The top three most important soft skills for billing & coding specialists are professionalism, dependability, and critical thinking, according to a recent survey of employers for our 2020 Industry Outlook. These three soft skills were also identified as the most lacking, presenting an opportunity for growth for current and future billing & coding specialists who want to work toward personal and professional growth.
When do these soft skills show up on the job?
It's important to possess soft skills in the healthcare industry in order to provide an exceptional level of service. Here are some examples of how the top soft skills for billing & coding specialists can impact this role.
Professionalism: It's important that healthcare offices present themselves professionally. This goes for providers, assistants, and office staff such as billing & coding specialists. Below are some examples of strong professionalism in this role.
- Being discreet with private patient information, and protecting information by logging off before you leave the computer screen.
- Practicing patience when helping a patient resolve a dispute.
- Avoiding personal conversations with other team members while a patient is present.
Dependability: Healthcare organizations depend on billing & coding specialists to get paid by insurance companies ... that's a big responsibility! Our survey found that 64% of billing & coding specialists are able to reduce payment delays and obtain maximum reimbursement from insurers. Being consistent and reliable are critical to this role.
Critical thinking: As a billing & coding specialist, Michelle A. Green, MPS, RHIA, FAHIMA, CPC says it's important to have attention to detail. You're often dealing with a lot of information, or conversely, you could be missing documentation. And as the world of healthcare continues to evolve and change, issues such as coding telehealth appointments can become tricky to navigate. Having strong critical thinking skills helps you solve complex issues, and also means you are proactive in learning about regulatory changes.
Why are these soft skills important?
Medical billing & coding specialists need to have hard knowledge and skills, which can be proven through certification. However, soft skills are also essential and help make you a valued resource to patients, a strong team member, and a cherished employee.
More than 93% of employers feel that health professionals do not have adequate training on soft skills, according to our 2017 access™ job readiness research report. If you want to work toward career goals, or stand out among other job applicants in a job search, developing soft skills can help you access a better future.
Can soft skills be learned?
It's a common misconception that soft skills cannot be learned, but that's simply not true!
Work with your instructor or manager to determine how you can improve your soft skills. They may have some training methods that have worked well in the past for others they've coached.
Just like any other skill, it takes knowledge and practice to make your soft skills shine.