What is Medical Billing?

Any medical center, be it a doctor’s office or a hospital can not run without its medical billing. It is the way the medical center counts its revenues derived from the patients treated there.

Though the term medical billing may be familiar to you and you know what it signifies, there are a lot of others who harbor a wrong conception about the phrase medical billing.

Most people confuse the term medical billing with medical transcription or medical coding, when in reality, all three have their distinct differences. Though their roles sometimes overlap and all of them are inter-related, it is still true that medical coding involves only coding and medical transcription is related to transcription of a doctor’s prescription or notes.

One way to understand what medical billing is that this is the way a doctors recovers his fees for his services to a patient by submitting claims to insurance companies. Perhaps the question could be best answered by this definition:

Medical billing is practice management and includes a broad spectrum of job functions. When compared to medical coding or medical transcription, medical billing is broader in its operational scope as well as responsibilities. For instance, front office implies working as an executive secretary to the practice, clerical responsibilities like patient scheduling and attending appointments, documentations regarding patient visits, keeping record of diagnostic and treatment processes, keeping track of medical records and all this is done using a medical billing software program.

What is the job of a medical billing professional? Well, it starts from the time you make the office visit where you schedule the patients’ one after the other and then ensure that the patients keep their appointments. After the patient has been seen by the doctor, you ought to update the patients’ medical records, depending on what has been advised and what other services provided at the center.

The medical record of every patient has to be kept in an organized manner by the medical billing professional following the system adopted earlier in the practice. The medical record contains all the demographic details as well as the summary of treatment given to the patient. The medical records are organized according to the contents. This ensures easy accessibility in future in case of a similar circumstance arising later. This record is also needed for creating the medical bill which is to be submitted either to a clearing house or to the relevant insurance company.

As is evident the job of a medical billing professional is critical in the running of a medical center. The skills required are: attention to details, accuracy, and familiarity with dealing with insurance forms as well as keeping track of patient records and accounting.