October 10, 2017
Health care is always evolving. Changes in treatments, doctors' recommendations, insurance and more can be felt throughout the field, from the doctor's office to the front desk. These changes recently have affected those working as medical billing and coding specialists.
In the past few years, the Department of Health and Human Services mandated that all medical facilities covered by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) must move toward using the codes outlined in the International Classification of Diseases 10th Edition (ICD-10). ICD codes are published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are the reference tools used by health care professionals to identify diseases and procedures.
As the professionals responsible for maintaining patient records and categorizing billing information and insurance reimbursement, medical billing and coding specialists play a crucial role in the health care system and in the transition to ICD-10.
Since 1979, medical offices had been relying on ICD-9 codes as they served patient needs. However, ICD-9 grew to become outdated as it did not account for the vast advancements of modern-day medicine.
ICD-10 expands upon the former edition by accounting for nearly 72,000 procedure codes - almost 19 times as many as ICD-9 - and more than 69,000 diagnosis codes.
Through higher quality data collected through use of ICD-10, health care providers are able to identify diseases, risk factors, and signs and symptoms in a more efficient manner. This means that patients receive an increased quality of care during their visits.
ICD-10 also allows for health information to be compared with the WHO and other countries around the world in order to track international data like mortality rates.
Medical billing and coding specialists are required in each medical facility, and the field is expected to grow 15% by 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The ICD-10 changes affect all providers that follow HIPAA guidelines - from hospitals and nursing homes to private physician offices and insurance companies, among other work environments.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in medical billing and coding, career education and trade schools can provide programs to train you on the skills needed to get into the workplace faster.
At Dawn Career Institute, students are learning the cutting-edge skills required by this growing field through the Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program. Not only are students being taught about the necessary techniques required for the administrative side of health care, they are also taught professional development skills such as job search tools and stress management tactics.
Want to learn more about the Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program at Dawn Career Institute? Schedule a campus visit today.