1. How much time do you spend on written or oral communication?
About 50% written communication and 50% oral.
2. What types of documents do you write?
The paper documents we create are typically patient statements, appeal letters to insurance companies, occasional notification letters on past due accounts, occasional contract documents for new clients, and email correspondence to provider office staff.
3. What kind of communication is used between you and the doctors?
Usually verbal (phone or in person) or email communication with doctors.
4. What are some typical customers complaints? how do you find out about these? how are they resolved?
Typical customer complaints can be complaints by client provider about accounts receivable and complaints from patients about their bill. The accounts receivable are usually because we haven't received info we requested for an unpaid claim(s) from the provider on a patients treatment. Complaints from patient usually because they don't understand their insurance coverage or their insurance information is out of date. These are usually cleared up with a phone call.
5. What are the repercussions (minimal to termination) for a billing mistake?
They could be anywhere from loosing a client or in the case of outright medical billing fraud it could be criminal charges. Typically the result of billing mistakes is unpaid claims and lost revenue.
6. How important are oral and written communication skills to career success in this field?
Oral and written communications skills are very important in dealing with providers, their staff, insurance companies, and patients. A medical billing specialist must be able to understand medical terminology, be able to communicate effectively with medical professionals and less educated patients who are sometimes upset over their bill.
7. Are there any volunteer programs or internships available for a college student or graduate?
The AAPC (American Association of Professional Coders) has a program called Project Xtern for their members to gain real world experience. Some larger employers also have similar programs - sometimes in cooperation with local community or vocational colleges through their career placement department.