July 31, 2023

Medical Billing and Coding: Are You Ready?

By B&SC Blog Team

Medical Billing and Coding: Are You Ready?

When exploring possible healthcare career paths, you’re bound to come across medical billing and coding. This career path won’t have you providing patients with treatment or handling any direct patient care. Instead, you’ll be working behind the scenes making sure healthcare services are correctly coded for accurate billing or handling claims and other billing matters.

Working in medical billing and coding requires being detail-oriented and having a thorough knowledge and understanding of medical coding systems. Since this career requires you to handle a significant amount of health information, including medical records and other patient data, it might seem challenging. Learning more about medical billing and coding can help you determine if this is your best career path.

What Is Medical Billing and Coding?

Medical billing and coding is the process that turns health information and medical records into insurance claims and invoices. Insurance companies or other payers look over these claims and invoices, then reimburse healthcare providers based on patients’ coverage or policy details. How does this work? Medical coders take diagnostic and treatment data and turn it into codes that insurance companies and other payers use when reimbursing healthcare providers for their services. Medical billers use these codes when filing or submitting insurance claims.

Medical billing and coding uses different coding systems, including ICD-10 and CPT. International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes are used for diagnoses, while Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are used for services such as procedures or treatments. The daily responsibilities of medical coders typically include accurately coding diagnoses and services, while medical billers typically send claims or invoices to payers, handle rejected invoices or claims, and follow up on outstanding bills. In some cases, this career path involves handling both billing and coding tasks.

Is Medical Billing and Coding Hard?

Working in medical billing and coding requires you to be familiar with standard coding systems, such as CPT and ICD-10, and processes for handling medical claims. As a medical coder, you determine the correct codes to use for patient records or find the codes needed, and this can be tricky until you become used to these coding systems. Keep in mind that some healthcare facilities have coding programs that make it easy to find the codes you need. As a medical biller or coder, you’ll also need to keep up with any updates or changes to billing and coding processes or systems.

What Is the Hardest Part of Medical Coding?

This can vary from person to person, depending on personal strengths, skills, and other factors. For example, you might find it hard to quickly determine the correct code for a complex diagnosis or procedure, or you might find it difficult to stay on top of healthcare regulation changes that affect medical coding. Keep in mind that with the proper education and training, you’ll have a chance to develop the skills needed to thrive in medical billing and coding. Like many jobs, as you gain more experience in the field, you should also find it easier to handle everyday tasks, whether dealing with a billing issue or finding codes quickly.

Is Medical Billing and Coding Right for You?

Medical billing and coding might be right for you if you enjoy a rewarding career with some challenges. Working in this field means you get to use your skills to find the right codes for diagnoses and procedures, which can be like solving a puzzle in some cases. You’ll also play an essential role in making sure patient claims are coded and billed correctly for services, which helps ensure that patients aren’t overcharged and healthcare providers are reimbursed. Medical billing and coding can be a highly fulfilling career if you have an eye for detail, analytical skills, and a desire to work behind the scenes in the healthcare field.

Do You Have to Be Good at Math?

Having basic math skills is important when you work in medical billing and coding. However, you shouldn’t need more-advanced math skills to do this kind of work. Medical coding doesn’t use math as much for everyday tasks, but medical billing does involve having some math skills. As a medical biller, you might use software that performs calculations for you, such as reimbursement calculations. You might need to use basic math skills to calculate other amounts, such as when there’s a discrepancy in medical bills.

Benefits of a Medical Billing and Coding Career

Working in medical billing and coding is a good career choice for those looking for a healthcare career that doesn’t involve direct patient care or going to med school for a degree. Whether you work as a medical biller, medical coder, or both, you can expect to enjoy some notable advantages. Some of the top benefits of working in medical billing and coding include the following:

Remote Work

Medical billers and coders most often work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities, but some work from home. With the right equipment, you might have a chance to do remote work in medical billing and coding. This means you don’t have to deal with daily commutes, giving you more free time. Working remotely also means handling medical billing and coding tasks from the comfort of your home instead of going into an office. Being a medical biller or coder might be an excellent option if you have a quiet area in your home that you can set up as a workspace.

