It takes a special person to successfully work in the world of medical billing.
Many behind-the-scenes jobs do not get recognized enough for what they do to keep things running smoothly. If it weren’t for medical billers, who would translate codes, file claims, update records, and solve inconsistencies? Who would post payments, manage reimbursements, perform pre-certifications and pre-authorizations, as well as utilize the medical billing technology needed to be efficient?
No one else is trained and certified to do these tasks aside from our wonderful and amazing medical billers! Appreciate them and what they do, as they are the ones who help keep profitability and productivity up to create success within the company.
Here are 8 qualities that make the perfect medical biller.
Empathy and Compassion
Those working with patients and other individuals who may be dealing with not only physical and mental health problems but also financial stress, need to exhibit empathy and compassion. Medical billers are required to converse with patients daily. They listen to a variety of complaints and situations from patients; sometimes the patients just simply need to vent. Those on the medical billing side need to put their personal opinions and mood aside and put themselves in the patients’ shoes.
Showing empathy can go a long way and can help give the patient some peace of mind when everything else in their world might seem chaotic.
“Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” –Brene Brown
Only detail-oriented medical billers show success. There is no other way to be. Individuals working in this field must take on numerous tasks at once, yet also must pay close attention to minor details that others may miss. And there are many minor details in the world of medical billing.
A specific example of detail orientation is regarding payment discrepancies.
Payment discrepancies are usually the result of human error, sometimes from inputting incorrect information into a calculator or writing down the wrong number by hand. A medical billing specialist needs to be detail-oriented enough to notice discrepancies in payment. If they don’t notice payment discrepancies, their practice could lose revenue. At worst, there could be problems with their financial bookkeeping and tax information.
Medical billers are natural problem solvers. Each day brings on new and sometimes complicated issues that must be resolved in a timely manner. They are both detail-oriented and able to problem solve—this is the best of both worlds, especially for the company that hires them. Medical billers must face conflict and issues involving patients and insurance companies, within their own company, and perhaps even with technology or other information they receive and utilize.
An article from Dorsey College gives an example of problem-solving skills a medical biller must have:
There are a number of codes that billers need to be familiar with, and billers must skillfully navigate through the various pieces of the billing/coding puzzle to get claims processed for patients and get doctors paid for services. This may not always be a seamless process, which will entail billers to investigate, follow-up, troubleshoot, and resubmit claims to ensure accurate, timely, and complete processing.
Communication is key. Medical billers need to not only communicate well verbally and in writing, but they must also actively listen to patients and those working for insurance companies. They need to be able to take emotion out of conversations and get to the facts of what they have heard and effectively relay information back.
This can be challenging when conflict arises and emotions are running high. That is why most medical billers are excellent communicators. They know how to de-escalate a situation and continue to have a productive conversation to get to their end goal.
Most occupations now require specific knowledge of technological programs and devices. Medical billers must have the foundation to be able to use accounting programs, spreadsheet applications, coding software, and be confident with troubleshooting when things go awry.
Medical billing jobs are quite reliant on the internet and the use of technology. If these individuals don’t have the basics down and are willing to learn and grow in this area, they won’t be successful.
However, no technological advancement will ever take the place of a competent medical biller!
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. – Elbert Hubbard (Author)
Strong Moral Character
Medical billers are bound by HIPAA to protect the privacy of their patients. Upon hiring, each company hopes that its billing specialists will abide by the rules, regulations, and ethics while working under them. That includes keeping confidentiality, treating others humanely and with compassion, and using sound judgment.
This also includes being reliable and getting along with others. When working in the medical billing field, many others rely on the billers. Without them, the bulk of the work cannot get finished. Billing specialists work as a team.
Being proactive on the job is a quality that every medical biller should have. There are many instances that can occur on a daily basis, especially with coding and other human errors, that can be easily prevented. When medical billers are proactive, they can prevent a lot of inefficiencies and cut down on mistakes. And when there are errors, these individuals take them and run with it, making corrections ASAP.
Lastly, medical billing specialists need to be autonomous—or independent. Of course, everyone in the company works as a close-knit team; however, most of the day-to-day tasks rely on medical billers knowing exactly what to do in order to be efficient and successful. They must take action and initiative during daily situations. Also, many medical billers work remotely, which definitely creates a problem if they cannot be autonomous.
If you are reading this and realize that you have most of these qualities, or know someone else who does, becoming a medical biller might be the perfect career choice. While not everyone is perfect, to be a medical biller, one really must possess most of these qualities, and be willing to work on the qualities they believe they lack. Showing a willingness to improve and grow as a human being and employee is another advantageous quality and makes it obvious you will do what needs to be done to be successful.