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Thread Topic: Billing or Coding
Topic Originator: Rick
Post Date March 15, 2005 @ 1:03 PM
Billing or Coding

March 15, 2005 @ 1:03 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

After a quick 6 months of study, my Billing/Coding course is almost up. So it wont be long till I get out in the real work and try to find a job. Should I look more for a Billers job or Coders job. And what pays better?

Just remember I have no real work experience apart from the 6 week externship I am doing.


March 15, 2005 @ 1:24 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I am sure we have all been here before!

Okay its probably easier to get a coding job or a front office/coding job to start with. Though I prefer Billing myself. So if you can get straight into billing go for it.

Make sure you put your heart and every effort into it at this stage. As even if you start with coding you will be able to move over into billing a lot quicker. Some beginers just sit back and think, great I have a job, I am set.

Depending on who you work for, and waht exactly you do will depend on the salary. I have been a biller for the past 4 years. I am on $17.40 per hour in AZ.

March 31, 2005 @ 6:33 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

What you say is you bill for a physican or hospital?  Because I am a coder for a hospital in Michigan (only a 43 bed one) but we have 4 coders here with all the out pt services...and the billers don't make as much as us.  
I would be interested in knowing overall which career pays better.  I also have always felt the coding is more difficult to break into than billing.  Maybe this is a Doctor's office vs Hospital thing?

April 2, 2005 @ 5:16 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

This is for Brenda...I'm in Michigan (Macomb Township) I was thinking about getting into coding/billing.  How do you break into the business?
Is there a trade school you went to? If so, which one?  Any suggestion would be very much appreciated....thanks


April 4, 2005 @ 3:41 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi. I am also in Michigan (Port Huron area) and do billing for a chiropractor, physical therapist, and medical physician in Armada. I started out as the front desk coordinator and shortly after became the biller. While I had hands on experience I was also taking a billing course offered by PCDI in my spare time at home. I found it easier to get a receptionist/front desk job and show them what I've got, then move into the the desired position. I have been doing this line of work for about 2 years now and enjoy it very much or at least most of the time. Good luck to you in finding the desired position.

April 4, 2005 @ 4:56 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi again, I am in Eaton Co.  I started by taking Medical Terminology and Billing I & II at Lansing Community College.  I don't recall if you said you worked for medical now...but that helps.  Just to get your foot into the medical world.  Hospital Registration or Front Desk is a place to start.  
Davenport College has a complete course you can sign up for.  It covers everything.  For a Coder or Biller.  My Billing I & II courses covered some terminology and coding but not enough to say it "covered" enough for coding, but was good for what biling requires...those courses dealt with the different types of insurances and rules they have, forms you use, ect.
For coding, I would suggest that you at the very least take the Terminology and Anatomy course from "somewhere" - right away.  
If you want to be credentialed (which most coding jobs require) there are two main types of credentials that are recognized thru out US...the American Academy of Professional Coders has the "CPC" (for physician offices coding) and "CPC-H" (for hospital coding) - they have a web site you can check out.  I did the year long self study then took the exam twice before I passed - it isn't super easy.  I preferred the actual classes I went to than that study guide myself.
The other credential is very respected by hosptial coders - it's thru AHIMA (don't remember the actual long name word for word) but they have online study "blocks" to take and then you take their exam at sites announced each year.  I am doing the study book for this that is available at Barnes and Noble.  It the "Study Guide for the CCS".  The AHIMA web site is  Before you plan to take the CCS - get some experience under your belt - it's tough from what I hear.  Hope this helps :)

April 6, 2005 @ 2:35 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Thanks Jessica and Brenda for responding.  I don't have any medical
experience at all.  I'm an automovie designer who was laid off in Noverber and looking to change careers.
I will take both your advise and somehow get my foot in the door and take the medical terminology & anatomy  class.  I was looking at this place on the web  They are offering this thru an adult ed class here in Macomb Township too.  Though I just may take classes at Macomb Community College. (I do have my associates).
Again I appreciate the both of you responding, this does give me some type of direction.

April 8, 2005 @ 6:44 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Sounds like a great plan (community college).  Your Associates degree will help you get your foot in the med office or hospital door, and hopefully a little respect :)

Tammy Harlan
April 23, 2005 @ 11:42 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top


Good question.  There is a big difference in "medical coding" and "medical billing."  In fact, the difference is enough to question why many educational resources insist on grouping the 2 together.  

Basically speaking, medical coding has more to do with the "medical" aspect of a practice.  "Medical billing" has much more to do with the accounting management of a practice.

Medical Coding requires certification.  Medical Billing does not.  Medical coding consists of pouring over the doctors notes and turning their notes into the appropriate codes.  Not many private practices require medical coders as the codes are readily available and checked off on an "encounter document" for each patient.  More often than not, if the code is not present on the form, the doctor will "code" the procedure.  If the physician employs a "coder", the coder will code the procedure.

When it comes to "home-based" or "office-based" businesses...  medical billing is an option whereas medical coding is not, unless you are a "practice management consultant" providing coding services.  The "coder" usually needs to be positioned in-house, within the physicians office.

What can provide a better income?  The obvious answer is "medical billing" as a medical billing outsourcing agency can be a home-based or office-based business for any individual who can be realistic and serious about what it takes to provide such a service to professionals.  "Medical Coding" alone, cannot be turned into a home or office based business.

Tammy Harlan
Medical Billing

April 25, 2005 @ 3:28 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I'm a registered nurse who (for health reasons) became a certified coder three years ago.  I work as the only coder for a very busy 6-MD obgyn practice.  While my doctors do code office visits from our encounter sheets, I review all their coding and very often find that they have either under- or over- coded.  In addition, I review all of their operative reports and code from them.  I also perform quarterly internal audits on my doctors' documentation.  Since things change so rapidly in medicine in general and coding in particular, I provide monthly training/updates to my doctors.  Because Medicare has recently mandated that all state offices employ certified coders, it's anticipated that more and more private practices will begin hiring their own certified coders as well.
I met several coders at a national convention last year who work strictly out of their homes.  They all have contracts with the doctors they code for which allows them electronic access to the patient's medical records.  Also, there are reputable companies who provide facilities with "temporary" coders...these assignments can be anywhere in the US, and may last from 2 weeks to a year or more; a great job for someone who has the freedom to travel!
My nursing background has been a tremendous benefit in my job as a coder.  My current salary is $40,000.

August 22, 2005 @ 11:25 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

If you are after a challenging career, stick with coding. You will be challenged in may ways on a daily basis. It can be a little stressfull, though worth every effort.


August 20, 2007 @ 10:33 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

i am new to this chat ,, but here in nj  . we have just been informed that all major Rite Aid , Cvs .ect r going to by law employ coders to , in another way compate the insurace companies who have been employing coding years ago... just to dispute claims.  i am half way thru my traing of 2 yrs and i want to work for the good guys.............  good and honest doctors and or hospitals......


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