There are many medical billing programs out there from which to choose. Some can be completed in less time than others. Now, just because you can graduate sooner doesn't make the school any better or worse. It just means they can help you graduate more quickly. So how do you choose a good medical billing program?
Look for programs taught by instructors who've worked in the medical insurance billing and coding profession. In addition, here are some classes and subjects that should be offered in any accredited medical billing program. You should consider training that prepares you for some sort of medical billing certification exam.
You want to make sure the medical coding program you join offers a course in medical insurance systems. There are many types, and it's important that professional medical billers are familiar with all types. This course should provide you with detailed information on health maintenance organizations (HMOs). It should also help you learn how to understand and interpret patient charts and physician notations, as well as the skills to obtain correct ICD-o and CPT codes.
Medical billing programs should also provide a thorough review of government programs and how they relate to the medical billing activities. This class should give you an opportunity to practice processing medical claims for Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE. Students in this class should gain an understanding of the main responsibilities of a medical billing specialist and gain more understanding of key medical terms necessary for this career field.
This course would provide you with the skills needed to process electronic data exchange and interchange and provide an opportunity to work with different types of computer claims systems. You would also get the opportunity to perform electronic data interchange working with an outside claims clearinghouse.
Any medical billing program should provide students with the skills to examine and evaluate medical documentation. This class should provide students with the ability to understand all the language on a standard invoice. This medical billing class should also provide the students with strategies to trace delinquent accounts and learn to collect on them. Students will also gain knowledge about workers' compensations laws. As always, a medical documentation class will incorporate some medical terminology discussions as well.
Students in a medical billing program should gain a thorough knowledge of the various health insurance claim forms. A class in health insurance forms should provide students with the training to complete and process popular insurance forms, like the CMS-1500 and UB-92.* Any professional medical biller should feel very confident in how to complete and examine health insurance claim forms, especially the popular forms since these are the ones you'll see on a regular basis. Prior to enrolling any medical billing program, make sure to find out what forms you'll get experience working with.
One of the most important parts to any medical billing program is the opportunity for students to get real experience by working in an externship. Externships allow students to leave the classroom setting and to work in an actual medical billing office. This not only provides great experience, but it also might provide a job recommendation when you start looking for a billing and coding job after graduation. Vocational schools can never promise you a job, but they can help you get experience in an externship - which is a step toward getting a real job. Check with the medical billing program near you to find out if they offer an externship or internship program for students and/or graduates.
It's important to investigate any medical billing program prior to enrolling, so take this list of classes with you if you decide to visit a school. The class names might be different, but make sure the concepts mentioned here are taught in the program you decide to attend. Best wishes on your search for a quality medical billing school.
*For more information about the UB-92 and CMS 1500 forms visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ElectronicBillingEDITrans/16_1500.asp and UB-92 - http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=31676.