Being stuck in a dead-end job can be so frustrating. You don’t earn enough to get ahead, but it can be daunting to quit a job unless you have another already lined up. Without certain skills, however, it’s not likely that you will land another position with a higher rate of pay and more advancement potential.
But getting your medical billing and coding certification in NYC can be done while you keep your old job and continue to earn money, which makes it a good career move for those juggling familial responsibilities and career objectives.
While the length of the programs differ at the various schools in New York City, there are some basic courses that all prospective students seeking medical billing and coding certification in NYC must take. They include:
- CPT and ICD-10 coding.
- Insurance billing.
- Basic Accounting.
- Medical Terminology.
- Medical office practices.
- Basic Anatomy & Physiology.
- Medical Records Management.
Students learn the proper way to code medical procedures using CPT codes that classify outpatient treatments done in doctors’ offices and clinics, as well as the more comprehensive ICD-10 codes used in hospitals and other inpatient settings like nursing homes. They become familiar with common billing software programs and the proper way to file insurance claims so that health care providers are promptly reimbursed.
Certificate versus associate’s degree
There is often confusion on the difference between a medical billing and coding certificate in NYC and the pursuit of an associate’s degree in the same field. While neither course of study is inherently better than the other, there are pros and cons to both educational options.
Those seeking a certificate will be career-ready sooner than those pursuing an associate’s degree, as a degree is 60 credits and will take 16-24 months to obtain. Programs that culminate in certification are tailored exclusively to a specific career, whereas an associate’s degree is more comprehensive, and students are required to take and pass courses outside of their major field of study.
Upon completion of an associate’s degree, those wishing to continue their education towards a bachelor’s degree and beyond can carry those courses over for credit in many circumstances.
Skills needed by medical billers and coders
Just like any other occupation, some people are better suited to this type of work than others. Below are some characteristics and skills that many successful medical billing and coding employees possess.
- Ideal candidates have analytical skills and enjoy problem-solving.
- An attention to detail is important in this field, as improperly coded treatments and procedures can delay insurance payments to the facility.
- Good communication skills are needed to convey information to insurance companies, other health care providers and patients. Employees must be able to communicate effectively with people on all levels in order to resolve disputed claims.
- Patience is important when dealing with numerous telephone calls and duplicate requests from patients and providers.
- The ability to work independently with minimal supervision is a plus for many jobs in this field.
Committing to an educational program that fits your lifestyle
No matter how much you may want to embark on an exciting new career, it can only happen if you make the effort to succeed. Students have to be willing to dedicate themselves to their course of study. Many vocational colleges offer online medical billing and coding certification in NYC so students can work at their own pace when they have time off from work and familial obligations.
Some students thrive better in a more traditional, hands-on learning environment in a classroom setting. Night and weekend courses are usually offered in billing and coding so that students who are employed part- or full-time can attend and keep their day jobs. Administrators and instructors are very familiar with the challenges students face pursuing post-secondary education and tailor these programs of study to be a good fit for the nontraditional student population.
Don’t hesitate on your future
If you think that you would be a good fit for this field of employment, take the next step forward on your career path. Reach out to an admissions counselor at the school of your choosing to learn what you need to do to apply for medical billing and coding certification in NYC. For those who qualify, financial aid is available.