medical biller, Medical coder

What Is The Difference Between A Medical Coder and a Medical Biller?

If you’re in the medical field, or are currently taking a medical coding and billing class, you’ve no doubt heard the words “medical coder” and “medical biller.” You might even think these jobs are the same because the names sound similar. Sometimes (especially in smaller practices) these roles are combined. But even though these positions are definitely related, each one is different. Here is a breakdown of the differences in a very general way.

Medical coders read the patient reports and assign ICD-10-CM and CPT, HCPCS (or ICD-10-PCS if you’re an inpatient coder) codes. It takes a great deal of knowledge of not only the code sets you’re using, but of disease processes and terminology. You will also need to know about the different insurances you’re billing and their requirements. Basically you have to know your stuff. The simple fact of the matter is–it takes time to get to the level where you can do this completely independently. Bear in mind– many medical coding jobs have production and accuracy requirements. To add insult to injury–if you do not meet these requirements, many times you could be fired. Can anyone say stressful? On the plus side though, if you don’t like dealing with the public very much, you really don’t have to as a medical coder. Usually your job is completely behind the scenes. You also will need to have at least one certification from either AAPC or AHIMA. (There is a new certification for coders from AMBA, but it is not highly recognized yet. I believe it will be though in the future).

A medical biller usually work the claim denials and tries to fix them to get them paid. Many times they read patient EOB’s and eventually need to call the insurance company to figure things out. They also probably talk to patients either on the phone or in the office and explain their bills to them and/or ask for payment. To be a successful medical biller, you should have a basic understanding of the common codes used in your practice and what they mean. Usually a certification is not required but there are billing certifications available from AAPC and AMBA.

So, that is it in a nutshell. The tasks of medical coders and medical billers are related, but different. As a side note-working as a medical biller first, is a great stepping-stone to working as a medical coder later. Good luck to those of you just starting in the field!

Thanks for reading,

Lindsay

 

Midnight Medical Coding Products You Might Be Interested In:

Learn The 50 Most Common X-Ray CPT Codes-

Self-paced online course. Getting awesome reviews from fellow coders.

 

 

 

 

15 Question Practice Coding Test

Practice coding the ICD-10-CM and CPT codes of HIPAA compliant X-ray reports. Answers and rationales provided.

 

 

 

 

Tabs for the ICD-10-CM Book: Get 60 printed, multi-colored, double-sided tabs. These can be used on any 2019 or 2018 ICD-10-CM book from any publisher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Diagnostic Radiology Coding Basics

New Facebook Group

Hey Everyone,

I just started a new Facebook group. This is a public group, open to medical coders or medical coding students and it will focus on diagnostic radiology coding. Please consider joining us there!

Here is the link to it 

Thanks!

Lindsay

 

Midnight Medical Coding Products You Might Be Interested In:

 

Learn The 50 Most Common X-Ray CPT Codes-

Self-paced online course. Getting awesome reviews from fellow coders.

 

 

 

 

15 Question Practice Coding Test

Practice coding the ICD-10-CM and CPT codes of HIPAA compliant X-ray reports. Answers and rationales provided.

 

 

 

 

 

Tabs for the ICD-10-CM Book: Get 60 printed, multi-colored, double-sided tabs. These can be used on any 2019 or 2018 ICD-10-CM book from any publisher.

 

 

Coding Course

My First Day Working As A Medical Coder

On the first day of my first coding job, I didn’t know what I was doing. I really didn’t. I never coded a real radiology report before. I guess I read a few in my coding classes, but it was something that wasn’t focused on.

Everything I knew about radiology was just based on my life experiences up to that point. I knew what a wrist x-ray was because I needed one before (broke my wrist rollerblading). I knew what an ultrasound was because I have kids and had my fair share of prenatal ultrasounds.

I kind of knew what an MRI was because the machine looked scary to me and I couldn’t see myself ever being brave enough to go in one if needed. I didn’t know what a CT was. Never heard of a CTA or MRA. Didn’t know what spectral doppler was. Needless to say I was confused at my first coding job. I didn’t know what any of this stuff was. I was fortunate enough to have an awesome mentor who helped me with CPT coding and even some diagnosis coding here and there.

But I know not everyone is as lucky as I was. Not everyone has a mentor. Or maybe you don’t feel comfortable asking a coworker for help. Even though I’m not a new coder anymore, I didn’t forget what it was like being new. How I was afraid of coding everything wrong. How I was afraid that I really did not know what I was doing and was not going to make it as a coder.

 

Some of you may know this already–but I’ve put together a new diagnostic radiology coding course. It is geared towards new radiology coders or coders in another specialty who want to learn more about it. It focuses on the CPT coding of x-rays. By the time you finish the course, you will know how to code the CPT for a variety of x-rays. You will be familiar with 50 of the most common ones used and will be prepared for ‘real life’ diagnostic radiology coding. It is all online and self-paced.

Please see the link below for a full description of the course. You’ll see the exact format and what is included. Scroll down the page and you will see a FAQ section and what my students are saying about the class. I hope you’ll join us!

 

Click Here for more info, to see class reviews and to sign up!

 

Click HERE for more info, to see class reviews and to sign up.

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Coding Course

Diagnostic Radiology Online Coding Course

Midnight Medical Coding will be offering an online diagnostic radiology coding course starting in January 2019! This course focuses on x-ray CPT coding. You’ll learn the most common codes, how to look them up in the book and you’ll practice coding HIPAA compliant reports.

The course is done at your own pace and I’m always available for questions. There’s 9 modules (may ultimately end up being 10) which includes videos for instruction, pdf downloads, quizzes and practice coding exercises.

Students will also have the option of joining a private Facebook group just for people who take this course. That is where I can always be reached and I’ll also be sharing supplemental materials there. It also will be a place for students just to connect and talk to each other.

I’m super excited about this! Cost is $50.00 and you will have access to the course to December 2019.

If you want to stay in the loop and be notified when this course becomes available please go to: https://midnightmedicalcoding.podia.com/intro-to-x-ray-cpt-… and sign up for updates.

x-ray class cover

coding challenge

Coding Challenge 5

Please code the ICD-10-CM and CPT code for this report. To check your answers, click the link at the bottom of the report.

ABC Hospital

Patient Name- Jon Doe

Date- 1/1/18

Referring Dr- Dr Smith

Exam- US Renal

—————————————————————————————————————–

Procedure- US Renal

History- Routine check of renal cysts

Technique-2D images

Findings- Complete evaluation of the right kidney. Right kidney is normal in size with no hydronephrosis. No calculus. Simple cyst measuring 1.4 x 2.1 x 3.6 located mid portion. Simple cyst #2 measuring 1.7x 1.9 x 1.6 located upper pole.

RT kidney retroperitoneal measurements- length 9.71 AP 5.04 cm. width 5.52 cm

Complete evaluation of the left kidney. The kidney is normal in size with no hydronephrosis. Complex cyst measuring 2.2x 1.2x 1.5 located mid portion. Visualized portion of the IVC are normal. Proximal and abdominal aorta obscured by bowel gas.

LT kidney retroperitoneal measurements- length 11.50 cm AP width 6.25 cam

The bladder is normal.

Prostate is normal.

Impression- No hydronephrosis. Bilateral renal cysts.

Signed by Dr Michaels 4:00 pm 1/1/18

Go here to check your answers!

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