Is Medical Coding Different From Medical Billing?


In healthcare administration, medical coding and billing processes play important roles. Both ensure the smooth operation of medical facilities and the accurate processing of healthcare claims. While medical coding and billing are closely related, they have different roles and demand for various abilities. At Med Revolve, we explore the differences between medical coding and billing, highlighting their unique roles in healthcare.

Definition: Medical coding is the process of assigning universal codes to diagnoses, procedures, and medical services provided to patients. These codes are taken from the patient’s medical records and used for various purposes, including billing, statistical analysis, and research.

Purpose: Medical coding primarily aims to translate complex medical information into a standardized format that healthcare providers, insurance companies, and government agencies can easily understand and process.

Types of Codes:

There are several coding systems used in medical coding, including:

ICD-10-CM: Diagnoses are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification.

CPT:  Current procedural terminology codes medical procedures and services.

HCPCS: The codes for goods, services, and procedures that are not covered by CPT are entered into the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System. 


Accurate medical coding is very important for ensuring that healthcare claims are processed correctly and that medical professionals receive proper payments for their services. Additionally, coding data is used for healthcare analytics, research, and quality improvement plans.

Is Medical Coding Different From Medical Billing?

Critical Responsibilities of Medical Coders

Medical coders play an important role in the healthcare system by ensuring that medical records are accurately coded and that coding guidelines are followed. Some key responsibilities of medical coders include:

Reviewing Patient Medical Records:

Medical coders review patient medical records to identify relevant diagnoses, procedures, and services provided during an individual’s visit or stay in a healthcare facility.  

Assigning Accurate Codes:

Based on the information in the medical records, medical coders assign the appropriate codes to diagnoses, procedures, and services using the relevant coding systems, such as ICD-10-CM, CPT, and HCPCS.

Ensuring Compliance:

Medical coders must ensure that their coding practices follow the guidelines, regulations, and standards established by firms such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Maintaining Confidentiality:

Medical coders are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of patient information and following privacy regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Continuous Learning:

Medical coders must stay updated with coding guidelines and regulations changes and participate in continuing education to maintain their coding credentials and knowledge.

Definition: Medical billing is submitting and following up on claims with health insurance firms to receive compensation for healthcare services provided to patients.

Purpose: The primary purpose of medical billing is to ensure that medical professionals receive timely and accurate compensation for their services. 

Critical Responsibilities of Medical Billers

Medical billers play an important role in the healthcare industry. They ensure that healthcare providers receive timely and accurate compensation for their services. Some key responsibilities of medical billers include:

Creating and Submitting Claims:

The task of preparing and submitting claims to insurance companies for patient services falls to medical billers. This includes preparing and sending electronic or paper claims with the appropriate codes and documentation.

Following Up on Unpaid Claims:

Medical billers must track and follow up on unpaid claims to ensure they are processed and paid on time. This may involve contacting insurance companies to inquire about claim status and submitting claims if necessary.

Appealing Denials:

In cases where claims are denied, medical billers are responsible for appealing the denials. This may involve providing more information or documentation to support the claim and advocating on behalf of the healthcare provider.

Resolving Billing Discrepancies:

Medical billers must resolve any discrepancies or errors in billing, such as incorrect charges or missing information. This makes sure that claims are processed accurately and payments are received instantly.

Answering Patients' Billing Inquiries:

Medical billers are often the point of contact for patients with billing inquiries. They must provide clear and accurate information to patients regarding their bills, insurance coverage, and payment options.

Is Medical Coding Different From Medical Billing?

Med Revolve Billing Comparing Medical Coding and Medical Billing

Focus and Purpose:

Medical coding focuses on translating medical information into codes, aiming to standardize data for documentation, billing, and analysis. In contrast, medical billing focuses on payment and claim processing. It ensures healthcare providers receive compensation for services provided.

Skill Requirements: Skill Requirements:

Medical coding requires knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and coding systems such as ICD-10 and CPT. Accuracy and attention are necessary in medical coding. On the other hand, medical billing demands an understanding of insurance policies, billing processes, and revenue cycle management, along with strong organizational and communication skills.


Coding typically happens before billing, as codes are necessary to generate claims. In contrast, billing follows coding and involves submitting claims and processing payments.


The accuracy of medical coding impacts the integrity of medical records and supports the quality of care by ensuring accurate documentation. Conversely, the accuracy of medical billing ensures proper compensation for healthcare providers and contributes to the financial stability of healthcare organizations.


Medical Coding and Medical Billing are vital processes in healthcare administration. Medical Coding translates complex medical information into codes, while Medical Billing ensures healthcare providers receive proper compensation. At Med Revolve Billing, we recognize the significance of these processes for healthcare efficiency.

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