Medical Coding & Billing: Common Questions … – Salter College


Medical coding and billing, although often assumed to be the same, are two separate things. Medical coding is a step in the process of medical billing, so the two skills do work together although they are different. Typically, someone who does medical billing is either the same person who does the medical coding, or the two people work very closely to complete and submit medical claims.


What exactly is medical coding?

Any time a patient receives any type of medical care, that care is documented. A medical coder applies specific codes to that documentation in order to generate a claim for the care provider to receive payment.


What do medical coders do?

Medical coders must learn several codes and know how to use codebooks in order to apply the correct codes to medical documentation. The codes are applied to notate what specific services, laboratory tests, and supplies the patient required. The claim that comes from this medical coding is what is sent to insurance companies, so it helps if a coder is also familiar with insurance plans and claims regulations. The coder must also be familiar with medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology in order to know how to properly apply each code to the original documentation.


What is the education like for medical coding?

A bachelor’s or master’s degree is not required for medical coders, but in order to be competitive in the field, a medical coder must have some type of certification. The best course of action is to complete a certification program, like the one offered at Salter College. Next you should take the CPC exam and become a Certified Professional Coder.


What exactly is medical billing?

As stated, medical coding is part of the process of medical billing. Medical billing is simply the completion, submission, and following up of medical claims in order to receive payment for medical services.


What do medical billing specialists do?

As a medical billing specialist, you will be the go-between with insurance companies and medical care providers. After you complete a claim for the care provider, you will submit it to the insurance company. Any questions, problems, or comments they have about the claim will be directed to you. You will work with each side until a payment agreement is reached.


What is the education like for medical billing?

Medical billing specialists, like medical coders, are not required by law to obtain a certification or degree. However, getting certified in medical billing provides a better foundation for starting off in this competitive field.


How will Salter College prepare me for a career in Medical Billing & Coding?

During your medical billing and coding certificate program, you will receive comprehensive training in basic claims processes, medical insurance, and third party reimbursement. Students with a medical billing and coding certification are well prepared to work in the medical field as billing and claims specialists. Some possibilities of occupational outcomes include doctor’s offices, hospitals, dental practices, nursing homes, insurance companies, medical equipment suppliers, and third party billing offices.


If you’re ready to get started as a medical billing and coding specialist, contact Salter College today.