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Importance of Medical Terminology and Medical Billing

January 27, 2016

Importance of Medical Terminology and Medical Billing

The healthcare industry is booming and there are opportunities galore. However, it is important that the various government regulations are complied with. Medical terminology is part of medical billing and coding, and the field is gaining recognition. People working in this field need to be thorough in all aspects reimbursement procedures while dealing with Medicare and Medicaid. People who are in close contact with the medical world need to be familiar with medical terminology. It is rather difficult to remember most of the terms which sound Greek and Latin, which they actually are.

What does one do as a medical biller?

A medical biller’s primary responsibility lies in submitting insurance claims to the respective insurance companies, for which they use specially designed software. The billers need to be conversant with medical terminologies and also be adept at using Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) when it comes to coding all patient procedures. It is vital to be proficient at using positive customer service skills while dealing with patients. Explaining the concept of insurance, the costs and benefits involved and the ways and means to get them without any hassles is essential.

Be well informed about medical terminology

Is it really necessary to learn and understand complex medical terms is the question oft asked by medical billers. It is indeed a tall order when one is asked to memorize a set of complex terms that doctors and nurses struggle to master over several years of intense study and practice. As in any other field, being well informed in one’s chosen career is a prerequisite. It pays to know the difference between organs or diseases that often sound alike and can be easily mistaken for the other. Medical terminology is quite unlike other engineering, physics or IT related subjects as it is based on sound and logical reasoning. There is a common denominator, like terms ending with “itis” always denote inflammation of that particular organ, limb or joint. For example, Arthro combined with “itis” denotes arthritis, Rhino with “itis” denotes and Gastro with “itis” denotes Gastritis and so on and so forth.

Is the work environment congenial?

Medical billers and coders find employment in physicians’ clinics, hospitals or medical insurance companies. They may also find jobs at healthcare facilities or nursing care facilities, which are in need of experienced billers and coders. People preferring office work rather than working at a clinic often opt for a job as a medical coder or biller. As the work environment is far away from the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital, most people prefer to become medical billers or coders. Moreover, one need not toil over acquiring a 4-year degree from a professional school as there are no prescribed minimum educational requirements.

The intricacies of Medical Terminology

The intricacies of medical terminology can be quite taxing and challenging as well. The terms are formed from words comprising suffixes, prefixes, roots and a combination of vowels. While roots form the important part of the word, prefixes are added before the root, with suffixes following the roots. Thus Cardiovascular System can be broken down to cardi (which is the root meaning heart) and vas (which denotes vessel). Prefixes and suffixes need to be combined with a root always and can never stand alone. Suffixes, on the other hand are added to roots, defining them better. Thus when “itis “is added to Tonsil it denotes a swelling known as Tonsilitis, and when ‘omy’ is added to the same root it denotes Tonsilectomy, or removal of the Tonsil, a gland found in the throat.

Thus, a good understanding of the medical terminology helps in medical billing will ensure accuracy and efficiency.


Category : Best Billing and Coding Practices