When I enrolled at U.S. Career Institute, I made the decision to keep my eyes open for job listings pertaining to my new career. I wanted to see what potential employers are looking for in prospective employees. It didn’t take long to find some ads in my local newspaper.
Most employers are looking for certain qualities and/or abilities in their employees no matter what job they are seeking to fill. I noted similar items in several of the employment ads. Some of these include the following:
- Prior experience
- Computer experience
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and multi-task
- Strong communication skills (some ads also emphasize strong math skills)
I focus on listings for Medical Coding and/or Billing Specialists. Job titles vary. For instance, one
jobdescription is for a Coding Specialist while another one seeks a Professional Services Coding Specialist.
There are other differences as well. For example, one employer includes proficiency in various
kinds of billing software in its list of qualifications. However, the majority of the job
list many of the same requirements. As expected, several of the ads make reference to knowledge of medical terminology.
While some of the job requirements are not unexpected, such as having understanding of coding, billing
practices, reimbursement practices, and health center policies and procedures, others do stand out.
To cite an example: competency in use of resource materials.
What is considered to be beneficial or a plus? Experience or certification in a specialty area such as the podiatric field. Computer experience is “desired” in some ads while it is “required” in others. Employers are looking for somebody who can handle a fast-paced setting and be able to multi-task.
Equally important is the ability to work and communicate effectively with colleagues and physicians. Possessing excellent verbal and written communication skills is a must. Knowledge of grammar, spelling, and punctuation is important to be able to type correspondence. Other requirements include the ability to read, comprehend and follow both oral and written instructions. Also desirable is the ability to examine medical record documentation for accuracy and to ensure that the records are complete.
Perhaps you have consulted job listings for insight when researching what skills you need to acquire for your dream career. I can see a clear correlation or link between my studies at U.S.C.I. and the actual skills needed to perform the job of a medical coding and billing specialist. Based on my findings, I feel that my program of study is on track with the needs of today’s employers. I am confident that I will be well-equipped to embark on my new career as a medical coding and billing specialist upon graduation. Of course, continuing education is necessary with changes in the medical field occurring all the time.
UPDATE: My studies are going well. I recently passed my first coding quiz!