Medical Billing and Coding Facts

It will take time and patients to become truly proficient in the medical billing and coding field. Below are some facts about the medical billing and coding field. Not necessarily “fun” facts about the field but facts that you will still find interesting about the medical field, past, present and future.

The Medical Coder Has the Final Say

Much of the work that a coder does is diagnoses coding. In a hospital or a clinic the department that keeps control of the medical records will generally handle this but in smaller private clinics it is up to the coder to go through every line of the doctor’s notes and then determine what the main diagnosis is. Due to this, diagnosis coding takes longer to learn then general billing and coding.

Bertillon Classification

In 1893, there was a standardized system for tracking and classifying deaths. The list was then compiled and sent to a statistician in Paris by the name of Jacque Bertillon. Nearly 26 countries began using the Bertillon Classification method by the 1900s. In a study by the Health Organization of the League of Nation talked about how the current classification method was able to be expanded on to include disease tracking.


No, WHO is not a question it stands for the World Health Organization. It was in 1949 that the WHO realized that they needed a system in place to not just track deaths but also track the causes of disease worldwide.

The Future of Coding Changes

If you think that the coding used today will never change then you would be wrong. The coding actually changes once every 10 years.

There Are How Many Codes?!?

As the coding changes every 10 years so does the number of codes. For example, the ICD-9-CM has approximately 13,000 codes within the diagnosis code set. Since the change was made to the ICD-10-CM there are a staggering 68,000 codes.

Know Your ABC’s

While this may not be the ABC’s you learned in kindergarten, however, they are just as important to a medical biller and coder. These are the ABC’s of medical terms that consist of well over 100 terms, and along with the terms the coder/biller will need to know and understand each prefix and suffix since they each correspond with either a body type or to certain problem with a patient.

Two Types of Medical Billing

There are two different types of medical billing: Physicians Billing and Facilities Billing.

  • Physicians Billing– Billing is completed exclusively on the CMS/HCFA- 1500 forms.
  • Facilities Billing– Covers hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, etc.

Knowing the Costs of Business

Getting started in a business of your very own can be costly. Is the cost any different depending on which part of the medical billing and coding field you want to go into? Yes. If you plan of starting your own medical coding business then all you would generally need is an ICD-10 book and you are set. However, if you purchase the correct software then it would make your job that much more easier but medical coding software can be expensive. On the other hand medical billing will cost you even more. To get you started you would need not only billing software but you would also need to purchase the paper forms. You would also need a top notch filing system since you will need to hold on the medical records you have acquired for a number of years. The exact amount of time you will need to hold on the files will depend on the state you currently reside in.

About Author

Ceete Sheekels is a Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants and also has her CMAA through the National Healthcareer Association. If you plan on entering into the CNA or CMA field or becoming a medical coder, you may wish to visit her website at AboutMedicalBillingAndCoding.Org so you can obtain the information needed to get you started on the right track in a high demand field.