A practice that runs smoothly requires a variety of trained and experienced professionals. Medical insurance billers (MIBs) are an important part of any medical team and in this article, Chhoda familiarizes billers with the individuals they will encounter and how the typical practice functions.
There are many individuals that MIBs will work with to assemble the crucial information needed to file claims, all of whom contribute to the process.
Billers may also be asked to wear multiple hats, depending on the size of the practice.
The following are the common and yet very important members of the medical team:
- Physician assistant and nurse practitioners
- Medical assistants
The managing practitioner in a multi-physician practice is responsible for hiring staff, purchasing equipment and setting salaries, along with awarding promotions, approving vacations and a wealth of other details. They are always the first part in the medical team.
These practitioners diagnose and treat patients for illnesses, injuries and a host of medically related conditions. They refer patients to specialists when needed, prescribe medication and identify any tests that need to be done.
Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners
A physician assistant (PA) and nurse practitioner has advanced medical training, a four-year degree, and work under the direct supervision of a physician. Inside the medical team, they perform many of the same services as a licensed physician, from writing prescriptions and ordering tests to conducting examinations and requesting referrals.
Depending on the patient’s complaint, a physician may provide a perfunctory assessment or choose to approve the PA or nurse practitioner’s diagnosis and recommended treatment.
The backbone of any private practice or medical team is the nurses. These licensed professionals assess, observe and record patient symptoms and complaints. They’re qualified to assist in medical procedures, provide guidance about a doctor’s diagnosis and dispense medication.
In addition to nurse practitioners, there are licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN).
There are many specialties within the profession of medical technicians. They perform advanced diagnostics, lab tests and treatment procedures that most of the time, are part of the medical team procedures. They’re the individuals that take x-rays, draw blood and operate medical equipment for procedures that include ultrasounds and dialysis.
MIBs may also work with registered health information technicians who are in charge of patient records. They’re charged with maintaining patient medical charts to ensure all information is current and accurate.
They may be responsible for entering the appropriate codes for a patient’s treatment that will be used to reimburse practitioners.
The duties of a medical team assistant are many and varied. They may be called upon to schedule appointments and act as a receptionist to greet patients.
Other responsibilities can include gathering insurance information, escorting patients to the examination room and transcribing doctor’s notes.
An efficiently operated medical practice requires the knowledge and skills of many individuals working together toward the same outcome.
The medical team is comprised of professionals in a variety of specialties to maintain patient records, ensure that clients receive the best care available and act as liaisons between patients and other medical staff.
Billers of healthcare practice management are an integral element of the medical team, maintaining the flow of revenues for the benefit and profitability of all concerned.