A Day in the Life of a Medical Biller and Coder
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a medical biller and coder? Carrington College Medical Billing and Coding (MBC) program  graduates Candice and Cherelle both work at Alliance Med in Phoenix. To find out what a typical day is like, we spent time with them and their boss, Chris.
So what do they do at Alliance Med?
When you go to a doctor’s office, the physician and nurses make notes about your health and wellness; if you’re sick they’ll hopefully be able to make a diagnosis so you can get what you need to feel better. Those medical notes are basically translated by billers and coders into codes that insurance companies use to pay the doctor’s bill. Sometimes, depending on the size of the practice, billers and coders work in the back office, or sometimes for a third party company, like Alliance Med.
Chris, the President and CEO of Alliance Med explains specifically what they do there. “We do billing and reimbursement for out-of-network specialists. We also do some in-network now, we do full service. We are also getting into Workers’ Comp, and the personal injury field as well,” said Chris.
What do our grads enjoy about working at Alliance Med?
If you enjoy working with numbers, like problem-solving, and want a back-office health care career that doesn’t involve patient care, then Medical Billing and Coding could be right up your alley! And just because you’ll be working with numbers and codes, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be boring! Candice loves the atmosphere, the vibe. “I literally finished my externship and started work the next day,” added Candice. “Everybody is very friendly, but there’s a lot of work to do so I’m always busy,” said Cherelle.
When Candice started the MBC program she was a busy coach and a mom; when she added going to school to the mix, time was short! Even though it was hard to start with, it was worth it. “Graduating, especially graduating with great grades and then being able to get hired right on, it was just a good accomplishment. I felt like I set a really good goal for my daughter,” said Candice.
How does a typical day get started?
Every workplace is different; each office has their own way of doing things, but Candice and Cherelle have their set routines. “I usually check my emails first, then I see what kind of assignments I need to do. I check with my co-workers to see what other work needs to be done, and then I start either billing or coding, or processing, or even doing correspondence,” said Cherelle.
“I come in and I look to see what’s a priority and I will jump into one of those buckets! If it’s billing I get in our AdvancedMD [medical billing software], I put in the patient’s demo [name, address, age, etc] and print them, upload all their documents and get those out the door.
It’s super important that these guys stay on top of their workload; “We have 24 to 48 hours to get things coded, billed and out the door because if it’s late then the insurance company can deny it,” explained Candice.
So both accuracy and speed are important?
Billers and coders have to work fast, but they’ve got to be accurate too. If something’s not done right, let’s say they bill the insurance company using the wrong patient address for example, the insurance company won’t pay the bill…and that’s not good for Alliance Med, their customers, or the patient! “Every claim that goes out is very important. We’re dealing with high dollar claims and if any mistake goes out there, it could cost the company a lot of money,” said Chris.
But even though it’s serious work, they do try to have fun too. “I think we have a really good time doing what we do here; our customers deserve the best customer service and the best reimbursement, and we love to employ people who can come and help us do that with the right expertise. The people who come here from Carrington College have done a great job of understanding that,” added Chris.