Medical Billing vs. Coding: What's the Difference?

Medical Billing vs. Coding

If you are looking for a career in the healthcare sector, medical billing or medical coding is a great place to start. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, both fields are in high demand and are expected to increase by as much as 22% over the next six years. In the past, most practices hired someone in-house to handle all billing and coding issues. But as insurance and healthcare become increasingly complex, many practices are choosing to outsource medical billing and coding.

medical billing computer

The job responsibilities for both are closely related. But they serve two different roles.

Medical Coder

The main duties of a medical coder include:

  • Review healthcare provider reports of patient visits
  • Translate reports into appropriate codes
  • Track and report codes within medical software
  • Maintain familiarity with International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes
  • Translate medical services into CPT codes
  • Ensure all coding is accurate
  • Maintain certification in CPT coding and other required specializations
  • Communicate with physicians and other healthcare workers


Medical Biller

The main duties of a medical biller include:

  • Create claims based on codes provided by medical coder
  • Maximize reimbursement for each claim
  • Stay current on various insurance guidelines and requirements
  • Ensure timely reimbursement
  • Handle patient collections
  • May work independently, but regularly interact with insurance companies

Learn More

If you want to learn more about medical billing or need tips for choosing the right medical billing provider for your practice, read our Medical Billing Buyer’s Guide.

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