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What are billing codes? Are they important? I have never heard of them, should I know about them? These are some questions that you may have once asked yourself or if not, you may in the future. By understanding the who, what, and why of billing codes you will appreciate the importance they play in the world today.

What are Billing Codes?

Billing codes can refer to different types of codes such as CPT codes, HCPCS codes, or ICD 9 codes. These codes help physicians bill for specific services that have been performed by the physician. CPT codes are five-digit codes for every procedure or service that is performed by a physician. The use of billing codes such as CPT codes, helps simplify the reporting of services. ICD is the abbreviation derived from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. HCPCS comes from Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System which is a set of health care procedure codes based on the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). These codes are what are often referred to when people mention billing codes.

Why are Billings Codes Important?

They are important because they make sure that physicians get paid for the services that they render as well as stay in business. The insurance companies need them to make sure that they cover the appropriate amount of the physician's bill depending on the services that were rendered.

Who needs them?

Who really needs billing codes? This is a good question. Physicians need them, billing services need them, and insurance companies need them. Unfortunately there are often errors in the codes and as a result claims get denied. This causes a longer delay for physicians to get paid. This is a hassle and is a costly mistake even though it occurs frequently. Billing services can make sure that the correct codes are being used so that the claims to not get denied and that the physician gets paid in a timely manner.

So by understanding the who, what, and the why of billing codes, you should now appreciate just how truly important they are to you and your business.

Alex Hachtman is a Marketing Specialist for AdvancedMD Software in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information about CPT codes, or medical billing software, please feel free to contact an AdvancedMD representative.