7 Essential Classes Every Medical Coding and Billing School Should Teach
Posted January 24, 2007on:
There are many career schools offering medical coding and billing courses. Sometimes the program is referred to as “Medical Billing,” “Medical Billing and Coding” or “Medical Billing/Coding Specialist.” There are many variations of these names, but all these programs should teach the same skills.
The purpose of this article is to inform you on the top 7 classes (or subjects) you should learn in your medical coding and billing program.
These class names are generic here, but it will give you an idea of what you should expect to learn in a medical billing program.
You want to make sure your medical coding program incorporates these subjects into their curriculum to ensure you receive proper training.
1. Medical Insurance and Billing Issues
A strong knowledge of health care plans and understanding strategies for insurance problem solving is vital for careers in medical billing. This class usually will give students hands-on training in processing insurance claims and learning how to obtain and use correct ICD-9 and CPT codes.
2. Medical Billing Documentation and Evaluation
This class introduces students to the process of documenting medical procedures, as well as documenting unlisted procedures. This class will also cover insurance collection strategies, and will teach you the communication skills necessary to help you find and collect on money owed.
3. Government Health Care Programs & Billing Methods
A professional medical biller needs to have a comprehensive understanding of preparing insurance claims to government programs like Medicare, Medicade, and TRICARE.
4. Medical Insurance Claim Form – CMS-1500
Any medical billing student needs to gain experience completing various types of health care claim forms. It can seem like a complicated process, but a quality medical billing school should teach you the basics to compete these forms correctly.
5. Ethical and Legal Responsibilities
This will probably not be a class name, but it should be a subject covered within your medical program. You should learn the legal ramifications involved in medical billing practices, and learn how to avoid common medical billing mistakes that can lead to problems.
6. Medical Terminology
A class in medical terminology is extremely important to the medical billing profession. Medical terminology can give you a handle on discussing billing issues more confidently, and give you a better understanding of the medical conditions you will code.
7. Internship/Practicum Program
Depending on the medical billing program, you might find the school offers an internship (some campuses refer to this as an externship) or a practicum. Both of these are ways for students to practice their skills in a real-world environment. An internship is always recommended because it might lead to a job offer or at least a job recommendation.
Bring this list with you the next time you visit a medical coding and billing school. You can use it as a checklist to make sure you’ll be receiving proper education.
Please remember that this class list will not necessarily reflect the exact class names in your area. This is merely a guide for you to use when comparing medical coding schools. You want to make sure these subjects are taught.