Medical Billing Coding - Coding vs. Billing?, cpt, codes
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Thread Topic: Coding vs. Billing?
Topic Originator: Christina
Post Date May 23, 2009 @ 1:33 PM
Coding vs. Billing?

May 23, 2009 @ 1:33 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top


I'm curious to know why, if billing and coding go hand-in-hand, a school would offer two different certificates. Which one would be most likely to land an entry-level job? I guess what I am trying to decide on is which one I should take first. Do I need both? Just one or the other?

Last year I completed an MT program. The program was not widely regonized, though, and I had a very difficult time finding a job with decent pay. :(  I don't want to make the same mistakes.

Any input is much appreciated! Thanks.

Michelle Rimmer
May 24, 2009 @ 9:48 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top


Although Billing and Coding do go hand-in-hand, they are different when it comes to job duites.  I compare the 2 as siblings---they are related, but have different 'personalities'.  As a medical biller, your job duties may include: Verifying insurance, posting charges, posting ins and patient payments, follow-up to ins companies, calls to patients, appeals, mailing out patient statements, and more.

Coders are usually employed by hospitals.  As a coder, you are abstracting data and assigning CPT, ICD-9, and HCPCS level II codes.  Now, I am not saying you cannot find a job as a coder in a medical office, but in my 19 + years experience, the providers themselves are the ones who are assigning these codes on the office superbills/encounter forms.

Medical Billing Certification is not state or federally mandated; it is optional.  For all the 'coding' positions I see, the employer requires either the CPC or CCS certification.

When I taught at my local community college, we offered the 2 programs SEPERATELY, as not all billers want to be coders, and vice-versa!

Hope this helps!


Michelle Rimmer
President-Professional Medical Billers Association

March 2, 2011 @ 1:58 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Michelle, it sounds like there are more job opportunities for billing positions. Is this true? I am so confused! I am soon to be divorced and am considering starting a new career that would be more lucrative than my current teacher's aide position.
Billing? Coding? Online? Community College? Associate Degree? I find billing/coding courses for $600 to $18,000 dollars.

March 29, 2011 @ 2:36 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Why dont you purchase the Medical Billing 4 Dummys book. That helped me get a foot on moving forward with my business. I only have 1 doctor but i make 10% of his receivables a month which is about 2k a month. May not seem like a whole lot but it pays my bills and beats driving to work everyday! lol But i found it on Amazon for like 20 buks. Plus it has like real contracts, invoices for your clients and like 1500 insurance companies names addresses and phone numbers on a disc to use! That was so helpful for me when i first started, you have no idea. Check it out it beats paying thousands of dollars for school that you really don't even need!

Steve Verno
April 2, 2011 @ 9:40 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Coding and Billing are symbiotic specialized professions.  A coder must know billing to code.  A biller must know coding to bill or appeal. You cannot code or bill without the proper training.  You may have an AA, BA, BS, MA, MS or PhD degree, but without coding or billing training, they are useless.  They do NOT make somone a coder or biller.  

The market is flooded and one must understand doctors currently use someone to do their coding or billing or both but openings do occur.  If they do, it opens and closes fast.   Doctors work hard to build their practice.  They will NOT give their livelihood to someone wanting to work from home.  Because they've been burned by the untrained and untrustworthy person before, they demand someone with experience.  if you dont have it, you wont get the job.  Lying your way into the position is an opening to a disaster and a lawsuit.  You want to work from home, you have to earn the trust of the doctor and staff.  That means working in the office and producing positive results.  If you cant hack it, in 5 minutes, dont plan on coming back the next day.  You may have to take a preemployment test.  There will be no study guide.  You take it and you pass or fail.  I have years of experience and tons of initials and certifications after my name and I had to take 3 preemployment tests before even granted an interview for a position.  My first day on the job was processing 1,000 denial EOBs.  

My advice is simple.  If you dont have the training, get it.  I recommend the training by the Medical Association of Billers.  Get your certification.  Learn the specialty.   Be ready for an interview at any moment.  Get into the office to start and earn their trust.  Never give up and never surrender.  Do your best and excell!

April 2, 2011 @ 1:54 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I have done billing for 11 years after 17 years in printing. I went to a technical school for 6 months and found a job right afterward. The medical billing is shorter time to learn; I also a couple of years ago I took coding and it was great, but there is a lot more to learn and there is a different class for physician or hospital or specialty coding and most employers want you to be certified, the test for that is about $300.00. I would suggest to start with the billing first to get your feet wet to see if you like it, the pay is good.

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