Medical Coding may be a term that people are unfamiliar with. As part of the medical billing and insurance industry, the medical coder works closely with a medical biller to ensure invoices are paid properly.
This site will explain medical coding, what a medical coder is and their responsibilities, what is required to become a medical coder and their demand in the marketplace.
What is Medical Coding?
A medical coder takes the information documented for health services provided to an individual. Through medical coding, the information is then processed and assigned the appropriate codes so a financial claim can be created. Medical coding uses CPT, ICD-9 and HCPCS codes to report procedures that were performed and to give the biller the info required to process a claim.
In October 2013, the United States will update its latest version of medical codes to ICD-10. The new number of codes will increase from nearly 14-thousand to over 144-thousand. It’s the first update of the codes since 1977.
Medical Coding Education
A good education is the first step toward entering the medical coding field. The future update and expansion of codes even further stresses the importance of a solid education. Knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology is vital for medical coders. Familiarity with regulations and various types of insurance plans is also a must.
A college degree is not required to enter the medical coding field, but like with any profession, it certainly does not hurt. Completing a Certified Professional Coder course and passing a CPC exam prior to seeking or interviewing for a position is highly advised.
Technical, interpersonal and analytical skills are key traits of nearly all medical coders. Being a detail-oriented worker will also give you a great chance of stepping in to the medical coding world.
Demand for Medical Coders
The demand for medical coding professionals in the United States is high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health information technicians is expected to increase by 21 percent by 2020. That number is higher than the average for all occupations.
As the population increases, so will the demand for health services, such as treatments, tests and procedures. New technology also leads to the demand for skilled medical coders and other health information technicians.
Is Medical Coding for Me?
If becoming a medical coding professional is something you or someone you know is considering, keep in mind that a career in medical coding offers numerous benefits. Full-time employment and higher than average pay are two of the perks associated with medical coding. Most medical coders will work in either hospitals or physicians’ offices.
It definitely takes some time and commitment to delve into the medical coding industry, but the potential benefits and rewards that come along with becoming a medical coder are limitless.