Medical coding is a growing field. The demand for professionals in this field is expected to remain high over the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in this field is expected to grow at an annual rate of 19% through 2029. (1)
The cool thing about medical coders is that they can work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, insurance companies. and private practices. You have a lot of options when it comes to workplace settings.
Some medical coders even have the opportunity to work from home. They just meet with the doctors once a week and then they do their work at home. It’s such a flexible job.
Medical Coders Play A Critical Role In Healthcare
Although they’re in the backend of the healthcare system, medical coders play a critical role in healthcare. Medical coders translate medical procedures into a standardized code so insurance companies can assess financial obligations and create invoices for services provided.
Because there are so many illnesses, procedures and medical services, medical coders must research a large number of codes and understand basic medical terminology to perform their daily duties. The daily duties of a medical coder are tri-fold: obtain data from charts, research codes and enter information in a computer. (2)
Needless to say, a medical coding job is no joke. Job success in this particular medical field would rely a lot on your tenacity and grit.
Medical Coding Skills
For medical coders to be effective at their jobs, they need to have mastered certain skills. So, what skills do medical coders need?
They have to be organized, detail-oriented, and critical thinkers. They need to comprehend medical terminologies and learn how to communicate them in an accurate and concise manner.
Medical coder skills should also include problem-solving initiatives. They should also have excellent computer skills and are familiar with the latest software packages.
Medical coders should also have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to work with people. They must be able to follow instructions and record data accurately.
Furthermore, it’s important for medical coders to have high levels of concentration and dedication to the profession.
The education required to become a medical coder is relatively short, depending on the state. In most states, it’s a certification that’s received after a short course of study.
Medical coders who choose to go through a formal training will learn all of the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective medical coder. Should you choose to undergo some formal training, you will likely need to take either an examination or a course to become certified.
This certification is important because it demonstrates to employers that medical coders are competent and can be trusted with sensitive information. Once you complete your certification, you can begin working behind the desks of doctors, nurses, or other licensed healthcare professionals.
Even if certification courses take a short amount of time to finish, you would still have to devote a couple of hours for refresher courses. This is a standard industry practice. The number of hours would depend on the kind of certification you have.
What Is Expected Of A Medical Coder?
Most health care businesses prefer to hire individuals that have already undergone training and graduated from accredited online schools or higher learning institutions.
Although it may not seem like it, medical coders need to know a lot about health care law. Most jobs for medical coders require them to fill out detailed paperwork.
They also must be able to prepare financials and organize insurance claims based on the patient’s account. Medical coders must be able to communicate with doctors and/or nurses and medical specialists. They must be willing to learn new techniques and systems quickly and adapt to changes.
Finding Success In The Medical Coding Field
How do medical coders achieve success? First, medical coders need to acquire the knowledge and necessary qualifications. For this, they need to obtain formal education, usually from a college or vocational/trade school that focuses on training students in the medical coding industry. A more prestigious option is a Master’s degree program.
There are a number of online courses as well as on-campus and off-site vocational training programs for medical coders. With the right course, you’ll learn the basics of coding.
You’ll know how to read health information, record it correctly, and report it accurately. You can also opt to learn more advanced skills needed to become an effective medical coder.
Now that you know what skills do medical coders need to successfully work in this field, you can say that it’s not an easy career. However, it is a rewarding one.
There are many opportunities available for graduates of training courses; both in the job market and online. It’s never been a better time to get your education on medical coding. So, get started today!