Healthcare is such a large and technologically driven industry that knowledge and procedures used today are likely to be seen as far outdated only a few years from now. To keep pace with all the various procedures, techniques, and technologies available and distinguish one from the other in a clear manner, definitions are made and coded for every kind of surgical procedure, diagnosis, and complaint. These definitions and codes help doctors ensure that they are compensated accurately for their services by the health insurance companies.
Medical billing is the process by which the needed data for completion of all the necessary forms (insurance cards, patient info, encounter forms, diagnosis, treatment, etc) is collected and processed for payment. This data is then entered into one of a variety of competing medical billing/patient accounting software programs. Medical billers are also responsible for following up using effective paperwork and time-management skills. Having been trained to understand an insurer’s EOB (explanation of benefits), the medical biller must review all claims for errors. If not all of a patient’s balance is covered by insurance, the medical biller has to decide if the balance will be written off or billed to the patient. The main job of the medical biller is to ensure that the physician or facility receives optimal reimbursement for services rendered. Weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly reports are often generated by the accounting software to show the client (physician, facility) whether they are losing or making money on various insurance contracts.
Besides the above main responsibilities, a medical biller must have or develop the following skills:
• Understand and be able to explain insurance terms and benefits to clients and patients
• Accurately read and complete claim forms
• Perform bookkeeping activities
• Bill insurance companies and patients promptly and accurately
• Handle everyday medical billing procedures
• Document all activities using the correct terminology
• Schedule appointments
• Follow-up with insurance companies and patients on unpaid bills
Medical billing is a growing opportunity to the ever-expanding health industry and many people are finding satisfying and well-paying careers working both at hospitals or small clinics and from home running their own medical billing small business.
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