Free Medical Billing and Coding Study Guide

Touseef Riaz

December 8, 2020

Medical billing and coding study guide

If you are considering a career in medical billing and coding, you will find this free medical billing and coding study guide very useful. Are you detail-oriented and have an inquisitive mind? If yes, this profession could be an ideal fit for you.

Also, note that if you are new to the medical billing and coding industry, you will likely have many questions, and you may be wondering how you can keep everything straight. However, don’t worry as we have you covered. It is worth noting that after you learn medical billing and medical coding from a reputable and accredited institution, you have to make sure that you follow the tips we will give you in this free medical billing and coding study guide.

Also, most importantly, you should be willing to continue learning and educating yourself even after you have completed your education to know what is happening in the industry. Did you know that if you are preparing for a successful career in medical coding, the (CPC) certified professional coder exam is essential? Keep in mind that to be a certified medical coder and biller, you have to be well prepared for your exam.  

Did you know that certified medical billing and medical coding professionals prevent invoicing discrepancies, ensuring that the medical providers, such as doctors, receive their payments on a timely basis?

Also, it is worth noting that after graduating from your medical billing and medical coding program, the next step is passing the CPC examination from the AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). You should know that the CPC certification is crucial as it ensures that all medical providers are in compliance with various regulatory procedures.

You can learn more about this growing and in-demand field and how medical billing and medical coding courses will help you get started.

Tips for Medical Billing and Medical Coding Students

Prioritize Your Education

There is no doubt that your classwork will prepare you for a career in medical billing and medical coding. This is why you should take your time in classroom and lab settings seriously. Did you know that medical billing and coding training includes a variety of coursework?

This ranges from anatomy and physiology to medical office business classes. It is essential to be fully prepared for your classes as well as labs, complete all assignments on time, allowing plenty of time in your daily schedule for study.

Be Willing and Ready to Ask Relevant Questions

If you are a student and new on the job, you have to make sure that you are asking relevant questions. It is worth noting that medical billing and medical coding is a serious profession, requiring serious effort and attention to detail.

This is why you must ask more experienced people in your medical office about the following:

  • Standard procedures
  • Common codes
  • The flow of documents

Think Analytically

Did you know that innovative and analytical thinkers effectively use logic in order to connect pieces of information and then draw conclusions? These people thrive and prosper in medical billing and medical coding. This is because the profession requires you to decide which medical codes accurately reflect a patient’s medical procedure.

Double Check Everything

You should know that your employer relies on you to ensure that everything is done correctly. This is because a single mistake or error that results in a medical bill rejection could be quite costly for the practice. So, you have to double-check all the information from patients and insurance companies.

Schedule Your Time Carefully

Knowing how to manage your time wisely is essential when you are balancing your education and job. If you budget your time well, it will help you stay more organized, keeping stress levels to a minimum. Also, it is worth noting that knowing how much time you’ve available makes it simpler to change plans if needed.

When putting together your job schedule, it is best to set a maximum workweek of about 20 hours. Also, try to space these hours out as much as you can. This will ensure you have plenty of time to rest between your shifts.

Learn Software Systems

You probably know that different medical facilities and offices use different systems, and you may have to use each of them. This is why you should familiarize yourself with the kinds of software systems you may use on your job. 

Passing the CPC Exam

Whether you would like to work as a medical coder, a medical biller, or in a single role that combines both tasks, note that earning your CPC or CPC-A credential is important. This is because it conveys your expertise and ability in understanding medical terminology as well as the universal coding systems in the industry.

Always remember that this is a long process that will take some effort and work. This is why you should be fully prepared to dig in and play the long game. Also, you are doing this in order to advance your career, so make an effort to do it right.

Know the Prerequisite Study Material

It is worth noting that the CPC Exam tests anatomy and medical terminology. This is why it is important to pass this exam. Did you know that many colleges and universities offer these courses? On the other hand, you may also enroll in a shortened online course that the AAPC offers.

Also, it is worth noting that once you enroll in any of these online courses, you’ve 2 months to complete them. You can also consider these courses if you would like to refresh your knowledge in these two crucial subjects.

Enroll in a Prep Program

The AAPC reveals that individuals who take the CPC prep course by AAPC increase their chances of passing the CPC Examination twofold. Did you know that the course provides about eighty hours of valuable online instruction in medical coding?

And that is not all; it also offers you the ability to communicate seamlessly with instructors. Note that you will also receive a workbook and textbook.

If you would like to prepare for the examination, you will also find many prep programs at many local colleges and universities that teach medical coding fundamentals. Did you know that there are usually prerequisites for these programs, too, including medical terminology?

Take Review Classes

Similar to a prep course, you can find review classes at local colleges. It is worth noting that these classes are usually meant only as a review. This is why they are shorter compared to prep courses.

Did you know that you can find a review class offered through a local AAPC chapter? Keep in mind that these types of reviews often only last a half or one full day. Note that you can find a complete updated list of local chapters that offer reviews on the AAPC’s site.

Complete Practice Exams

Did you know that the AAPC’s website provides three practice exams? These exams are available for purchase. The best thing is that you may take these 3 exams as many times as you want. Also, note that reviewing your results will provide you with a reliable and accurate picture of all your strengths and weaknesses.

You will be glad to know that these exams also explain to you the logic or rationale behind the answers to all questions. Did you know that you can take these examinations under realistic time constraints? Note that practicing the exam under realistic conditions will help you increase your efficiency or productivity for the test day.

Study Tips for Medical Billing and Coding Exams

You should focus on the key concepts and ideas. Don’t know what these concepts are? You simply have to look over the review exercises. You will find them at the end of a section or a chapter before you start reading.

If you look at all the review questions first, you will likely be more focused on the core ideas and concepts of the assignment.

Did you know that during your exam, you will likely spend more time with the CPT manual? Although there are a few questions on HCPCS and ICD-10-CM codes, most questions pertain to the CPT code set. This is why it is a good idea to focus your study time and efforts there.  You should use a ruler while reading. Doing so will help you read faster and stay more focused. Also, note that most of the material you are studying may be new to you. This means you may end up skipping lines without even realizing it.

Do not make the mistake of treating practice exam questions as formalities. While many practice exams are easier compared to the actual exam, you need to take them seriously. Also, it is important to rewrite the key concepts and ideas in your own words. Note that if you understand the topic enough to explain it in your own words, then you are good to go.

Why Get Medical Coding and Medical Billing Certification?

You might wonder if it is necessary to pursue medical billing and coding certification if you already have a diploma or degree. This is especially true if employers in your area do not require certification for most entry-level jobs. Although a degree or diploma will help you land your first medical coding and billing job, adding certification is important. This is because it will help position you for more competitive jobs. Also, it can boost your earning potential.

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