Are you considering a career in medical billing and/or coding?
The need to fill medical billing and coding and other healthcare jobs is growing fast, thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ACA opened healthcare access to many previously denied.
If you’re considering a career in this field, use these fast facts to help you find the best medical billing and coding schools in NYC.
What to Expect in the Medical Billing and Coding Field
Medical billing and coding can be an ideal career for you if you want to work in the healthcare industry, but don’t want to spend a long time in school. As a medical billing/coding specialist, you work closely with other professionals in the healthcare industry. Your job is to ensure that patient diagnoses and procedures are properly classified so that insurance companies, Medicaid, Medicare and those providing workers’ compensation receive the proper patient claim forms.
You can be a medical billing specialist, a medical coding specialist, or both. You don’t need to specialize in both to ensure employment, although again, you certainly can and many do.
What does a medical billing specialist do?
As a medical billing specialist, you submit claims to insurance companies so as to make sure that services provided to patients are paid for. This is essential if the healthcare provider, such as a doctor, is to receive payment.
You must also do follow-ups with insurance companies, Medicaid, or Medicare if claims have not been paid or if there have been problems with specific claims. The process you follow to do medical billing will be similar for insurance companies whether they are privately or federally owned.
What does a medical coding specialist do?
Also known as “medical classification,” the medical coder assigns numeric or alphanumeric codes to medical diagnoses and procedures on claim forms. You may be required to refer to doctors’ notes, lab procedures or private patient medical records to determine those diagnoses and procedures, and then look up and assign the codes for each.
These tasks are important to learn at medical billing and coding schools in NYC, because codes record specific diseases and injuries and denote the procedures that are used to treat patients’ medical diagnosis and disorders. These codes are used on claim forms that are submitted to Medicaid, Medicare, and insurance companies. They are needed for claims reimbursement and on request forms for diagnoses.
Healthcare facilities also sometimes use medical coding in a broad sense – without disclosing private information – for marketing and research purposes. As a coding specialist, you may work with a number of different healthcare or health-care-related facilities like insurance companies, workers’ compensation providers and the federal government.
Do you need post-high school training or a degree to apply to billing and coding schools?
Fortunately, no; the best billing and coding schools in NYC have entrance requirements that are fairly easy to meet. You must be a high school graduate or have obtained your GED (or other similar certification).
How to find the best medical billing and coding schools in New York City
Make sure the school is accredited.
In order to obtain the appropriate certification as a medical billing and/or coding specialist and thus ensure employment, your school must be properly accredited. It should be:
- Accredited by the New York Commissioner of Education and State Board of Regents.
- An authorized testing center for National Healthcareer Association Examinations.
- A member of the appropriate associations, such as the National Healthcareer Association (specific to medical billing and coding).
- Authorized by the US Department of Education to provide Title IV financial aid to students (as you require).
Make sure the school prepares you to sit for required industry exam(s).
In order to receive certification to be a medical bill or and/or coder, you will need to be prepared to sit for (and pass) an industry exam that shows you to be qualified in your field. The exam is recognized nationally, although some employers have a preference.
The Insurance and Coding Certification Exam
Offered through the National Center for Competency Testing, the exam will qualify you for professional and educational certification if you want to work in coding application settings such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics and insurance companies.
Connect with students who have attended and completed certification programs at medical billing and coding schools in NYC.
Ask for testimonials from students who have already attended and completed certification programs in NYC. How well has their education served them? Were they truly qualified once graduated? Did they have difficulty finding jobs after graduation?
Connect with potential employers and ask for recommendations.
If you know potential NYC-area employers in the field, ask them to recommend a top school. Which schools are highly esteemed by medical offices and institutions in the area?
Use online resources…
… but be careful. Some online career sites can provide truly valuable information that can help you find medical billing and coding schools in NYC, others do not. Many simply want to attract students to low quality schools they’ve been tasked with filling.
It isn’t hard to find the best medical billing and coding schools in NYC. Once you know what billing and coding specialists do, look for accredited schools that will prepare you to sit for the necessary exam(s). You can also research online, but be careful that the sites you choose are aboveboard and trustworthy with their recommendations.