How to become a Medical Coder is answered in the following article. Becoming a medical coder is easy if you have the right aptitude for it.

How To Become A Medical Coder

If you are wondering what is medical coding then we will attempt at enlightening you. Medical coding means assigning codes to diagnoses and procedures which help the patient in claiming financial reimbursement from insurance companies, government agencies, etc. Medical coding is therefore, also known as insurance coding.A medical coder is an individual who uses a set of published codes for reporting services and products provided by a health care provider or hospitals to the insurance company. The role of this profile is necessary in order to be able to submit a claim against the recipient’s insurance policy for any of the services sold to a patient. The codes are also used by the local and national governments and the private healthcare organizations to conduct research and collect statistical data about certain conditions and their treatments and outcomes. Read the following sections to understand how to become a medical coder.
Becoming A Medical Coder
To become a medical biller or coder, you must have a high school diploma and then pass an accredited program in medical coding. A certain amount of training also needs to be completed and the candidates should hold an associate's degree and study about subjects like, anatomy and physiology, clinical classification and coding systems, data analysis, database security and management, health data requirements and standards, health information technology, health care reimbursement methods, quality improvement procedures and medical terminology. Two types of medical coding certification are available; Accredited Record Technician’s certification (ART) and Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). Depending upon your requirement, choose the certification course best suited for you.
Skills Required
  • Familiarity with numbers and a comfort level in dealing with them.
  • Great attention to detail and accuracy.
  • The job entails interpersonal skills as it involves interacting with patients, doctors and insurance personnel.
  • Administrative tasks such as reviewing, processing and submitting medical claims require a good knowledge and an excellent educational background.
  • Good computer skills and typing speed as most of the job revolves around keying in important information to the system.
  • Patience is a must because the work is repetitive in nature.
  • Meticulous with paperwork and proofreading.
  • Ability to work fast and accurately under pressure.
  • Self motivation. 
Roles And Responsibilities
  • The responsibility of a medical coder includes translating data from the patient's records and assigning appropriate numeric codes to them. Medical coder's work is sent to insurance companies for the purpose of reimbursement, payment processes, billing, research, quality improvement and data collection etc.
  • They are expected to be proficient in using medical billing software to handle the electronic billing procedures.
  • Medical coders are responsible for making sure that the assigned codes meet all federal, legal and insurance regulations so that service payments can be obtained in a timely fashion.
  • They also help prevent fraudulent medical claims by patients and even errors in payment by the insurance company.
  • When it comes to handling confidential medical records of patients, discretion is expected from these professionals.
  • Old accounts, that are yet not settled, also need to be pursued, finalized and realized, as an income for the health care provider, a doctor, a hospital or a health institution.
Career Prospects
Typically, medical coding job openings are found in setups such as clinics, hospitals, group practices, long-term health care establishments and government supported agencies etc. Medical coding is also outsourced since the nature of this work is such that it can be done in flexible working arrangements like work from home, etc. Independent contractors and independent medical coders are a common sight these days. Medical coding can also be a stepping stone to higher-level careers in management of medical offices, making it a very lucrative career overall.
A medical coder heals the one thing that requires major attention after a person’s treatment or surgery – the wallet! They are a liaison between health care providers, patients and the insurance companies. With good working hours and a safe and secure job profile, a medical coder’s career is definitely a great and promising one!

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