nine states, Fortis is the right choice to further your healthcare career!