What is Medical Coding and How Can it Help You Build a Career?

Medical coding dates back as far as the 18th century, when London’s public mortality bills were published. It was used to improve overall health. Find out everything you need to know about medical coding.

Medical coding is the conversion of medical diagnoses, procedures and services into universal medical alphanumeric code. Medical record evidence, such as physician’s notes, radiologic and laboratory results, is used to generate diagnosis and procedure codes.

The medical coding profession ensures that codes are correctly applied in the medical billing process. This includes abstracting information from paperwork and assigning relevant regulations.

Medical coding occurs every time you see a healthcare professional. Before coding your appointment, the healthcare professional examines your medical history and your complaint.

This paperwork is more than just the patient’s permanent record. It is also how the healthcare provider gets paid.


Medical codes transform the information in the documents into standardised guidelines that inform payers of:

  • Diagnosis of patient
  • For the patient’s treatment, supplies, and services, it is necessary to have medical necessity
  • The patient is provided with medicines, services, or supplies
  • Unexpected situations and medical conditions that could have an effect on the services or treatments

What do Medical Coders do on a Day to Day Basis?

Billers and medical coders process many services daily. Medical codes must accurately reflect the visit of the patient to the doctor. To be eligible for reimbursement for services rendered, it must be as precise as possible. The primary responsibility of a medical coder is to review clinical statements and assign standard codes.

The coder reviews the patient’s medical records to show the results of the work done. This includes the transcription of doctor’s notes, requests for image studies, laboratory tests ordered, and so forth.

What’s the purpose of medical coding?

The foundation of the healthcare income stream is documentation.

Documentation is required for both compensation and future quality care.

Patients’ personal health information is kept with them throughout their treatment. This information must be simple to understand. This is crucial considering the many millions of hospitalisations, visits and treatments each year.

There are many causes and conditions of death, as well as thousands of diseases and ailments. To make monitoring and reporting easier, medical coding categorizes these items. Every disease, each process, and every tool have different descriptions, acronyms and names.

Medical Coding standardizes the language and presentation of medical components. This makes them easier to understand, maintain, and change.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (, i.e. HIPAA requires that hospitals, payers, and providers use the same language to communicate effectively. Nearly all private health information can be stored digitally using the codes.

What is Medical Coding?

The qualified medical coder will begin by reviewing and coding the patient notes from the previous day. They will also summarize other important details such as the physician’s name, dates of procedures, and any additional information.

The coder then closes the chart and moves onto the next patient’s file. Coders spend most of their time reading, taking notes and assigning codes.

 

What are the steps to becoming a medical coder?

To become a Medical Coder, you must enroll in a coding-specific program or institution. Once you are done, you will have a professional credential which makes it easier to get work in this sector.

There are many Medical Coding certificates available depending on where you want to work. Most people start with the Certified Professional Coder (CPC), which certifies a coder’s ability in outpatient settings.

This infographic will help you choose the right hospital credential. Online, there are many coding training and medical coding programs.

Most professional coders work for themselves. Certified inpatient coder is required for facility coders. (CIC) to code inpatients and Certified Offpatient Coder. (COC), for patients in hospitals receiving in-and out treatments.

Medical coders often have to work within strict time frames in order to complete certain numbers of notes per day and keep their lag days within a specified range. It is important to interact with medical coders, doctors, and other auxiliary personnel.

The documentation and coding are regularly checked for accuracy and completeness by either internal or external auditors, depending on the clinical context. These code audits are kept track by the compliance department or department supervisor and play an important role in job evaluations.

The Pandemic: Medical Coding’s Growth and Scope

The pandemic of 2020 brought the healthcare industry into the limelight. It also revealed hidden and obvious problems that needed immediate solutions.

Healthcare providers are struggling to deal with this growing problem. This means there is an increase in demand for labor across departments. This results in more healthcare being provided offshore.

India’s healthcare outsourcing market has seen a rise in popularity. India is the second largest outsourcing destination for healthcare. About 80% of healthcare in the United States are outsourced to India. Expert medical coders are in high demand.

The recent development of computer-assisted code (CAC) has made medical coding more accessible.

What is the Average Salary of a Medical Coder?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies medical coders as “Medical Records and Medical Information Technicians”. A coder is someone who, among other things, evaluates patient files and organises patient data.

This total job category, which includes medical coders and other professionals, is expected to increase by 11% between 2018-2028. This is partly due to the aging population.

What does a medical coder get paid? Based on their work location, medical coders can earn different amounts. The median salary for a medical coder was $35,520 to $43,470 in 2018.

What are the benefits of medical coding?

Previous surveys have shown that India is the second most popular destination for outsourcing healthcare. This is due to India’s ability to analyze Big Data and uncover hidden patterns and find new correlations.

Nearly 80% US hospitals, healthcare providers and other industries outsource to India. The demand for highly-trained medical coders is increasing. Medical coders are an integral part of the healthcare delivery system.

They code medical records for insurance and billing purposes. They also have a good understanding of government regulations, medical codes and payment policies. The medical coding profession has been a hot job with many career opportunities and great career progressions.

Five Reasons Medical Coding can be Learned by 2021

1. Medical Coding is a high-demand profession

  • The demand for licensed medical coders is approximately 40% higher than the supply and has increased dramatically over the past year.
  • The demand for medical coding will rise at a faster rate than the rest. By 2024, the number of medical coders is expected to grow by 15%.
  • Professional medical coders are expected to increase in demand as they are essential to the operation of the healthcare revenue cycle.

2. A career in healthcare is a lucrative one

  • As technology and data usage in healthcare sectors become more integrated, medical coding expertise will likely increase.
  • Medical coding can be a highly lucrative profession in the healthcare industry.

3. There is a high demand for Coders with Analytic Skills.

  • Medical coders must be more analytical and take better decisions as automation is making inroads into medical codes.
  • They can help providers and patients by taking prompt action.

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