Great medical billing and coding professionals are chameleons – they’re able to alter themselves to adapt to daily challenges. On the one hand they can be empathetic with patients, but they can also get analytical when they need to research claims and even assertive when dealing with insurance companies.
However, just like chameleons, it can be hard to find the right the right candidate when it comes time to fill your medical billing specialist position.
The key to finding the person who can be compassionate, methodical and firm, in the right situations, is using the right billing specialist interview questions.
Knowledge of Your Practice
As you start the process, begin with interview questions tailored to your practice. Ask about the billing process with the insurance companies that your patients most often use, and address some of the common billing procedures of your organization. For example, you could ask questions such as:
- 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 billing procedures have you most often used in your current and prior positions?
Knowledge of Terminology
Medical terminology is also important. In fact, some employers give a quick quiz on terminology and related codes during the interview process. As part of your billing specialist interview questions, you may also want to ask applicants if they’ve taken any medical classes and whether they have familiarity with terminology directly related to your practice. For example, you may want to ask questions such as:
- Do you know what the strep test is for?
- Do you know what otitis media is?
- What is a tympanoplasty?
Electronic Medical Records Knowledge
As the healthcare industry is moving toward electronic health records, billing will need to keep up, so it’s important to ask job candidates about their experience with electronic medical records (EMR) or electronic health records (EHR).
See if your job candidates have worked on paper and electronic claims and ask your billing specialist interview questions such as:
- Does your current employer use EMR or EHR?
- Can you explain your experience with EMR?
- What type of EMR software have you used?
- Do you have any experience using an EMR claims clearinghouse?
Along with knowledge of EMR and related platforms, it’s important to know if your job applicants understand privacy requirements for patient health information. You may want to ask what steps they would take to protect patient privacy.
Hard Skills Questions for Medical Billing
As you interview candidates, you want to make sure that they can do the job accurately and file claims at a reasonable pace. Also, because healthcare insurance rules frequently change, you’ll need to assess how the job seeker keeps up with the most updated rules. Consider asking questions such as:
- Do you have medical billing certification? If not, are you planning to get certified or in the process of getting certified?
- How do you keep up-to-date with insurance and healthcare coverage changes?
- How long does it take you to process one day’s worth of patient visits or claims?
Some organizations will also test candidates who make the short list by having them explain what they’d do to resolve an actual denied claim (with the patient’s information excised to protect health privacy).
Soft Skills Questions for Medical Billing
Medical billers need to have a little fight in them and shouldn’t be afraid to challenge an insurer when a claim is denied. They need to demonstrate patience and flexibility and, because they interact with patients, must also be able to understand, and diffuse, patient emotions. Often, they may need to have hard conversations with patients who aren’t paying their bills.
The best way to dig into those characteristics is to ask behavioral questions such as:
- Tell me about the last claim you had denied. What happened, and how did you resolve it?
- What are your strategy and process for appealing claim denials?
- Tell me about your most hostile patient collection case. What was the problem you encountered? Were you able to negotiate payment?
- Do you think insurance companies sometimes play games to see if they can avoid paying claims?
Getting the soft skills right during the interview process will pay off for you, and your patients, down the road.
Need Help with Billing Specialist Interview Questions and Hiring?
Medical billing specialists must balance of unique set of skills which you can identify with the right interview questions. But before you can ask the right questions, you need the right candidates. Fortunately, you have a partner in Monster. With our time-tested experience in matching candidates to employers, we’re ready to help you succeed. Connect with us today and find out how you can get your next job posted absolutely free.