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Aug 4, 2015

Medical Billing and Office Administration: Then and Now

An efficient medical billing and office administration, or MBOA, has long been an important factor in patients receiving timely care for their illnesses. While it is highly unlikely that the Black Death will spread while patients are waiting for their appointments, in today’s hospitals a good MBOA system keeps fewer sick people in the waiting room, meaning there is less of a chance of transmitting their germs to one another. Perhaps an MBOA career never seemed glamorous or impactful to you, but you may change your mind once you know how important these healthcare professionals truly are.

Medical coding is a huge part of working in MBOA because it helps doctors and hospitals provide services based on their patients’ needs, often saving lives by identifying emergencies over minor health issues. The practice of medical coding first emerged during the Great Plague epidemic of the 17th century as the London Bills of Mortality, a way of documenting the spread of the disease and alerting the people of London so they could avoid it. Today’s coding has a much broader focus, tracking a multitude of conditions and diseases, and it is therefore a lot more complex as well. Up-to-date training on the proper codes is crucial, especially when the expanded ICD-10, or International Classification of Diseases, Revision 10, is set to go into effect in place of the old ICD-9 codes as of October 2015.

Although medical coding mainly began with documenting plague deaths and childhood mortality, today it is used to document and help direct treatment for an ever-expanding number of ailments in order to prevent suffering and death. Through it all, the main goal of medical coding has never changed; these healthcare heroes have always focused first on improving overall quality of care through accurate records of illnesses. For instance, today’s MBOA personnel can sometimes be the front line in alerting other healthcare staff to potential infectious diseases, such as during the recent Ebola scare in the U.S., quickly getting patients into triage to prevent spreading. Nevertheless, even a dental MBOA worker plays an important role in connecting patients to quality preventive care.

The MBOA program at the Institute of Technology offers quality training that is geared for the latest ICD-10 update, which promises a more streamlined and accurate coding system across healthcare professions. MBOA students at IOT receive real-world experience in a 5-week practicum, learning everything from anatomy and physiology to medical and pharmaceutical terminology. The program also teaches the behind-the-scenes essentials, such as coding procedures, medical billing and collections, and coordinating with patients’ insurance plans. IOT offers the added bonus of not only preparing you but also paying for your Certified Coding Exam as part of the curriculum.

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With a diploma from IOT’s MBOA program, you will be ready to make a difference in the lives of patients and their loved ones, continuing a legacy that began centuries ago and has saved and improved countless lives since then.