Jobs in the healthcare industry are constantly in demand, not only because of an aging population but also due to numerous conditions people face in our modern world. In fact, the need for healthcare services is only rising, especially in light of the pandemic.
If you are looking to get a job in this industry, you might want to look into entering the medical coding profession. It is a viable career for individuals who want to work in a healthcare facility without being on the floor with patients.
Not familiar with this type position? There are a lot of things you need to understand about this job. Read on to learn more.
What are Medical Coding Jobs?
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) defines medical coding as the process of transforming healthcare-related data into universal alphanumeric codes that insurers require to ensure that they are billed correctly.
This means that everything that happens and is used with a patient is recorded, translated, and coded. This includes procedures, treatment, supplies, equipment, and diagnoses, as well as unusual circumstances during the visit.
A medical coding job requires taking information from documentation, designating the right codes, and generating claims to be submitted to insurers.
Medical Coding Job Responsibilities
The main responsibility of medical coders is to guarantee that codes are matched properly with the correct item during the billing process. The insurer’s payment to the healthcare provider depends on the claims created by the coder.
While coders are involved in generating claims, one of the most important things to know about medical coding jobs is that it is different from what a medical biller does. Billers process and follow up on claims. However, a coder can be a biller and vice versa given the right training.
Anyone interested in becoming a medical coder is probably interested in knowing the pay. According to AAPC, the average salary for this job is $52,411 per year. Those without certification can earn $45,035 annually, while with certification, the pay is $51,477.
However, keep in mind that there are factors that could affect the salary you will be given. This includes the location of the facility, your credentials, and the role/s you play in the facility.
Eligibility and Application Requirements
One of the most important things to know about this job is that it requires specialized education. As a coder, you will need to learn several sets of medical codes mandated by the government.
These sets of codes include the International Classification of Diseases with 69,000 codes, Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) with 8,000 codes, International Classification of Diseases with 130,000 codes, and Health Care Procedural Coding System with 7,000 codes.
You should learn the latest editions of these sets. Keep in mind that these are just examples and other sets apply.
Moreover, you will need to know anatomy and physiology, as well as medical procedures and terminologies.
Certifications are also important when it comes to medical coding and getting an advantage over your competitors. A medical coder certification will help you get a higher salary as mentioned above. Your certification should come from reputable accreditors.
Other skills you need include communication, research, computer literacy, problem-solving and analytical skills.
When applying, make sure to prepare your resume and include all the technical and transferable skills you have. See to it that you list down pertinent education and certifications.
Getting a job in the healthcare industry does not always mean being hands-on with patients. You can also work as a medical coder. Just make sure you are prepared to digest code sets. With the right certification, you can definitely get a job as a coder.