10 Qualities of a Medical Billing Specialist
Are you considering an exciting new career as a Medical Billing Specialist? If you said “yes,” congrats, you’ve chosen a field and a career that can be both challenging and rewarding! Are you wondering what it takes to become a great Medical Billing Specialist? First, you will want to receive the training you need to pursue your new career, but you should also possess some of the qualities that Medical Billing Specialists need to be successful. Below we’ve compiled a list of 10 qualities a Medical Billing Specialist should possess that can be helpful in their success on the job.
Good Qualities of a Medical Billing Specialist
Here are 10 qualities Medical Billing Specialists should possess:
1. Good Communication Skills
People may think that Medical Billing Specialists are able to work behind closed doors all day and they don’t have to interact with anyone. Guess what, that is simply not true. Medical Billing Specialists must have good communication skills because they will interact with a variety of individuals. First and foremost, Medical Billing Specialists will likely interact with patients. They may also communicate with health insurance companies, other health care providers, and other members of the healthcare team.
2. A Strong Problem Solver
Medical Billing Specialists should be good problem solvers, or as some have said, “good with puzzles,” because the medical billing process can sometimes seem like working with a puzzle. There are a number of codes that billing and coding specialists need to be familiar with in their role. In addition, they must skillfully navigate through the various pieces of the billing/coding puzzle to get claims processed for patients and get healthcare providers paid for services. This may not always be an easy process, which could entail Medical Billing Specialists to investigate, follow-up, and resubmit claims to ensure accurate, timely, and complete processing.
3. Analytical Skills
Good analytical skills are key for Medical Billing Specialists. If a claim is returned or rejected, it may not always come with an explanation or clear as to the reason why the claim was not processed. This means, the Medical Billing Specialist may need to take an initial pass at figuring out why the initial submission wasn’t processed. For an analytical Medical Billing Specialist, they can often troubleshoot the problem based on the info they have or things they have experienced in the past, which can help reduce the time it takes to resolve the issue, process the claim, and receive payment for services.
4. Superb Attention to Detail
As we shared above, there are thousands of codes that can be used in the Medical Billing and Coding process. It’s nearly impossible for a Medical Billing Specialist to memorize every potential code in existence, but they should have a keen attention to detail and know where to find commonly used codes for their practice. Medical Billing Specialists should also know the procedures in processing claims to ensure timely and accurate payment for services provided. Errors made in the process could result in payment being delayed to the healthcare provider.
Those working in healthcare (including Medical Billing Specialists) work with patients’ personal and health information daily. In addition, they are bound by HIPAA to protect the privacy of patients. As a result, it’s essential that Medical Billing Specialists not only have solid judgment, but also always operate with the highest levels of integrity.
6. Technical Skills
There are a fair number of technical skills one should possess in order to be an effective Medical Billing Specialist. This includes being familiar with Medical Billing programs as well as understanding the types of medical coding and billing. In some cases, Medical Billing Specialists may also desire an understanding of accounting concepts, word processing applications, spreadsheets, and general office administration.
7. Can Work Independently
Medical Billing Specialists have a fair amount of responsibility in their role. In addition, this is a role that often requires someone to work independently and take initiative. For example, if a claim is rejected, a Medical Billing Specialist can’t wait for a doctor to stop seeing patients to ask, “What should I do?” In fact, healthcare providers rely on their Medical Billing Specialists to take action, initiative, and to find an answer. This doesn’t mean that Medical Billing Specialists never have to check in with their supervisor or that they are free to do whatever they want, that’s certainly not the case. This is the type of role that requires one to keep their workflow constantly moving.
Depending on the workplace and job requirements associated with a specific Medical Billing Specialist role, multi-tasking is a quality/skill that can come in very handy. Medical Billing Specialists have to balance a number of claims and keep track of how claims are making their way through the process. In addition, Medical Billing Specialists may also be responsible for other tasks around the medical office.
Depending upon where a Medical Billing Specialist may work, they may be the only biller in the practice, or they may work as part of a larger team. Regardless, a Medical Billing Specialist is an essential member of the healthcare team because they are the ones that ensure providers are paid for services rendered and in-turn, ensure cash is flowing into the practice.
Medical Billing Specialists may be faced with having difficult conversations as part of their job. For example, if a claim is not processed or only partially processed, it could understandably cause frustration. It’s important that a Medical Billing Specialist always remains courteous with all individuals they communicate with. This is important because they play a crucial role as a “bridge” between the insurance company, the healthcare provider, and the patient.
These qualities that we have talked about today are not meant to be a list of ALL qualities that make a Medical Billing Specialist great at their job. Instead, our list is meant to be a quick reference of desirable qualities for Medical Billing Specialists. If you are worried about your abilities in any of the qualities above, it does not mean that you won’t be a good Medical Billing Specialist. In fact, take this as an opportunity to improve. You may want to focus on those specific skills as part of your career training program prior to obtaining a position in the healthcare field as a Medical Billing Specialist.
If you are ready to pursue a career as a Medical Billing Specialist, Training Direct can help you get on your way. The Medical Billing and Coding Specialist training program is offered at our Bridgeport, CT and Danbury, CT schools. Our training program is designed to expose students to topics and concepts commonly used by Medical Billing and Coding Specialists. In as little as 4-weeks, you can complete the Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program at Training Direct and be on your way towards pursuing your new career in healthcare. Contact us today to learn more about our training program.