Understanding medical accounting is essential for just about any job in the health services field. Medical accounting requires the ability to keep accurate financial records, ensure that the medical practice maintains tax compliance, as well as preparing bills, completing insurance forms, and understanding electronic health recordkeeping.
At Helms College’s School of Health Services, we offer courses in medical billing and coding, medical insurance management, and electronic medical records management. These courses will help you become skilled in medical accounting—skills that you can take with you as you pursue careers in health services as a multi-skilled medical assistant or a medical administrative assistant.
To get you started on the right path, we have put together a few tips on best practices in medical accounting that can be helpful skills to have as you pursue your academic and professional career.
Use the Most Relevant Medical Accounting Software
Using the most industry-relevant and current software is essential when it comes to medical accounting.
The right accounting software can help manage every financial aspect of the medical practice, from tracking expenses to managing tax information. Most accounting software platforms have cloud services as well, allowing for real-time expense tracking and collaboration with other health care administrators.
A few popular software platforms which are popular in medical accounting include Sage Intacct, QuickBooks Enterprise and Multiview.1 The right software depends on the size and needs of the medical practice, so be sure to do your research before choosing the right platform. And if you work in medical accounting at a practice that already has software in place, be sure to stay informed about the latest technologies available. As a medical administrative assistant or a multi-skilled medical assistant, you may be responsible for completing tasks using this software.
Choose the Right Medical Accounting Method
No matter what your position is in the health services industry, it is imperative to know that there are two main types of accounting methods that medical practices use: cash basis accounting and accrual accounting.
With cash basis accounting, the medical practice will account for expenses when they are paid, while receivables are accounted for when payment is received. Meanwhile, doctors usually receive their payments on a predetermined schedule after all expenses have been paid. Some say that the cash basis accounting method is preferred among medical practices.
With the accrual accounting method, the medical practice will account for expenses the moment bills are received, rather than when payment is received. At the same time, the practice accounts for receivables when patients are billed, instead of when payments are received. For some medical practices, the accrual accounting method is not preferred as it is more difficult to maintain.
As a medical administrative assistant or a multi-skilled medical assistant, you may be required to understand either of these methods. The medical practice’s business administrator, practice manager or accounting firm typically make this decision. However, if you are engaged in any of the practice’s accounting activities it will be important for you to develop a thorough understanding of the method used.2
Launch Your Career Today!
If learning about new technologies and skills in medical accounting is something that interests you, consider launching your career at the Helms College’s School of Health Services today! Whether you are studying to be a patient care technician, a multi-skilled medical assistant or a medical administrative assistant, cultivating your knowledge of medical accounting and other skills and concepts in health services will be essential.
While there are seemingly limitless resources online, nothing can replace the learning experience you will gain at Helms College. With courses offered at our convenient campus locations, you can take the first step toward a rewarding career today, and the application takes just minutes to fill out. So, what are you waiting for? Apply now!