Care + Career

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Tips from a billing and coding insider

michellegreen-1.pngAccurate medical billing and coding is essential in any type of medical setting, and the specialists who take on the task have a big responsibility. So what are the secrets of success in this profession? We sat down with respected educator, textbook author, and professional coder, Michelle Green, to find out.

1. NHA: Whether billing and coding is your full-time role or just one of the responsibilities within your work day, it is an important job. What skills and traits does a billing and coding specialist need to succeed?

Michelle: Attention to detail and persistence are important personality traits when dealing with the daily challenges in the billing and coding profession. It is crucial that each procedure or service provided to the patient be captured for billing purposes, and then a bit of "detective work" is necessary to ensure that the most accurate code is assigned to each procedure and service. 

2. NHA: How does someone keep up with all the changes in billing and coding? It seems to happen so fast.

 Michelle: Pursuing a professional credential is probably the best way to remain current in the billing and coding industry because continuing education requirements must be met to maintain that credential. Meeting continuing education (CE) requirements can be accomplished by reading professional journal articles and case studies, and then completing exams for which CE units are assigned. Other ways to remain current include attending in-person professional meetings and participating in online webinars. 

3. NHA: Do you need to be certified in billing and coding?

 Michelle: Professional billing and coding certification communicates to prospective employers and colleagues that you have the appropriate background for employment and that you are serious about your career (because such credentials must be maintained by completing continuing education to remain current). Certification can also allow more access to in-person conferences where networking with other billing and coding professionals is not only fun but can lead to professional advancement.  

4. NHA: You just published two brand new continuing education series exclusively for NHA certified professionals. Can you tell us about the “Coding Basics” series? Who should take it and what does it cover?

 Michelle: The "Coding Basics" CE series is intended to provide a thorough background in the essentials of medical coding. The most up-to-date coding manuals and guidelines are used in preparing the articles in the series. Article exams are provided to "test your knowledge" and allow you to earn CE units. All health care professionals will benefit from the "Coding Basics" series of articles, including health care providers. The series will serve as a refresher for experienced billing and coding professionals, and it will serve to reinforce knowledge for brand new professionals.

5. NHA: What about the “Coding Updates” series? Is that helpful even if you aren’t a billing and coding specialist?

Michelle: The "Coding Updates" CE series focuses on annual changes made to the ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, and CPT coding systems. Each article is based on newly published coding changes (e.g., coding manual edits) and guidelines (e.g., CMS official ICD-10-CM/PCS coding guidelines). Detailed examples are provided throughout each article to help professionals understand the changes. All healthcare professionals could benefit from the "Coding Updates" series.

Not only are these new resources from Michelle helpful for your professional knowledge, but completing the series can help you stay certified. Continuing education is so important NHA requires certificate holders to complete 10 continuing education credits every two years to renew your certification. 

Ready to get started? NHA certificate holders have access to our full library of continuing education units included in their fees. Log in to your account and start browsing courses.

Topics: allied health careers, career path, getting certified, recertification, Michelle Green, billing and coding