Medical Billing. This is probably not the first time you’ve heard of this word and you pretty much have a basic idea what the phrase connotes. However, one thing you should know is that most people have the wrong idea of what is medical billing in reality.
Often, what is medical billing is equated with what is medical transcription or what is medical coding when in fact, the three are as separate and as distinct from each other as night and day. While its true that all three of them are somehow related and sometimes even their responsibilities overlap, it still doesn’t change the fact that medical coding deals strictly with codes and medical transcription is strictly on transcribing doctors notes.
So, what is medical billing then?
Some people say it is the doctors key to getting paid for services rendered. Others say that it is a process of submitting claims to insurance companies. But these descriptions are vague. What is it really?
Perhaps, the question what is medical billing is better answered with this definition of the term:
Medical billing is practice management. It involves front office skills, with emphasis on billing and accounting, insurance claims processing, and making decisions concerning the financial aspects of a practice.
What is medical billing compared to medical coding and medical transcription? Compared to medical coding and medical transcription, medical billing is wider in scope and broader in its range of responsibilities. Front office also means acting as an executive secretary to the practice, dealing in clerical work such as patient scheduling, clearing appointments, documenting patient visits, recording diagnostic and treatment procedures, and organizing medical records using a software program.
What is medical billing and what are its responsibilities?
The job of the billing professional starts with the office visit where you will handle everything from scheduling of the appointment to making sure that the patient makes it to his appointment. After the doctor sees the patient, depending on the services provided and the examination, he will then create and update the patients medical record.
The billing professional then organizes these records according to a system earlier adopted by the practice. This record contains a summary of treatment and demographic information related to the patient. The medical billing specialist will have to organize these records according to their contents to provide for easier access in case of another visit or some such circumstance and to create the billing record which is the document submitted to either a clearinghouse or an insurance company.
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