What is Medical Coding?
This is the process of transforming medical narratives into universal medical alpha-numeric codes. A medical coder assigns medical codes to different healthcare diagnosis , procedures, equipment and medical services. The various diagnoses and procedure codes are obtained from medical record documentation. Medical coding is essential in the efficient delivery of better healthcare. This process also provides useful information that can be used in medical research and healthcare planning.
Is medical coding the same as medical billing?
Medical coding entails reviewing clinical statements and assigning standard codes using CPT, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS Level 11 classification systems. On the other hand, medical billing entails processing and tracking claims sent to health insurance companies. To ensure the process of coding and billing is smooth, the coder checks the patient’s medical record to verify the work that was done.
However, both a medical coder and medical biller work collaboratively to ensure invoices are paid properly and to avoid insurance payment denials.
Why is medical coding important?
There are three major reasons why we code. First, it allows for efficient transfer of massive amount of information. Medical care records increase significantly every single day and the systems are becoming loaded with large amounts of data and therefore coding goes a long way to convey information efficiently.
Secondly, coding enable uniformity in documentation between medical facilities. Having uniform data allows for systematic research and analysis , allowing the government and health agencies to track health trends in an effective manner.
Finally, medical coding enables healthcare facilities to establish the prevalence and effectiveness of treatment at the facility. This helps government tracking agencies and hospitals to follow up a certain disease and track the efficiency of their practice.
What Education and Training Is Required to Become a Medical Coder?
While having a Bachelor’s degree or master’s degree can be a platform towards a promising career in medical coding, It does not mean one is proficient. To become a professional medical coder, you must have a perfect understanding of physiology, anatomy, and medical terminology education, which can be acquired by earning CPC credential. For you to become a recognized medical coder, you must complete a medical coding course of study and pass an exam to designate you as a CPC.
Why should you choose a medical coding career?
Medical coding happens to be one of those healthcare professions that are growing tremendously. In fact, this profession is getting unmatched focus and attention from the medical health industry today. Medical coders are desperately needed as they are instrumental in applying appropriate codes , treatments , procedures , and examinations conducted. The demand for certified coders continues to grow. This leaves the industry wide open for individuals who desire to enter a field where you are only limited by your own motivation.
Medical coders play an important role in ensuring that medical providers are reimbursed for services rendered and that accurate billing status is tracked.
What are the most challenging aspects of medical coding?
A medical coder should code to the highest level of specificity. They must abstract the most information out of medical reports and focus on accuracy. It also means having a deep understanding the medical terminology for both procedures and diagnoses. Any mistakes can lead to a rejected claim.
Medical coding is a quite complicated field. It requires a lot of learning and dedication to be able to transform complex medical information into universal alpha-numeric codes.
Another challenging aspect of medical coding for beginners is navigating technology. You must be a diligent learner and have great attention-to-detail to be a successful coder.
Nothing can be tedious like keeping up with the constant changes in this field. Moreover, the changes in government and healthcare regulations also calls for these changes. Therefore, it becomes a challenge to keep abreast with these changes for purposes of accuracy.
What do you need in order to succeed in medical coding?
Just like any other field of professionalism, excelling in medical coding may present a number of challenges. Luckily, with self-motivation, focus and hard work, you will succeed.
For you to succeed in medical coding for beginners, you must;
Keep abreast with the constant changes in the field. To succeed in this medical field, one has to learn always.
Better your ways of learning with the use of different learning materials. Ensure you practice always for the purpose of deeper understanding.
Ensure you study on a daily basis for long-term understanding.
What is the future of medical coding?
The medical coding industry is quite mysterious as it keeps on changing on a daily basis. For this reason, the career prospects for a certified medical coder are lucrative indeed. However, a medical coder has to keep abreast with the changes and advances made in medical coding.
For more information about medical coding for beginners and the CPC exam preparation, please click here.
- Medical Coding Training: Important Things You Need To Know About Medical Coding Course.
- Medical Coding and Billing Certification Training Guide: How To Prepare For the CPC Exam
- Complete Guide To CPC Practice Exam Online Review