Medical Coding Job Interview Tips

Medical coding and billing plays an important role in the healthcare system. There has been a growing demand for medical coders and billers in the coming years as there’s a dramatic shortage driven primarily  by the new coding standard scheduled to be adopted by October of 2015 and possibly due to increasing demand for health services for aged population and digitzation of documents over the coming years.

So we’ve put together a resource of medical coding job interview tips and questions (some with answers) to help you in preparing for your job interview:

Medical Coding Job Interview Tips:

Boost Your Interview Skills:

1. Practice Particulars

Your interviewer may begin the interview by asking questions tailored to his practice, says Andrea Crawford, director of career services for Kaplan College in Chula Vista, California. Questions may focus on the billing process with the insurance companies the practice’s patients most often use as well as the most common procedures the practice performs:

  • Which insurance programs have you billed? Have you billed Medicare and our state insurance program or only PPOs?
  • Which forms have you most often used in your current and former positions?
  • Which procedures have you most often billed in your current and prior positions?

Source: Interview Questions for a Medical Billing/Coding Job

2. Don’t Be Too Familiar

The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer’s demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.

Source: 10 Tips to Boost Your Interview Skills

3. Use Appropriate Language

It’s a given that you should use professional language during the interview. Be aware of any inappropriate slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics or sexual orientation — these topics could send you out the door very quickly.

Source: 10 Tips to Boost Your Interview Skills

Medical Coding Job Interview Tips & Guide – Video

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Medical Coding & Billing Job Interview FAQs (with practical advice):

1. What are your weaknesses?

This is the most dreaded question of all. Handle it by minimizing your weakness and emphasizing your strengths. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: “I am always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter. I recently joined Toastmasters, which I find very helpful.”

2. Why should we hire you?

Summarize your experiences: “With five years’ experience working in the financial industry and my proven record of saving the company money, I could make a big difference in your company. I’m confident I would be a great addition to your team.”

3. Why do you want to work here?

The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you’ve given this some thought and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. For example, “I’ve selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values, where I know I could be excited about what the company does, and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices.”

4. What are your goals?

Sometimes it’s best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals rather than locking yourself into the distant future. For example, “My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility.”

5. What’s your understanding of medical terminology?

Having a basic understanding of medical billing terms is important not only for medical coding but also for medical billing specialists. Make sure you have a familiarity with the more basic medical terms related to billing and coding as it relates to the billing process.

6. What type of certifications do you have?

I would expect this question to be asked more for medical coding jobs. Certification in medical billing is a definite plus, but I haven’t seen that requirement for strictly medical billing jobs. Certification does show you are committed to your profession and meet certain minimum standards. If you are not certified, a good response would be that you are working towards certification – assuming you are. But don’t dwell on what credentials you don’t have – emphasize the experience and skills you do have.

7. Are you familiar with Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems? Which ones have you used. How did you use it?

The use of medical records software – also referred to to as EMR or EHR software – is increasingly important to providers. They may want the biller and/or coder to enter and maintain information in the EMR system. Employers value someone who is proficient in electronic medical records software and know how to use it. It can also be a valuable asset to the biller and coder in their job when verifying patient information and treatments for a claim. Many billing and practice management software programs are increasingly integrated or interface with the EMR system.

8. Have you worked on insurance or patient accounts receivables?

Just about every practice has some outstanding unpaid claims (A/R or Accounts Receivable) or patient balances. May have a significant amount of money “stranded” and waiting for claim issues to be resolved. If you have experience resolving unpaid claims and reducing A/R this is a huge plus. These type of questions are not uncommon as one of the top interview questions because so many practices struggle with unpaid claims.

9. Have you ever appealed a denied claim? What’s your process in resolving a denied claim?

Knowing how to file an appeal with the insurance carrier is important in resolving denied claims. It takes patience as most all insurance companies have different processes, requirements, and timeframes for the appeal process. It’s not always straightforward for a reason.

Source: Top 10 Interview Questions Prep

Learn more about Medical Coding and Billing Career:

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