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Best Way To Get Cheap Medical Billing and Coding Classes Training

3 Jun

If you are planning on becoming a medical biller and coder and trying to find a class or training program, you may be wondering how to go about finding a class or training course that meets your needs on an educational basis and cost. This process can exceptionally difficult since there are so many advertisements for medical billing and coding courses and training online and in a traditional classroom setting. So the question would still remain as to what can be done to find affordable medical billing and coding classes/training.

Depending on which school you plan on obtaining your training from, there are a few ways that you can save on the costs of schooling for your medical billing and coding training.

Financial Assistance

Unfortunately is no such thing as free schooling, however, for those that wish to enter into a training program. Every legitimate school will have a financial aid office with professionals known as financial aid officers to assist prospective students with finding options to get money to attend their training program. Those that qualify for financial assistance could expect to have tuition, room and board, books, and supplies and may even have transportation covered. In order to find out what your options are you will need to speak directly to the school. If the school accepts Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you will be able to fill out the application via their main website. Once the information has been obtained by FAFSA they will then determine your eligibility.

Free Training and Experience

One way to obtain free training is through working as a volunteer at a medical billing and coding office. Some offices are more than willing to train for a short period of time. Some places that may work with a trainee include:

  • Medical offices
  • Hospitals
  • Medical insurance companies
  • Medical insurance billing companies

Online/Web-based Training

There are various medical billing and coding websites that offer online videos for free that show how the process of medical billing and coding actually works. Some will even offer an introduction to the medical billing and coding software that is currently being utilized. The CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service) is the office that sets the standards for the entire medical billing and coding profession. They actually offer a series of training programs that can be accessed via their website. The training offered on the CMS website covers a variety of basic information of how to fill out forms and how one should (as a professional) go through the billing process.

Online Medical Billing and Coding Classes

Online medical billing and coding classes are often cheaper than traditional classes at a college, university or vocational school. However, online medical billing and coding classes are not suitable for everyone since it does require that students work at their own pace with limited interaction with the teacher and other students. Yet on the other hand it is beneficial for students that are working on limited funds and are currently employed and are more receptive to working at their own pace and within the scope of their current schedule.

Employer Paid Training

This is an option available for those that are currently working as a medical billing and coding professional with a healthcare facility or a medical insurance billing company. Some employers will either reimburse or paid outright for their employee to further their education within the field. This is beneficial for both sides; the employee can then obtain further training in their field with the hope of being advanced within their office thus earning more on their annual salary.

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Most Recommended Way To Go About Becoming Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

3 Jun

Medical billing and coding is a field that will continue to grow. There are a number of daily tasks and responsibilities within the billing and coding field that tend to overlap, however this will also depend on where you are located. In smaller medical offices billers and coders will perform both tasks, where in a hospital that is a larger facility there is a department for billers and an office for coders, it is beneficial for you as an employee to understand both jobs. So what is the recommended way to becoming a medical billing and coding specialist? Below is a way to go about becoming a specialist in both the billing and the coding field.

1. Upon entering into the billing and coding profession what many do not realize is that they do not have to have experience in the field. They can start out their work as a front office receptionist answering phones and performing other clerical jobs.

2. When you have your foot in the door you should take the opportunity to speak with your coworkers and especially those that currently work as a medical biller and coder to find out the advantages and disadvantages of the career field.

3. You should ask your employer if they would consider cross training you for the billing and coding field. Some employers are receptive to this idea so do not be afraid to ask.

4. Start out your career as an insurance biller. This can also be completed through on the job training programs or even through a short program at your local vocational school or university.

5. While you are working as an insurance biller you can then take that time to study on becoming a coder. The following books will be needed to aid you in your studies include:

  • eCPT
  • Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)

1. Those that are currently working as a billing specialist will opt to taking a coder training programs online so that they are able to obtain their education at their own pace while still maintaining their current work schedule. The AAPC website offers online training programs for coder and billers the prices vary for those that are members so you should check their website for the current prices.

2. Once you have completed your studies and training programs, you will then need to register for the certification exam for coders. The AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) makes it easy to find exam preparation tools both online and in your area. They also offer programs that can be utilized online for you to self-study which will offer you the opportunity to study at your own pace. They inform you of the books that you will need to do your own at home study program.

3. The three books that are seen above are the same books that are listed on the website that you will be able to take with you since it is an open book test. However, it should be noted that you should consult the AAPC website for the correct edition of the books allowed for the test. The test itself has over 100 questions and will generally take approximately 5 hours to complete.

4. Lastly, you will need to find a job as a medical coder. Once you have passed the certification exam you should update your resume with your newly earned AAPC credentials. You should check with your current place of employment to see if there is a position open, or you can check with a hospital or medical organization where the coding positions are separate from the billing position.

10 Tips for Handling Forms in Medical Billing and Coding

3 Jun

New specialist in the field are prone to making a few mistakes along the way and even some medical billing and coding specialist that have worked in the field for several years are still not immune to making mistakes. Unfortunately, these mistakes have been known to cost families and individuals hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It is also unfortunate that when these mistakes are made they cannot be easily undone. Below are ten tips that can be utilized by specialist to keep these errors at bay. The form that a majority of the mistakes are made on is the CMS 1500, which can result in form rejections. Below are 10 tips on how to handle CMS 1500 forms.

When it comes to filling in CMS 1500 forms it is important to understand that the information filled out on the CMS 1500 forms need to be exact and accurate. If you are new to the field then filling out the forms for the first time may seem difficult.

CMS Formatting Tips

1. When filling out the form online the best 10-12 size font in Arial. Avoid using hyphens, periods and even dollar signs.

2. If filling out the paper version of the form then it is best to use blue or black in and the same goes for online filings the font needs to be in blue or black.

3. Red colored font is not allowed on the online for and neither is red ink on the paper version (this is in part due to the form itself typically coming in red).

4. The data that you enter into on the paper form and the online form should be placed centered in the box so that the words will not touch the edges of the box. Make sure that you use the standard codes provided to fill out the form in its entirety and try to stay away from telling a story, make sure the text is to the point.

5. When you receive your CMS 1500 form it will arrive with perforations, be sure to tear these off so that when you submit your CMS 1500 form it is 8 in a half by 11. If you are placing any attachments to the form such as a copy of the patients’ insurance card or other information it MUST be smaller than the actual CMS form itself.

6. While you need to make a copy of the CMS 1500 form for your own records, you must NEVER send in the copy. If the original is not sent in it will be automatically rejected.

The following will cover other aspects of the CMS 1500 form that needs to be followed so that the facility you are working for will be paid in a timely fashion.

7. The fields that need to be filled out pertaining to the patient and the information provided to you from the doctor are filled in the proper areas on the form. In other words, do not place the DOB (date of birth) in the SSN box.

8. The names should be placed in their proper places. It can sometimes happen that the name of the person on the insurance information is not the patient. This is true when it comes to patients that are under the age of 18 and they are on their legal guardians insurance.

9. A portion that is often missed on the CMS 1500 form is part 11 which asks if the patient is covered by Medicaid or Medicare.

10. To further ensure that the form and the information on it is accurate as it pertains to the patient, have the patient verify the information entered into the form and sign and date the form.