Working As a Medical Biller and Coder in a Physician’s Office

By Karen Smiley

Several different kinds of physician offices employ their own coders and billers. If you’ve seen someone buried under stacks of medical files as you take care of your copay in the doctor’s office, chances are you’re looking at a medical biller or coder. Just think — that could be you!

Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Working in an office in which a group of physicians share a practice: In a multi‐physician office, the pace is usually a little faster, and more demands are placed on the administrative staff. Usually, a larger practice has an office manager in addition to the clerical staff.

  • Working in an office that has just one or two docs: In this situation, the coder may function as the receptionist and biller as well. These offices can be great places to work. Due to size, you may find less office politics, and life usually tends to move at a slower pace when you’re dealing with just one doc.

    The downside is that getting time off can be difficult, and your days off generally correspond to the physician’s days off, so you have less flexibility with regard to personal time.

  • Working in an office in which the physicians do their own coding: In this case, the physicians may use only the services of a biller. A certified coder is optimal to fill this type of position because, when the physician is out of his comfort zone from a coding perspective, a certified coder can assist with assigning the correct codes, as well as keeping abreast of code changes and other requirements.

    The downside to working in this environment is that your coding may not be as accurate as it should be (you may work with a physician who likes to “do it his way”), and moving to another job will be more difficult. Keeping providers like these on the right track is often a difficult and delicate position to put yourself into.