Posted in Career Insights
is medical billing coding hard

For those interested in medical billing or coding, they may ask, “Is medical coding hard?” or “Is medical billing hard to learn?”

While these careers have some challenges, they also aren’t as difficult as you may believe.

What Medical Billers and Coders Do

Before we take a look at the challenges medical billers or coders may face, let’s go over what they do. Essentially, both positions work in the same pipeline but have different duties.

A medical coder collects data from patient records in an alphanumeric code, like CPT, that can be used in other systems. 

The medical biller then takes that universal code and creates insurance claims for their employer.

Overall, this process helps medical providers request reimbursement from insurance companies for qualifying medical treatments.

To answer the question, “Is medical billing and coding hard to learn,” let’s take a look at some of the issues that workers in these careers deal with daily.

Common Challenges

Since this work involves confidential information, medical billers and coders face numerous challenges. The biggest obstacle when working in these positions is making sure you follow HIPAA regulations.

HIPAA outlines the legal limits for using patient information. It determines not only who may access this information but also how they send it to others.

This means that medical billers and coders deal with HIPAA compliance every day. 

That being said, there are other aspects of each job that may seem hard at first, such as:

  • Coding medical treatments, procedures, and diagnoses accurately;
  • Recording all payments related to a patient file like co-pays, deductibles, etc.; and
  • Communicating with a larger team about complex issues with billing.

As long as you commit yourself to learning the basics and keeping up with industry updates, it’s easier than you think.

Ways to Overcome Challenges

While medical coding and billing seems easy for some people, it comes with its own unique challenges like any other job.

Along the way, you may find yourself dealing with new systems or forgetting codes.

Know that you aren’t alone and that many people with this career struggle with these things from time to time. Here are some tips to help you overcome these challenges.

Review and Refresh Your Current Knowledge

When people pursue this career they often ask whether learning the material is difficult.

However, there is another part of the question that they don’t consider until after they understand the process:  Is medical billing and coding hard even after you’ve learned the basics? 

Generally speaking, there are some aspects of the job that remain difficult. For example, many people find that they frequently forget codes for certain conditions.

If this is something you’re worried about, the best thing to do is to review everything you have learned. 

One of the best ways to do this is with spaced repetition using flashcards.

This method, compared to regular flashcard memorization, increases the amount of information retained over a longer period of time.

In fact, a 2020 study by the University of Leicester found that learners who used spaced repetition had a 15% higher average score than those who did not when tested.

Commit to Learning New Systems and Strategies

There is one crucial thing we need to address: industry changes. One of the most challenging aspects of medical coding and billing is the sheer number of developments that happen every year.

New healthcare regulations and systems can really stir up the world of a medical coder, especially if it requires them to adapt to a new system or receive more credentials.

Whatever the case may be, it is always a good idea to learn any new skills that may be required for these changes.

Courses such as the one offered by Stratford Career Institute, can be a good way to learn some new concepts while also reviewing the basics.

Keep Up to Date with Unexpected Industry and Documentation Changes

In the world of medical billing and coding, it is incredibly important to stay up-to-date with healthcare news.

This is because medical coding professionals often run into problems when healthcare systems change the way they deliver services. 

For example, if a doctor’s office goes from doing in-person visits to primarily telehealth visits, it completely changes the codes that are used for billing.

In situations like these, coding processes can be interrupted and cause havoc.

To alleviate this, it’s important for medical billers and coders to audit their documentation frequently and ensure that they are not only accurate but also compliant with various healthcare laws.

This helps ensure that all medical documentation, including billing, is properly prepared.

Available Resources to Medical Billers and Coders

When asking, Is medical billing and coding hard? it’s easy to feel like you may be out of your depth.

However, the main thing to keep in mind when considering a career as a medical biller or coder is that employers know how difficult it is. That’s why they provide you with resources while on the job.

In fact, most medical billers and coders have access to: 

  • Codebooks. These books have thousands of medical codes for different conditions in case you forget. They serve as guidelines for anyone working in this particular field.
  • User-friendly software. The software used by medical providers today is intuitive compared to older systems. In some cases, learning the software is enough to fulfill the job’s duties.
  • Continuous training. Training programs, like those offered by Stratford Career Institute, can help teach the fundamental skills needed to work toward a career as a medical biller or coder. In addition, they generally cost less than college courses and can give you experience working with industry-standard terminology.

With these resources, medical coding or billing isn’t as difficult as you might think. In fact, it may be a rewarding experience if you are passionate about both data and healthcare.

Enroll in Our Medical Billing Course Today

Through answering the question, “Is medical billing and coding hard to learn,” we’ve found that the right tools and instruction can help individuals find success in this field.

If you want to know the basics of handling patient data and creating insurance claims, Stratford’s course in medical billing may be the right choice for you! Enroll today or contact us to learn more.


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Become a Medical Billing Specialist!

Become a Medical Billing Specialist!

Explore Stratford Career Institute’s medical billing course to see if it is right for you. With our course, you will gain the basics of handling patient data and creating insurance claims.