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Medical Biller and Coder vs Psychiatric Technician

Medical Biller and Coder vs Psychiatric Technician

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Key Points:

  • Medical Billers and Coders process insurance claims; Psychiatric Technicians provide care and support for patients with mental health or substance abuse issues.
  • Medical Billers and Coders typically earn higher salaries than Psychiatric Technicians.
  • Both fields are expected to have job growth.
  • Both jobs require formal training, but Medical Billing and Coding programs are often available online, while Psychiatric Technician programs are typically in-person.
  • Medical Billing and Coding programs are generally shorter and less expensive than Psychiatric Technician.

In the ever-evolving healthcare industry, there are various career paths that individuals can pursue. Two such options are becoming a Medical Biller and Coder or a Psychiatric Technician. Both of these professions play vital roles in the healthcare field, but they have distinct differences in terms of job description, education and training requirements, and career outlook.

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Introduction

The healthcare industry is constantly growing and evolving, providing a wide range of career opportunities for individuals interested in the field. Two such careers are Medical Biller and Coder and Psychiatric Technician. While both professions are essential to the healthcare system, they differ significantly in terms of job responsibilities, education and training requirements, and career outlook.

What is a Medical Biller and Coder and Psychiatric Technician?

  • Medical Biller and Coder: A Medical Biller and Coder is responsible for translating medical procedures and diagnoses into standardized codes for billing and insurance purposes. They ensure that healthcare providers receive proper reimbursement for the services they provide. Medical Billers and Coders work closely with healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients to ensure accurate and timely billing.

  • Psychiatric Technician: A Psychiatric Technician, on the other hand, works directly with individuals who have mental illness or developmental disabilities. They provide therapeutic care, administer medication, and assist in the implementation of treatment plans. Psychiatric Technicians work under the supervision of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals to provide support and care to patients in psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, and other mental health facilities.

Difference between a Medical Biller and Coder and Psychiatric Technician

While both Medical Billers and Coders and Psychiatric Technicians play important roles in the healthcare industry, there are several key differences between these two professions:

  • Job Responsibilities: Medical Billers and Coders focus primarily on the administrative side of healthcare, ensuring accurate coding and billing for medical services. They may also handle insurance claims and patient billing inquiries. Psychiatric Technicians, on the other hand, provide direct patient care and support to individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities. They assist with activities of daily living, monitor patient behavior, and administer medication.

  • Work Environment: Medical Billers and Coders typically work in administrative offices of hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities. They spend much of their time working with medical records, coding software, and communicating with insurance companies. Psychiatric Technicians, on the other hand, work in psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, or other mental health facilities. They may work directly with patients in both individual and group settings.

  • Required Skills and Qualities: Medical Billers and Coders need strong attention to detail, analytical skills, and knowledge of medical coding and billing procedures. They must also have excellent communication skills to interact with healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients. Psychiatric Technicians require empathy, patience, and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations. They must also have strong observation and communication skills to effectively monitor and support patients with mental illness.

Medical Biller and Coder vs Psychiatric Technician: Job Description

  • Medical Biller and Coder: The primary job responsibility of a Medical Biller and Coder is to assign standardized codes to medical procedures and diagnoses. They ensure that healthcare providers receive proper reimbursement for the services they provide by accurately documenting and coding patient encounters. Medical Billers and Coders also review and submit insurance claims, follow up on unpaid claims, and resolve billing discrepancies. They may also handle patient billing inquiries and assist with financial counseling.

  • Psychiatric Technician: Psychiatric Technicians provide direct patient care and support to individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities. They assist patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Psychiatric Technicians also monitor patient behavior, administer medication, and assist in the implementation of treatment plans. They may lead therapeutic group activities, provide crisis intervention, and document patient progress.

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Medical Biller and Coder vs Psychiatric Technician: Education and Training

  • Medical Biller and Coder: To become a Medical Biller and Coder, individuals typically need to complete a postsecondary certificate or associate degree program in medical coding or a related field. These programs cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and coding systems. Some employers may also require certification from a professional organization, such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

  • Psychiatric Technician: The educational requirements for Psychiatric Technicians vary by state. Some states require completion of a postsecondary certificate program, while others may require an associate degree. These programs typically include coursework in psychology, human behavior, pharmacology, and therapeutic techniques. In addition to formal education, Psychiatric Technicians also receive on-the-job training to learn about facility policies, patient care procedures, and medication administration.

Medical Biller and Coder vs Psychiatric Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

  • Career Outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, which includes Medical Billers and Coders, is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by the increasing need for healthcare services and the transition to electronic health records. The demand for Psychiatric Technicians is also expected to grow, with a projected 12 percent increase in employment from 2019 to 2029. This growth is attributed to the rising demand for mental health services and the aging population.

  • Salary: The median annual wage for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, including Medical Billers and Coders, was $44,090 as of May 2020, according to the BLS. The top 10 percent earned more than $73,370, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $28,470. The median annual wage for Psychiatric Technicians was $34,620 as of May 2020, with the top 10 percent earning more than $62,060 and the bottom 10 percent earning less than $25,810.

Final Thoughts

Both Medical Billers and Coders and Psychiatric Technicians play crucial roles in the healthcare industry, albeit in different capacities. Medical Billers and Coders ensure accurate coding and billing for medical services, while Psychiatric Technicians provide direct patient care and support to individuals with mental illness. The choice between these two careers ultimately depends on an individual's interests, skills, and career goals. Both professions offer job stability and growth opportunities, making them viable options for those interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.

Dreambound's program is accessible in diverse locations. Take a deep dive into these blogs for comprehensive insights into the two vocations, covering their requirements and guidance on joining:

Winlynd Caballero
Written by
Winlynd Caballero

Winlynd Caballero is a member of Dreambound's Sales team. She helps in handling the company's finullcial transactions, generating reports, and school sales. Beyond her responsibilities in the realm of numbers and business, Winlynd finds herself deeply immersed in a world of art and music.

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