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What Does a Medical Billing Specialist Do?

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  • Written By: L. Hepfer
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2014
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A medical billing specialist is responsible for maintaining medical records of all patients in a physician's office or hospital. Doctors and nurses rely on organized individuals to keep patient records in order. A medical billing specialist may also be in charge of recording body functions and vital signs, informing the doctor of illnesses and treatments the patient is receiving, and tracking the results of any tests that have been ordered.

For every patient in a physician's office or hospital, a thorough, detailed record is maintained. This record contains the patient's full name, social security number, home address, occupation information, insurance information, medical history, and any medical issues, diagnoses or treatments the patient may be currently experiencing. Efficient and accurate records make a doctor's job easier by having all the pertinent information readily available in one place.

Along with all the vital information, special codes are placed on the patient's chart. The codes stand for different medical procedures that have taken place. All medical tests are given a special code that is known by the medical provider and the insurance companies. These codes make communicating with the insurance companies much easier when submitting medical claims.

It is essential for a medical billing specialist to be detail-oriented, have a great memory, and have the ability to recall details without difficulty. A desire for working in the medical field is necessary as well as working routinely day in and day out. This is not the type of job where the responsibilities vary.

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A medical billing specialist working in a very large facility such as a hospital may be assigned to code and bill patient charts in a specific department. A smaller facility such as a physician's office may require the medical billing specialist to be familiar with working in all areas. This is one of the few professions in medical care that doesn't require much direct contact with patients. The primary responsibilities are usually carried out in an office away from the patients.

Being comfortable working with computers and technology is essential to being a successful medical billing specialist. Excellent organization skills and the ability to multi-task is an important part of this profession. Most medical billing specialists do not work under direct supervision so being independent and self-motivated is essential for this line of work.

The income for a medical billing specialist will vary depending on the geographical location, the length of experience she has and the size of the facility. Schooling for this occupation can take place at a college campus, or courses can be completed online. Most online courses can be completed over the Internet and do not have any residency requirements.

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