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What Is A Medical Billing Specialist?
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For doctors who are looking for medical billing companies or a medical billing specialist, it is important to understand how the system works and the relationship of medical practices to billing services.
The Duties of a Medical Billing Specialist
The specialist works for the medical practice and takes care of all the billing requirements. This means charge entry, claims processing, payment posting, denials management & AR follow-up. Some of the services they provide includes, but may not be restricted to the following;
- Payroll, accounts payable, banking
- Scheduling appointments
- Preparation & maintaining charts for patients
- Answering calls
- Verifying insurance, pre-authorization, and referrals
The Process of Becoming a Medical Billing Specialist
There are two basic ways a person becomes a specialist. Either they work as a medical assistant for years or they acquire advanced certification. In any case, they have to take specific programs that allow them to become a specialist in medical billing services. It’s fairly easy to find the programs online and many companies offer services to help you become certified in this field.
It may take six months to a year to receive the proper training depending on where you get your education. Plus, the cost may range from as little as $1000 up to $6000 or more depending on the school. Once you have become certified, the next step is becoming knowledgeable about the operations in a medical office so you can start to work quickly.
The good news is that Medical Billing Companies as well as practices are looking for qualified specialists as this is a growing field. Currently, there are over 1.2 million specialists in medical billing in the United States and that number is expanding rapidly.
One way that some medical practices are using to lower the cost of their billing processes is specialized software. There are companies that provide medical billing software which is fairly easy to use and helps speed up the process of the billing itself. It is far less expensive at least initially to go with a high quality software solution compared to using a medical billing specialist or medical billing companies. However, the drawbacks are that the software will have to be updated or changed which will cost more money in terms of learning a new program.
Another popular method is for practices to outsource their medical billing to a billing specialist or medical billing companies that serve several clients. These companies rely on their reputation for delivering high quality services which means it is in their best interest to do as good a job as possible in medical claims processing. This is generally considered less expensive in the long run compared to practices using just software solutions or hiring a billing specialist. In addition, these companies will upgrade their own software and equipment which keeps the cost down so they can provide affordable services for their clients.
It will all come down for medical practices to choose the right type of service that meets their own needs.
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