Medical billing and coding for a specialist is done in the same way as general medical billing and coding, but involves only the codes used for a particular medical specialty. Usually having more knowledge is a better thing than having more limited knowledge, so why should you get certification in a specialized field?
There are several good reasons that people choose to seek specialist certification in medical billing and coding. Here are a few of them. Explore these reasons for specialization and see if any of these factors might help you decide to seek specialist certification in your medical billing and coding career.
1) Specialists prefer to hire those with specialized training. Specialized medical billers and coders have the training to deal with the particular codes used by specialists, so these doctors are more likely to hire someone who has this type of certification. Hiring a specialized medical biller or coder helps the physician ensure that he or she is getting the very best help in a specialized practice.
2) You will be better at your job. There are medical coding certifications for almost every specialty imaginable, so you can easily find a certification training program for your chosen field. Once you have received this type of training, you will be better able to code quickly and accurately for your doctor. Quick and accurate coding and billing makes money for your employer, and makes you a more valuable employee.
3) Specialization helps you learn more about your field. You will learn a great deal about the practice of medicine in your chosen area by specializing in medical billing and coding in that field. It is inevitable that you will be exposed to a lot of information about your specialized area, and you will gain valuable knowledge about how the treatment of your chosen specialty works.
4) Specialization opens doors to new jobs. If you are in a rut with your current career, medical billing and coding specialties can offer exciting new opportunities for you to expand your work skills. You can seek jobs in a new environment with new challenges; often this is just what you need to spice up your work life and make your job enjoyable once again.
5) Some specializations are vital to the medical field. Working with cancer researchers and doctors, heart specialists, or geriatric doctors puts you in the forefront of very important medical areas. You can take satisfaction in knowing that, although all areas of healthcare are important, you are working in some of the most vital fields in the medical profession. By lending your expertise and skills to these fields, you will be part of an important team that helps those who desperately need medical care.
6) Specialists limit their practice, so your job will be more defined. A general medical coder or biller works with all types of billing codes, but a specialist is limited to a relatively few specialized procedures. While there are enough codes to provide a wide body of knowledge in any specialist field, specialists use a limited number of codes in their practice, so your job will entail less memorization than a general medical biller or coder must undertake. You will focus your attentions on a smaller number of codes and learn to manipulate them more precisely.
7) You can help your employer manage the high costs of specialist health care. Specialist doctors have incredibly high overhead costs, and managing a specialist practice is an exercise in careful financial management. A good specialist medical biller or coder can literally double the income of a practice and help to extensively cut overhead costs. When you correctly code and bill for specialist services, you are making money for your employer, and this means that you will be a very valuable part of your office’s team.
Specializing in medical billing or coding is the product of two things: a specialized training program and certification in a specialist field. The American Association of Professional Coders or AAPC offers specialist certification in 20 areas:
• Ambulatory Surgery
• Anesthesia and Pain Management
• Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
• Emergency Medicine
• Family Practice
• General Surgery
• Hematology and Oncology
• Internal Medicine
• Obstetrics and Gynecology
• Orthopedic Surgery
• Plastic Surgery
One of these fields offers exciting new opportunities for you as a medical biller or coder. Investigate the programs that lead to certification in these fields and the certification testing available in each area. You will be on a good start to a rewarding medical billing or coding job in a specialized field.