Advancement Opportunities

When you work in medical billing and coding, you can advance your career. Medical billers and coders can become medical billing and coding specialists. These specialists take on additional responsibilities in this field, which can be more challenging and rewarding. To advance in this career, you should plan on going through more training and educational programs to ensure you have the skills needed to be a medical billing and coding specialist.

Rewarding Work

Working in medical billing and coding offers a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As a medical biller, you’ll be responsible for ensuring patients are billed correctly for medical diagnoses or procedures. You’ll also help handle billing disputes and payment issues. As a medical coder, your work helps ensure that healthcare providers receive accurate payments for services they provide from insurance companies or patients who pay directly.

Regular Hours

Medical billing and coding is a good option to consider when you want a healthcare career that doesn’t have you working nights, evenings, holidays, or weekends. While staff in hospitals and other facilities with around-the-clock or extended hours are typically expected to be available at all times, medical billers and coders often work regular office hours. This can provide you with a steady, predictable schedule, so you don’t have to worry about making arrangements in your personal life in order to work nights, weekends, or holidays.

Online Education Options

Becoming a medical biller and coder means getting the proper education for this career. Some schools offer online programs that train students in medical billing and coding. With an online program, you won’t have to go out of your way to attend classes in person. Instead, you can learn medical billing and coding at your own pace while also developing the skills needed for this kind of work. Online education programs for medical billing and coding offer classes that cover the material you need to know for this career, just as in-person programs do.

Quick Start

Becoming a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare worker usually involves going to school for several years. When you choose a medical billing and coding career, you don’t have to wait that long to start working. Medical billing and coding educational programs can be completed quickly so you can start your career. In fact, you may be able to complete one of these programs within two years. This allows you to begin putting your skills and knowledge to use as a medical biller or coder in a shorter amount of time.

How to Become a Medical Biller or Coder

What does it take to become a medical biller or coder? While you don’t have to go through med school or nursing school for this career, you do need to take some classes. It also helps to have certification in this field since many employers prefer hiring medical billers and coders who have taken this step. You can expect to take the following steps to become a medical biller, medical coder, or both.


Although it’s possible to be hired for medical billing and coding with a high school diploma, you might find limited opportunities. To earn a medical billing and coding degree, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. As long as you have this, you can look into getting an education in medical billing and coding to ensure that you build the necessary skills for this work.


Medical billing and coding programs provide the training you’ll need to thrive in this career. You’ll find many options, including diploma programs, associate degrees, in-person or on-campus programs, and online programs. Associate degree programs typically take two years to complete, while diploma programs usually take less time.

What classes can you expect to take in a medical billing and coding program? Classes in CPT coding, math, ICD diagnostic coding, electronic health records, and reimbursement are typically part of these programs. These programs teach you to take information from medical records and determine the correct coding.


Becoming certified as a medical biller or coder isn’t required, but it’s a good step to take for your career. Many employers prefer to hire those who have certification. How do you become certified in medical billing and coding? You’ll need to take and pass a certification exam from a credentialing organization. Different certification options are available in medical billing and coding, such as Certified Professional Coder, Certified Professional Biller, Certified Inpatient Coder, and Certified Outpatient Coder. Going through a degree or diploma program can help prepare you to take a certification exam in medical billing and coding.

Start Your Medical Billing Journey at Bryant & Stratton

A quality education is the best way to start your medical billing and coding career path. Bryant & Stratton offers programs to help you develop skills for this type of work and gain the knowledge needed to succeed in your career. Our programs include a Medical Reimbursement and Coding Associate Degree and Medical Billing and Coding Diploma. Both programs are offered online and on some of our campuses.

The diploma program includes CPT and ICD coding classes, computer skills, reimbursement, and workplace math. The degree program includes these classes, as well as courses in evaluation and management services and advanced coding. The education you receive from the diploma or degree program helps you learn medical terminology; coding and billing practices and protocols; and more to build a rewarding career in this field.

To learn more about earning an associate degree or a diploma in medical billing and coding, request more information from Bryant & Stratton College.

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