December 7, 2012 by Holly Cassano
How Can Coders and Billers Work More Effectively?
That is a great question and one that I have discussed often. There is a fine line between medical billers and medical coders when it comes to workflow and responsibilities. Sometimes, you can have an experienced medical biller who is certified and does a great job, yet they may occasionally feel that they can also advise a certified coder how to code a record. It is often at that point that I have noticed friction tends to occur.
Both billers and coders are essential to a medical office, yet each has their own unique role to play in the revenue cycle. Medical coders are well-versed in both billing and coding and that is not necessarily the same for medical billers. Medical billers do learn the basics of coding, but they are not coding professionals.
If you have a seasoned coder who likes to advise the billing department how to do their job, well, the same friction is also created. My suggestion is to have weekly meetings that incorporate both departments so that each can discuss in a proactive approach the concerns of each and come to a mutual resolution.
As a CPC myself, I will tell you that I have had some brushes with seasoned billers who continually questioned me on why I coded something a certain way, and honestly, I would tell them: if you would like to know why, then take the course, sit for the exam and pass it and then come back and talk to me. It is not the best answer, but it makes the point.
My advice is to just treat everyone as you would like to be treated, and if you’re a biller, and you have a question for a coder, just approach it from a perspective of how you would like to be approached if you were being asked.