Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

What to consider when recruiting for medical billing and coding professionals

With a boom in the healthcare sector, there is an increase in demand for medical billing and coding professionals. The skills required to be in this profession have gained emphasis over the years and are critical to succeed in the medical industry.

According to research conducted by Zippia, there are approximately 93,600 medical coders in the USA, which is definitely not a large number if you look at workforce availability in other fields. In such a scenario, you have your work cut out as a recruiter when it comes to selecting good candidates.

If you are looking to recruit such professionals, there are specific skills and qualities to look out for. Let us have a closer look at some skills to consider while recruiting these professionals.

1) Knowledge

Medical billing and coding professionals do not need to know the in-depth details about the treatment being given to patients, but they should be aware of medical terms. Knowledge about clinical anatomy and pharmacology is essential to be able to get tasks done. Like any other healthcare practitioner, they play a crucial role in guiding patients through documentation and tests conducted.

Keeping all this in mind, if you are recruiting such professionals, you should assess the knowledge that such professionals have along with their experience in this field. One of the criteria is to shortlist only those candidates who have appropriate medical billing and coding certifications

2) Decision-making skills

The job responsibilities that come with being a medical billing and coding professional are specific. Decision-making plays a vital role in analyzing the diagnoses made and coding the medical records. The skill to be able to work efficiently and effectively is essential. The ability to make good decisions helps integrate other skills required to get through challenging times at the workplace.

When problems arise, medical billing specialists solve them by interacting with patients and their families. Making quick decisions about the patient’s treatment options and balancing them with their finances is crucial.

3) Communication skills

Good communication is an essential criterion to be aware of while recruiting medical billing and coding professionals. Even though the responsibilities of medical coders do not include interacting with patients, the ability to communicate well is essential. This is because medical coders contact providers regularly for coordination. 

Hence, a professional approach, neutral tone of voice, good listening abilities, and persuasion skills are necessary. A medical billing professional usually makes follow-up calls about bill payments and also insurance claims. To ensure timely payments and ethical practices, the specialist needs to be empathetic yet firm with patients and their caregivers responsible for bill payments.

4) Computer skills

To work in the medical billing and coding field, candidates must be aware of current technology. Specifically,  you should check whether they are at ease when it comes to computer usage. Being able to use spreadsheets, medical programs, or database software is a significant bonus. Using technology makes it easy to retrieve information and keep medical records organized in one place.

As a medical billing professional, one must keep a check on payments made and the outstanding balances. Candidates should be able to use computers to monitor the overall expenses of the healthcare provider if required. 

Whether searching for an old report or a file, nowadays, anything can be accessed with a computer. There are various other skills that are important to consider while choosing a medical coder.

5) Analytical skills

When recruiting someone in this profession, it is crucial to hire someone who is good at handling money and is particularly good with numbers. Furthermore, analytical skills are critical in getting work done systematically. With the help of analytical skills, one can investigate payment claims, troubleshoot problems that arise, and make sure payments are made on time.