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pharmacy tech vs medical billing and coding

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Team College Learners

Most pharmacy techs don’t know what medical billing and coding is. And most medical billing and coding professionals don’t know much about pharmacy techs. But it’s important for everyone to know about each other, because there are lots of pharmacy techs who want to become medical billing and coding specialists, and many medical billing and coding specialists who would also like to learn how to fill prescriptions.

What is the difference between Pharmacotherapy Tech, medical coding and medical billing? What are the duties of a pharmacy tech? Could you describe some of the steps that are necessary in becoming a pharmacy technician? 

Would you like to pursue a career in pharmacy to fulfill your life-long dream of becoming a pharmacist? Are you concerned that you might not be getting the right information about that? You need not worry anymore or be confused as this article below provides the latest and trusted information on pharmacy tech vs medical billing and coding.

Collegelearners will provide you with all the relevant information you are medical billing and coding salary, medical coding salary, pharmacy technician salary, and so much more.

pharmacy technician

Pharmacy technicians are medical professionals who work alongside pharmacists to help and support patients and make sure they get the best care.

Pharmacy technicians can work in places like community (retail) pharmacies; hospital pharmacies; pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry; prisons; and primary care, education, military, or veterinary practices.

There are different roles for pharmacy technicians in each place, and each state has its own regulations on what a pharmacy technician can do. 

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

Under pharmacist supervision, pharmacy technicians:

  • supply medicines to patients, whether on prescription or over the counter
  • assemble medicines for prescriptions
  • provide information to patients and other healthcare professionals.

Pharmacy technicians also:

  • manage areas of medicines supply such as dispensaries
  • supervise other pharmacy staff
  • produce medicines in hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry.

Where do pharmacy technicians work?

Pharmacy technicians work in many different work environments. These include:

  • Community pharmacies (sometimes called retail or high street pharmacy) and hospitals. Most pharmacy technicians work in community and hospital pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Prisons, primary care organisations, education and training, the military, veterinary pharmacy and pharmacy organisations.

medical coding

Medical coding is the translation of medical reports into a shortcode used within the healthcare industry. This helps summarise otherwise cumbersome medical reports into efficient, data-friendly codes.

Medical coders are individuals responsible for translating physicians’ reports into useful medical codes. These professionals work behind the scenes in a variety of settings, ensuring all pertinent information is coded appropriately to ensure consistency and accuracy.

After a medical provider examines or treats a patient, the insurance company needs to understand what was done in order to process the bill. Common language is inexact to give the insurance company the accurate details it needs, so a set of specific codes has been established to define medical procedures. It is the role of a medical coder to provide this information in a way that is useful and efficient.

While complex and detail-driven, medical coding really comes down to knowing how to navigate the three main code sets: CPT (Current Procedure Terminology), ICD (International Classification of Diseases), and HCPCS (Health Care Procedural Coding System). These code sets help coders to document the condition of a patient and describe the medical procedure performed on that patient in response to their condition.

Pharmacy Tech Vs Medical Billing And Coding

So you’ve been thinking about a career in the growing healthcare industry. You’ve heard that certain fields are booming and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Perhaps you want to get in the game as quickly as possible and are looking for a way to complete your education in two years or less.

In an effort to answer your burning questions, we profiled two career paths that are growing fast and dominating the job postings: pharmacy technician and medical records coding. The best part about both of these careers is that you can be qualified to do both in two years.

If you are deciding between these two in-demand careers, here’s what you need to know.

Education and Certification Required

There is no national requirement for pharmacy technician certification but many employers lean toward candidates that studied in formal programs.The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) through AHIMA for medical records requires completion of an accredited diploma or six months of experience.

Bottom line: A certificate or diploma will be enough to get you started in either field. You can set yourself apart from the competition by completing an industry-recognized certificate for a pharmacy technician or complete an accredited medical coding program that will prepare you for the CCA exam.

Job Duties and Location

Pharmacy technicians have some face-time. They take customer orders but also work behind the scenes to manage the distribution of medication and collate information about each patient.Medical records coding and billing experts work more behind the scenes. They work primarily with the processing of records as opposed to spending time interacting with patients.

Bottom line:When making a choice between these two careers, think about the amount of time you want to spend interacting with people. A career as a pharmacy technician may be better for you if you like to be out front interacting with your community. On the other hand, if you prefer less interaction with people and like to focus more on computer software and solving logistical problems you may be better off pursuing a career in medical records coding.

Skills Needed

Pharmacy technicians:Prescription fillingSchedulingMathematicsPatient carePackagingMedical records coding and billing:Medical codingHealth information technologyICD-9-CM codingMedical recordsHealth information

Bottom line: Job postings for pharmacy technicians indicate more soft skills focused on patients such as scheduling and patient care. Medical records job skills weigh heavier on the specific industry knowledge needed for medical coding and health information.

pharmacy technician salary

The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians is $35,100. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,400, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,430.

The median annual wages for pharmacy technicians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private$39,290
Pharmacies and drug stores$33,110
Food and beverage stores$32,320

Most pharmacy technicians work full time. Pharmacies may be open at all hours. Therefore, pharmacy technicians may have to work nights or weekends.

medical billing and coding salary

The average Medical Billing Coding salary in the United States is $75,097 as of October 29, 2021. The range for our most popular Medical Billing Coding positions (listed below) typically falls between $34,735 and $115,458. Keep in mind that salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including position, education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession. 

Medical Billing Coding’s Annual Base Salary

Job TitleSalaryHourly RateLocationDate Updated
Medical Billing Specialist$42,801$20.58United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Medical Billing Clerk$40,211$19.33United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Medical Records Coding Manager$72,837$35.02United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Medical Records Coding Technician$55,537$26.70United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Medical Billing Supervisor$62,460$30.03United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Billing Manager$97,891$47.06United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Billing Analyst I$47,749$22.96United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Billing Analyst II$57,044$27.42United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Billing Analyst III$69,472$33.40United StatesOctober 29, 2021
Billing Clerk I$40,957$19.69United StatesOctober 29, 2021

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