What Is Medical Billing? Everything You Need to Know

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

When you run any kind of medical practice, it’s crucial that you handle the details that come with the territory. In this regard, handling medical billing will help you out more than you know.

So what is medical billing? Consider the points below so you can handle your medical billing correctly and effectively.

What is Medical Billing?

Medical billing refers to the process of documenting your patient’s appointments so that you can get paid. This involves thorough accounting, coding, and an understanding of insurance policies.

It’s one thing to render service and another thing entirely to get paid for it. Stay on top of your medical billing so that your company always gets paid and is able to thrive.

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What Should You Know About Medical Billing?

Medical billing is a process that requires some expertise and a willingness to keep learning. This way, you’ll be able to grow your practice over the years.

Read on to learn more about medical billing:

  1. Get to Know the Details That Come With the Territory

Billing is one thing, but you have to also get to know the coding procedures that come with the territory. There are a number of codes that you’ll need to document when handling your medical billing.

Some of the most common codes that you might use include those for a routine exam, urinary tract infection (UTI), laboratory exam, abdominal pain, fever, and chronic cough. Each symptom or medical need comes with a code that you must fill out in detail so that you are able to get the patient the proper care, while also getting paid correctly for your services.

  1. Figure Out if You Want to Handle it Yourself or Hire a Professional

Since medical care is so critical, it’s up to you to figure out how you’d like to handle your coding. This generally comes down to you either handle in-house or hire the help of a professional.

Medical coding is a growing career track due to the constant need. If you are looking to hire the help of a medical coding professional, make sure that you set aside enough to either pay their salary or to hire them on a contract basis.

If you hire a medical coder long-term, their salary will demand about $53,000 per year or so, depending on their experience. There’s a trade-off based on what you need. If you handle your own medical coding, it will take more time on task, but you can save money.

By hiring a professional, you can guarantee the most hands-on, dedicated service, but it’ll cost you more. Consider this an investment into your medical practice, and take your time and choose wisely.

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  1. Make Sure That Your Staff is Trained

You’ll need to train your staff to address coding needs, no matter how you handle it in your practice. For instance, your staff should become familiar with many of the common codes that come with the territory.

Get on the same page with your staff so that they know how to address billing and coding with each patient. This way, they can explain it to your patient upfront and check people in and out seamlessly.

When you handle your medical billing correctly you’ll be better able to handle each appointment as it comes along.

  1. Embrace Technology During the Medical Billing Process

You’ll need to get to know the technology that comes with medical billing. Find a software package that will help you organize all of your medical billing claims.

One of the best things that you can do is give your patients plenty of payment options. The more options that people have, the more likely you are to get paid for your services in a timely manner.

Give your patients the option to get digital records sent to them, and keep detailed and accurate archives on your own.

  1. Set Up a Collection Process and Stick to It

Whenever you take in patients, they should know about the billing and collection process upfront. Explain it to them prior to service, and make sure that you also have signage posted.

The best thing you can do is stick to your policy so that your patients come to expect consistency and transparency from you.

  1. Prevent and Stay on Top of Coding Errors

When you want to handle your medical billing correctly, avoid coding errors at all costs. This will slow the process of getting paid and will create several setbacks.

One of the most common coding errors happens when people fall behind on their records. This is completely avoidable, which is why setting up your system should be a top priority.

Other coding errors happen when using random modifiers, forgetting diagnostic code links, and simply typing the wrong code. Make sure that you are careful with the way you add anything into the system so that your business doesn’t miss a beat.

When you avoid errors, you’ll also be able to stay on top of regulations and compliance. Be mindful of your patient’s information, and incentivize them to make their payments on top.

Give your patients options and you’ll be more likely to increase cash flow with your practice.

Handle Your Medical Billing Information Diligently 

What is medical billing? The points above show why medical billing is important, and how to get the best from your experience.

Consider these tips so that you are better able to handle your medical billing needs.