Medical coding is defined as the process of converting reports pertaining to injuries, diseases and healthcare materials into alphanumeric or numeric designations, which are codes. Every time that a patient receives health advice from a doctor, his reports are documented. A medical coder pulls out vital information from these reports and generates a claim for the medical billing process. The bill is then passed on to the patient or a commercial payer like insurance companies.
Medical codes are used to identify diseases and other health hazards. They are used by many organizations like private health insurance companies, government health programs, and workers’ compensation carriers.
Such kind of coding involves spotting out threatening symptoms and alerting medical professionals regarding allergies. It also involves reporting services, which require reimbursement and supporting other administrative functions. These services are instrumental in planning for new facilities in under-served areas and are used for surveillance purposes of pandemic or epidemic outbreaks.
Medical Coders are skilled and fitting in the role requires a good deal of medical coding training and constant education about the subject. First off, coders need to have a concrete knowledge of the medical terminology and anatomy. Many other aspects like plans, compliance, regulations, and vital resource books like HCPCS Level II, ICD-9-CM, and CPT are covered in training. The American Health Information Management Association offers certification courses in this field. Many medical coding schools offer such courses where every aspect regarding coding is covered in detail.
If you aspire to become a Medical Coder, you need to have a keen eye for detail. Firstly, learning and understanding the basics of anatomy and physiology is important. Medical Coders need to pass certain certification programs, in which they will be trained in the basics of such coding.
Medical coding professionals create standards for the healthcare industry, ranging from complex medical procedures to simple checkups. This field of work is mainly aimed at making the reimbursement process for medical insurance companies easier and convenient.
Apart from the reimbursement process, you can apply for roles that will put your skills to test, especially when it comes to the analysis of diseases and maintenance of support systems. There are Medical Coders who take up the study and estimation of pandemic and epidemic outbreaks too.
Thanks to the number of job opportunities and the ease with which the certification can be obtained, more and more people are entering this emerging field.