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Medical Biller and Coder vs Surgical Technician

Medical Biller and Coder vs Surgical Technician

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Key Points:

  • Medical billers and coders process insurance claims, while surgical technicians assist during surgeries.
  • Medical billers and coders typically earn slightly higher salaries than surgical technicians.
  • Both jobs have good job prospects, but medical billing and coding may have slightly more openings.
  • Medical billing and coding programs can be completed online or in-person, while surgical technician training is primarily in-person.
  • Medical billing and coding programs are generally shorter and less expensive than surgical technician training.

As the healthcare industry continues to grow, the demand for skilled professionals in various roles is on the rise. Medical billers and coders play a crucial role in ensuring accurate and timely billing for medical services, while surgical technicians assist surgeons and other medical professionals in the operating room. Both professions require attention to detail, strong organizational skills, and a commitment to providing quality patient care.

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What is a Medical Biller and Coder and Surgical Technician?

  • Medical Biller and Coder: A medical biller and coder is responsible for reviewing medical records, assigning the appropriate codes, and submitting claims to insurance companies or government agencies for reimbursement. They ensure that healthcare providers receive proper payment for services rendered. Additionally, medical billers and coders may also be responsible for resolving billing discrepancies, answering patient inquiries, and maintaining patient records.

  • Surgical Technician: A surgical technician, also known as a surgical technologist, works alongside surgeons and other healthcare professionals in the operating room. They assist with surgical procedures by preparing the operating room, sterilizing equipment, and handing instruments to the surgeon during the procedure. Surgical technicians also monitor patients' vital signs during surgery, maintain a sterile environment, and provide post-operative care as needed.

Difference between a Medical Biller and Coder and Surgical Technician

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

  • Job Responsibilities: Medical billers and coders primarily focus on the administrative side of healthcare, ensuring accurate billing and coding for medical services. Surgical technicians, on the other hand, work directly in the operating room, assisting surgeons during surgical procedures.

  • Work Environment: Medical billers and coders typically work in medical offices, hospitals, or insurance companies. They spend a significant amount of time working with electronic health records and billing software. Surgical technicians, on the other hand, work primarily in operating rooms, where they assist with surgical procedures.

  • Patient Interaction: While medical billers and coders may interact with patients to address billing inquiries, their primary responsibility is not direct patient care. Surgical technicians, on the other hand, work closely with patients in the operating room, ensuring their safety and comfort during surgical procedures.

Medical Biller and Coder vs Surgical Technician: Job Description

  • Medical Biller and Coder: The job description of a medical biller and coder includes the following responsibilities:

  • Reviewing medical records and assigning appropriate codes for procedures and diagnoses.

  • Submitting claims to insurance companies or government agencies for reimbursement.

  • Resolving billing discrepancies and answering patient inquiries.

  • Maintaining patient records and ensuring compliance with healthcare regulations.

  • Surgical Technician: The job description of a surgical technician includes the following responsibilities:

  • Assisting surgeons and other medical professionals during surgical procedures.

  • Preparing the operating room and sterilizing equipment.

  • Handing instruments to the surgeon during the procedure.

  • Monitoring patients' vital signs during surgery and providing post-operative care.

Medical Biller and Coder vs Surgical 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's degree program in medical billing and coding. These programs typically cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, coding systems, and healthcare regulations. Additionally, certification through organizations such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) may be required or preferred by employers.

  • Surgical Technician: Surgical technicians usually complete a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree program in surgical technology. These programs typically include coursework in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and surgical procedures. Additionally, surgical technicians may need to become certified through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) to demonstrate their competency in the field.

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Medical Biller and Coder vs Surgical 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 attributed to the increasing aging population and the need for healthcare services. The BLS also reports that the employment of surgical technologists is expected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is also attributed to the increasing demand for surgical procedures.

  • Salary: The median annual wage for medical records and health information technicians was $42,630 in May 2020, according to the BLS. On the other hand, the median annual wage for surgical technologists was $49,040 in May 2020. It's important to note that salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and employer.

Final Thoughts

When considering a career in healthcare, it's important to carefully evaluate your interests and strengths to determine which path is the best fit for you. Both medical billing and coding and surgical technology offer unique opportunities to contribute to the healthcare field. Medical billers and coders play a vital role in ensuring accurate billing and coding, while surgical technicians provide hands-on support during surgical procedures. By understanding the differences between these two professions, you can make an informed decision about which career path aligns with your goals and interests.

Explore Dreambound's program accessibility across different locations. Immerse yourself in these blogs for a detailed exploration of the two vocations, unraveling specific requirements and gaining insightful perspectives on how to embark on your journey:

Harold Roldan
Written by
Harold Roldan

Harold Roldan is a Growth team member at Dreambound. With a background in IT, he works with data and automation to improve team efficiency and workflows. He spends his free time playing musical instruments or studying data, computers, and technology.

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