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What Are Medical Billing and Medical Coding? How Are They Similar and How Are They Different?

February 28, 2009 0 Comments

A medical billing and coding diploma can help you find your place in the healthcare field, the largest industry in America (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). Medical billers and medical records clerks help doctors and nurses provide quality healthcare to patients by helping them record procedures and insure that they are properly reimbursed for their services. Medical billers and medical records clerks work in similar environments, typically in medical offices or hospitals and they rarely interact with patients. While both areas require employees to pay attention to detail and possess strong organization skills, the fields and responsibilities they carry actually differ a great deal. Before planning your career it is helpful to understand the differences between medical billing and medical coding.

What Role Do Medical Records Clerks Play in Healthcare?
Medical data entry clerks and medical records clerks update patients' files with abbreviations, noting each diagnosis and treatment a doctor prescribes. Medical records clerks, who have completed healthcare programs, use an extensive knowledge of various medical fields to accurately note these procedures. These records will later be viewed by doctors to help decide which future treatment for a particular patient is most appropriate and beneficial to the patient's health, based on their medical history. Medical records clerks play a crucial role in helping doctors provide proper care to their patients. Medical codes, noted by medical records clerks, are also later interpreted by medical billers to insure that healthcare providers are correctly reimbursed for their work.

Medical Billing Duties in the Healthcare Field
Medical billers, who have completed medical billing courses and a medical billing and coding diploma, typically find employment in hospitals or medical offices, which file insurance claims on behalf of doctors' offices and their patients. Each time a doctor sees a patient the doctor's office or healthcare facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, must be reimbursed the proper amount by the patient's insurance company. Medical billers interpret medical coding to make sure insurance forms are filled out with the correct information and that healthcare providers are reimbursed so that they may continue their work.

Medical billing courses and medical billing and coding diploma programs help individuals understand the medical field and the relationship between doctors, patients and insurance companies. Skilled medical billers, who have completed medical billing courses, may also find employment from home.

Why a Medical Billing and Coding Diploma?
Healthcare is the largest industry in America and expected to continue to grow as the baby-boomer generation ages and requires more medical attention. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field of health information management, including medical billing and coding, will grow by 18% between the years 2006 to 2016. A healthcare program, with a concentration in a medical billing and coding diploma, can help you prepare for a career in this field and allow you to choose whether medical billing or medical coding is the best fit for you.

Sanford-Brown College-Fenton's medical billing and coding diploma offers medical coding and medical billing courses as well as a supervised externship. To learn more click here.

Sanford-Brown - Fenton is close to many locations:
Ballwin, MO - approximately 8.0 miles
St. Peters, MO - approximately 28.2 miles
O'Fallon, MO - approximately 28.0 miles
St. Louis, MO - approximately 19.7 miles


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, on the Internet at (visited January 13, 2009).


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