Cultivate these traits for a career in medical billing and coding.Completing a medical coding program or medical billing program will give you important skills necessary to have a successful career in this field. However, there are other qualities you’ll need to cultivate if you’re going to be fully prepared to take on this rapidly growing career.1 In fact, it’s likely that you will be asked questions pertaining to these “soft skills” during the interview process to make sure you’ll be a good fit for the job.2 As you consider a career in medical billing or coding, make sure you have these important qualities:

1. Detail oriented

When dealing with health records, whether you work in medical billing or coding, it’s imperative that you are able to focus on small details when recording and coding patient information. Medical records professionals are responsible for making sure that health information data is managed in an accurate and efficient way. With so much information passing through your hands each day, it’s vital that you are able to stay focused.3

2. Discretion

As a medical biller or coder, your job necessitates having access to sensitive medical information. Patients have a right to privacy, which means that sharing any of this data could lead to significant legal problems. In order to have a career in medical billing and coding, you need to be discrete. In general, it’s best to treat medical records as if they are anonymous.4

3. Assertive

Medical billers and coders interact with a variety of people, including physicians, office staff, finance personnel and others in the same role as you. If a hostile patient collection case transpires, it’s important that you are able to be assertive. Diffusing patient emotions while solving problems is all part of the job.5

4. Analytical

This particular career requires the ability to understand and follow medical diagnoses and convert that information into the proper codes for medical records. This means you will need to have a basic grasp of medical terminology and human anatomy, in addition to being analytical. Logic and the ability to thoroughly analyze information are also important traits for medical billers and coders to have.6

5. Technical

As many hospitals and physicians’ offices make the switch to electronic health records, technology will play an increasingly important role in the profession of medical billing and coding. If you can think technically and are adept at learning new software programs, you will have a much more successful career.7

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Medical Records and Health Information Technicians,’ Aug. 7, 2012 –
2 DeZube, Dona, Monster, ‘Medical Billing/Coding Specialist Interview Questions,’ 2013 –
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Medical Records and Health Information Technicians,’ Aug. 7, 2012 –
4 Medical Billing and Coding World, ‘Medical Transcription: Most Important Job Skills & Traits,’ May 26, 2012 –
5 DeZube, Dona, Monster, ‘Medical Billing/Coding Specialist Interview Questions,’ 2013 –
6 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Medical Records and Health Information Technicians,’ Aug. 7, 2012 –
7 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Medical Records and Health Information Technicians,’ Aug. 7, 2012 –

7 thoughts on “5 traits needed to work in medical billing and coding

  1. Moon Khan

    People succeed in medical coder

  2. chrishaunne mitchell

    I am studying medical billing and coding and there is a vast amount of information to retain. what areas should i focus on mostly? what is also a good method of retaining the information being that there are so many codes?

    • Nicole D.

      Well fortunately medical coders are permitted to use references to aid them to do their job in the work place. I would suggest keeping up to date on CPT/HCPCS and ICD updates and definitely know how to use the ICD 10 already since it is being implemented on October 1st 2015. Invest in a good medical dictionary, The Bantam Medical Dictionary is an excellent choice and is quite inexpensive (only $8 in the US), and it contains definitions of all the medical abbreviations commonly used. No employer expects a coder to memorize codes (that’s why we have the manuals). As for the terminology and anatomy, it may take time for all of that information to be remembered but using a medical dictionary helps until then. Best of luck in your studies! Remember, being a successful coder requires a lifelong journey of education, including refresher courses to make sure your knowledge is current.

      • debra

        thanks for all the helpful information

  3. Nancy

    1. What personal attributes should a medical billing and coding specialist possess? 2. What professional skills are required of medical billing and coding specialists? 3. How can a medical billing professional demonstrate ethical behavior? 4. What would be an example of unethical behavior? 5. What is the impact of unethical behavior on a medical practice?

  4. Natasha

    I am getting my associates degree right now in Health Information Technology. I am very interested in being a Medical Biller and Coder. Which is one of the jobs they get you ready for. I am curious, do I need to take additional exams in order to get into the field, if so what are they?

  5. Molly

    Do medical billers work from home too? Is their job also to be taking phone calls ?

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