Skip to main content

Get up to $898 off tuition! Learn More

Difference Between Medical Billing and Coding

Hospitals, medical offices, and other healthcare businesses rely on an effective and efficient revenue cycle. Although medical billing and coding are both essential to the revenue cycle and are often completed by a single person, they are actually two separate jobs.

When considering a job as a medical billing and coding specialist it is important to understand the difference between medical billing and coding as they both require different skills. Often time students discover that they prefer one over the other and understanding the differences can help you make your decision before investing time.

Medical Billing and Coding Difference

Difference in Responsibilities

The responsibilities of medical billers and medical coders are different! They both play a different role in the creation of a medical claim.

Medical Billing

Medical billers use the information that medical coders provide to create a claim and then send the claim to the patient's insurance provider. Billers work with insurance companies to work out claim denials and rejections, they also finalize all details and send out final statements for remaining balances to the patient.

Medical Coding

Medical coders translate medical information gathered from the patient visit, such as procedure notes, treatment given, lab results, diagnosis, and other documentation into a standard alphanumeric code that is then sent to the medical biller to be made into a medical claim.

Difference in Personality Traits

Although medical billers and coders have some personality traits in common, like attention to detail and organizational skills, there are some skills that set the two specialties apart.

Medical Billing

Medical billers are responsible for communicating with insurance providers to make sure that medical claims are paid. They also need to be comfortable speaking with patients to work out issues that may come up with their medical claims. People who consider themselves extroverted are more likely to enjoy this aspect of the specialty.

Medical Coding

Medical coders usually work on their own with occasional collaboration with other healthcare staff, so those who consider themselves introverted may find that medical coding is a great career option. Medical coders are typically more analytical and enjoy working with data sets.

Education & Certification for Medical Billing and Coding

The education requirements are similar for coders and billers. A lot of employers prefer applicants to be certified in either billing, coding, or both! Learn more about certificate options and requirements!

Medical Billing and Coding Salary Differences

While medical coding and medical billing both play an important role in the revenue cycle and have similar education requirements, they are different roles and often earn different average salaries.

Medical Billing

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salary of a billing clerk is around $42,000 a year.

Medical Coding

The BLS reports that medical coding specialists make an average salary of $45,240 a year.

Starting A Career

When it comes to medical and billing careers there are a lot of different options available. While smaller practices traditionally hire one person to do medical coding and billing, there are healthcare providers that have medical billing and coding as separate positions. When deciding to study medical billing or medical coding there is a third option, studying them both at the same time. Getting a certification in both medical billing and coding offers more opportunities for employment and can help you decide which one would suites you.

If you are ready to start your career as a medical billing and coding specialist then check out our programs designed to prepare you for your certification test and to get you ready for your new career!

All Blog Sections

Get started today!

Or call toll-free 866.250.6851 to learn more.