How to Become a Medical Biller or Coder

July 1, 2024

how to become a medical biller or coder

If you’ve been wondering about how to become a medical coder or biller, you’ll be pleased to know that our team has outlined the steps to achieve exactly that. So, for those interested in what a rewarding and long-lasting career in the field may entail, read on to learn more from our informational guide.

An Overview of Medical Billing and Medical Coding

Though an individual can work in both medical billing and coding, keep in mind that each profession is different and requires separate capabilities to accomplish everyday tasks. That’s why our team wants to do our part in providing accurate descriptions for each occupation to help you better understand each role, as well as which one may be the best fit for you.

What Is Medical Billing?

The medical billing profession involves the systematic submission and processing of claims within the healthcare sector. When choosing to pursue a medical billing career, it’s worth knowing that these information technicians are mainly in charge of overseeing patient balances for a variety of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, private practices, and more.

More specifically, some of the main duties of a medical biller include the following:

  • Reviewing medical records to create bills
  • Compiling patient insurance information before the appointment
  • Noting payments when they are received
  • Tracking a patient’s bill payments

What Is Medical Coding?

As opposed to medical billing, a medical coding career usually takes a more technical approach, as one of the main tasks of the position includes assigning codes to an expansive array of medical terminology, such as:

  • Treatments
  • Procedures
  • Services
  • Equipment
  • And more

Once these codes are assigned, the medical coder will then go ahead and enter the given codes into billing systems to help maintain payments and billing records for patients and providers.

Wondering How to Become a Medical Coder or Biller? Follow These 4 Steps

1. Determine if Either Role Is Right for You

Before starting the steps to become a medical biller or a medical coder, it’s important to ensure that the field you wish to pursue is best for you. With that being said, it may be important to ask yourself these questions during the decision-making process:

  • Am I able to stringently follow instructions while also maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality?
  • Can I remain calm under stressful conditions, such as during billing mishaps and other high-pressure situations?
  • Am I well organized and do I possess a strong attention to detail that helps in keeping track of patient records?
  • Do I have advanced interpersonal skills to help me communicate with patients, coworkers, and insurers when needed?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then a medical billing or medical coding career should be the right fit for you! So, for those looking to kickstart their career journey, our team recommends following these next steps to becoming a medical coder or biller.

2. Complete Your Degree

When considering a medical coding or medical billing career, be aware that most employers may require you to have an educational background in the field to be considered for an entry-level position. This can include obtaining your degree or, in some cases, taking individual medical billing or coding courses.

With these prerequisites in mind, it’s important to note that the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology is dedicated to providing students with the tools they need to attain their degree and take the right steps to becoming a medical biller or coder. That’s why we offer a distinguished medical assistant associate degree program that more than prepares students for the career of their choosing upon graduation.

Within this program, you’ll review key objectives in classroom instruction and clinical education, while also taking foundational courses in biology, chemistry, and computer applications, among other subjects. For more information on our medical assistant associate degree, visit our program page.

3. Pass the Outlined Certifications

In order to enter into a rewarding medical coding or billing career, you’ll need to showcase that you’ve mastered the skills needed to excel in the role. This can be achieved by passing specific industry-level certifications, with just some options including:

  • The certified professional biller (CPB) or certified professional coder (CPC) certification provided by the AAPC

It’s worth noting that medical coders usually need to have both training and certification. Medical billers can benefit from certifications, but their biggest requirement, outside of a degree, is having a detailed understanding of the billing process.

4. Find Employment

Once you’ve graduated with your associate degree and you’ve passed any required certifications, it’s now time to seek jobs that coincide with both your passions and interests. So, whether you’re searching for open positions within the billing or the coding sector, there are various tactics you can employ to stand out significantly from your peers, including some of the following:

  • Thoroughly researching the company or organization you’re applying to
  • Developing strong relationships through your professional network
  • Continuously sharpening your skills and staying on top of industry trends
  • Personalizing your resume to directly reflect your accomplishments
  • Leveraging LinkedIn to showcase your professional development

Now that you know specifically how to become a medical biller or coder, it’s time to start your journey to a long-lasting career, and our team wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

FAQs About the Medical Billing Career and Medical Coding Career

To gain a better understanding of the specific steps to become a medical biller or coder, as well as why P.I.T. is your choice to pursue your associate degree, review the answers to our most commonly asked questions.

What characteristics should someone possess to excel in a medical coding or medical billing career?

Along with following the proscribed steps on how to become a medical biller or coder listed above, know that certain soft skills are recommended to ensure optimal proficiency, such as:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Problem-solving capabilities
  • Adaptability to fast-paced environments
  • Sound moral integrity
  • Unwavering dependability

What are some potential career paths for a medical biller or coder?

After completing the steps for becoming a medical coder or biller, individuals will be able to choose from a diverse range of occupations depending on their goals, preferences, and whether they are focused on billing or coding. These roles include following:

  • Billing analyst
  • Records technician
  • Clinical manager
  • Coding specialist
  • Collection specialist
  • Health information clerk
  • Medical receptionist
  • And more

Why should I choose P.I.T. to complete my medical assistant associate degree?

If you’re wondering how to become a medical coder or biller, as well as where to start your undergraduate education, know that the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology is your go-to destination to pursue your medical assistant associate degree. Some of the benefits of our school include:

  • A 15-1 student-to-faculty ratio, which allows students to build rapport with peers and professors in an interactive classroom setting

Apply to P.I.T. Today!

For those interested in pursuing a long-lasting career in the healthcare field, start your journey by applying to P.I.T.’s medical assistant associate degree program. And for more information about how to become a medical biller or coder, please contact our team today. We look forward to discussing your future with you!