Dreambound
Blog

Medical Billing and Coding

Medical Biller and Coder vs Patient Care Technician

Medical Biller and Coder vs Patient Care Technician

Want personalized recommendations?

Let's match you to the right program

Talk to Skipper
coach

In the ever-expanding field of healthcare, there are a multitude of career paths to choose from. Two popular options are becoming a medical biller and coder or a patient care technician. While both careers are in the healthcare industry, they have different job responsibilities and require different levels of education and training. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two professions and help you determine which one might be the best fit for you.

Article continues after recommendations

Recommended for you

Introduction

Before diving into the specifics of each career, let's briefly define what a medical biller and coder and a patient care technician are.

What is a Medical Biller and Coder?

A medical biller and coder is a healthcare professional who is responsible for translating medical diagnoses, procedures, and treatments into standardized codes for billing and insurance purposes. They work closely with healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients to ensure accurate and timely reimbursement for medical services.

What is a Patient Care Technician?

A patient care technician, also known as a PCT, is a healthcare professional who provides direct patient care under the supervision of registered nurses, doctors, or other healthcare professionals. They assist with activities of daily living, perform basic medical procedures, and monitor patients' vital signs.

Difference between a Medical Biller and Coder and Patient Care Technician

While both medical billers and coders and patient care technicians play important roles in the healthcare industry, there are several key differences between the two professions:

  1. Job Responsibilities:
  • Medical Biller and Coder: The primary responsibility of a medical biller and coder is to assign codes to medical procedures, diagnoses, and treatments. They also review medical records for accuracy and completeness, submit claims to insurance companies, and follow up on any denied claims.

  • Patient Care Technician: Patient care technicians have a more hands-on role in patient care. They assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing patients, and perform basic medical procedures like taking blood pressure and administering medication. They also monitor patients' vital signs and report any changes or concerns to the healthcare team.

  1. Work Environment:
  • Medical Biller and Coder: Medical billers and coders typically work in office settings, such as hospitals, clinics, or insurance companies. They spend most of their time working on computers and communicating with healthcare providers and insurance companies.

  • Patient Care Technician: Patient care technicians work directly with patients in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. They may also provide in-home care to patients who are unable to leave their homes.

  1. Education and Training:
  • Medical Biller and Coder: To become a medical biller and coder, you typically need a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in medical coding or a related field. These programs usually take around one to two years to complete and cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy, and coding systems.

  • Patient Care Technician: The education and training requirements for patient care technicians can vary depending on the state and employer. Some employers may require a high school diploma or equivalent, while others may prefer candidates with a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in a healthcare-related field. Additionally, patient care technicians often receive on-the-job training to learn specific procedures and protocols.

Medical Biller and Coder vs Patient Care Technician: Job Description

Medical Biller and Coder:

  • Assign codes to medical procedures, diagnoses, and treatments.
  • Review medical records for accuracy and completeness.
  • Submit claims to insurance companies.
  • Follow up on denied claims.
  • Communicate with healthcare providers and insurance companies.

Patient Care Technician:

  • Assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing patients.
  • Perform basic medical procedures, such as taking blood pressure and administering medication.
  • Monitor patients' vital signs.
  • Report any changes or concerns to the healthcare team.
  • Provide emotional support to patients and their families.

Medical Biller and Coder vs Patient Care Technician: Education and Training

Medical Biller and Coder:

  • Postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in medical coding or a related field.
  • Courses in medical terminology, anatomy, and coding systems.
  • Optional certification through organizations such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

Patient Care Technician:

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in a healthcare-related field (optional).
  • On-the-job training to learn specific procedures and protocols.

Get courses selected just for you

Try our powerful search engine

Try it now

Article continues after recommendations

More recommendations for you

Medical Biller and Coder vs Patient Care Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

Medical Biller and Coder:

  • Employment projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029.
  • Median annual wage of $44,090 as of May 2020.

Patient Care Technician:

  • Employment projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029.
  • Median annual wage of $30,830 as of May 2020.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in the healthcare industry is a great decision, as it offers stability, job growth, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on people's lives. Both medical billers and coders and patient care technicians play important roles in the healthcare system, but they have different job responsibilities and require different levels of education and training.

If you enjoy working with numbers, have strong attention to detail, and prefer a more office-based role, a career as a medical biller and coder may be the right fit for you. On the other hand, if you have a passion for hands-on patient care, enjoy working directly with people, and thrive in a fast-paced environment, becoming a patient care technician could be the perfect career path.

Ultimately, the choice between a medical biller and coder and a patient care technician comes down to your personal preferences, skills, and career goals. Take the time to research and consider all your options, and don't hesitate to reach out to professionals in the field for guidance and advice.

Dreambound's educational programs cater to aspiring individuals seeking diverse opportunities. Gain a more comprehensive understanding of the potential within these two vocations by exploring further details at:

Arwena Payumo
Written by
Arwena Payumo
Share this post: