Medical coding can be defined as assigning medical codes to different diagnoses and procedures, used in a hospital or in allopathic medicine, to facilitate the reimbursement procedure for all parties involved.
A medical coder must be able to convert a disease into ICD-9-CM (short for International Classification of Diseases Manual) code and a medical diagnosis into a CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code. This requires accurate and detailed knowledge of codes and the procedure they represent. Schools and colleges that offer medical billing and coding courses provide extensive training in this area.
There are many types of medical coding courses that teach topics such as advanced medical coding, procedural medical coding, advanced medical coding, medical coding and billing assistant certificate programs, advanced coding for the doctor’s office, and advanced procedural coding. These courses are available on the Internet and also in classrooms. Distance learning is another option open to people who want to pursue medical coding as a secondary career.
Some medical coding courses emphasize topics other than coding, such as accounting, business communications, and professional development. Another specialization available under medical coding is medical insurance coding training. This course teaches the coder to recognize and apply appropriate codes, government compliance regulations, compensation optimization, and eligibility for an entry-level insurance role.
Staff who work in a hospital or doctor’s office (other than physicians) have the opportunity to become successful medical coders because of the experience they have. Health information coders work in hospitals and doctor’s offices, and many are freelancers. In large organizations such as hospitals and insurance companies, coders work under the supervision of a health information manager or technician.
As the healthcare industry continues to expand, the career prospects for a certified medical coder are very good indeed. However, a medical coder needs to keep up with the constant changes and advancements being made in this field on an almost daily basis.