Are you interested in pursuing a career in medicine-related work? Have you thought about becoming a medical coder? This offers a rewarding and challenging career choice.
In the U.S., medical coders earn an average annual salary of $43,186. Does this sound like it might be a good fit for you? Keep reading to learn more about medical coding.
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What Does a Medical Coder Do?
The medical coder bears responsibility for reviewing patients’ medical records after visits. They’re responsible for assigning ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes.
Coders also review the medical record to identify all diagnostic, medical, and surgical care. Based on their findings, they assign CPT® and HCPCS codes.
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes create a standard language. It’s used for reporting medical services and procedures performed. Administrators and insurance companies use these codes to process claims.
The Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) relies on the uniform CPT® codes. It specifies the services and items used during the provision of healthcare.
This job also entails searching for missing data. This ensures correct billing for the medical practitioners and patients.
Other duties can include collecting data used for reports, strategic planning, and development. Sometimes they provide evidence in medical negligence or malpractice investigations.
This career path offers the following benefits.
Many Remote Job Opportunities
If you’re interested in a career that offers work-from-home opportunities, consider medical coding. Even before the pandemic, many coders performed their jobs remotely.
The world is now more used to new work arrangements. This means that remote options are increasing for medical coders. You can choose part- or full-time options.
Work with a Variety of Professionals
Medical coders work in different settings. The American Academy of Professional Coders, in 2022, listed facilities that hire coders.
- Medical centers: 19.8 percent
- Combined inpatient and outpatient hospitals: 14.4 percent
- Solo and small private medical practices: 1 percent
- Large group medical practices: 9.9 percent
- Medium size group practices: 7 percent
- Billing companies: 6.2 percent
- Health and payor plans: 5.4 percent
- Outpatient hospitals: 3.9 percent
- Educational institutions: 1.7 percent
- Consulting firms: 1.4 percent
- Inpatient hospitals: 1.2 percent
These facilities may offer onsite or remote work options.
Career Advancement Opportunities
There are several paths you can take to advance your career. One approach is by completing continuing education and pursuing certifications.
Another method is to work as a consultant. Over time you can seek promotions to a compliance auditor, reviewer, or manager.
The first step involves completing the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) course. This shows proficiency in assigning CPT, ICD-10-CM diagnosis, and HCPCS Level II supply and procedure codes. From here, you can choose to pursue the following certifications.
- Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC™)
- Certified Outpatient Coding (COC™)
- Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC™)
You also have the choice to complete many different specialty certifications. These give you expertise in your chosen area of focus.
How Do Facilities Validate Your Credentials?
It takes time, effort, and money to attain a certification. Thus, you want potential employers to have easy access to verify your credentials.
The MedPro Systems® is a software solution used by healthcare professionals and organizations. It gives facilities access to validate state license status and specialties.
They can easily access key identifiers and addresses. This solution checks your compliance with state, federal, and international regulatory statutes.
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