So You Want To Learn To Be A Medical Coder?
Medical coding can sound like a daunting job to those who have never been exposed to that type of work. Even for those that have been exposed to medical coding, the process of remembering everything needed can prove to be arduous. If one is determined enough, however, medical coding is something that can be learned from the comfort of someone’s own home if they so desired!
It’s A Required Course
Many people are under the impressions that one has to go to school in order to become a medical coder. Although it is true that medical courses at a university can certainly be of a huge help, they are not required. A medical coder is expected to have a strong understanding of medical terms, as well as biology, anatomy, and physiology.
Some people choose to try and learn all medical terminology on their own, however, this route is not for the faint of heart. There are many websites that offer online courses for medical coding for those people that do not mind investing a bit of money in their future medical coding career. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) both offer online certification programs that will enable one to become an official medical coder.
In order to get the final medical coder certification, one must pass a test by AAPC or AHIMA. So, if someone decided to teach themselves everything, then they need to be prepared to be able to pass the exam to get an actual certification.
On The Job
Once a person has their certification in medical coding by passing one of the two exams given by either the AAPC or AHIMA, it is common to further their knowledge by getting an apprenticeship under an experienced medical coder.
The benefits of working under an experienced medical coder are mainly the facts that the medical coder in training will be gaining a wealth of invaluable information and they will also be earning money while they are still learning.
It Is Not As Bad As They Say It Is
Medical coding does not have to be as hard as some people make it sound. Anyone can learn to perform the work of a medical coder well, so long as they have the right drive and level of attentiveness needed to be successful in the field.
Information on the Medical Coding Industry
What is Medical Coding?
To those of you that are interested in the Medical Coding Industry, the first thing that you should know is that Medical Coding and Medical Billing are two totally different occupations. Medical billing is just that, the submitting and following up on claims with health insurance companies. This procedure has to be done in order for the practitioner to receive payment for services provided to patients. Medical Coding is more related to healthcare administration. When a patient visits a physician or practitioner of any kind, the doctor may write notes in a patient’s chart. A medical coder reviews these notes, and translates the written notes, as well as procedures performed, diagnosis and prognosis into a universally accepted, standard code. The codes that these written documentations are translated to are then used to submit claims to the insurance companies. The codes are also used to gather statistical information from incidents of specific illnesses and developing trends in treatment procedures. Medical coding has to be done accurately do to the fact that claims for payment are reported. This ensures proper billing. Medical coders have to also be productive. Coders do not deal with the patients or the insurance companies. Coders actually spend more time assessing and coding data.
Medical Coding Training
Choosing a career in Medical coding has many benefits. Being a medical coder does not require face to face or over the phone contact with patients or coming into with bodily fluids. For a person who has a background in other fields such as insurance or in the mortgage industry, the transition into a medical coding career quite easily. The ability to be educated, trained and certified as a medical coder is not as long a process as some may think. You can get educated, trained and be in the field in as little as a year. In order to be successful at medical coding, a person would have to be very organized and detail oriented. A medical coder’s main concern is not the money associated with the codes, but the accuracy of the information associated to their work. A medical coder is a translator, in so many words. There is a very high demand for medical coders. Do to this fact, there are many professional bodies that are offering certification to professional medical coders. To become a medical coder, a small investment in your education is necessary. Without proper education and training, it is not possible to pass a medical coding certification. But do to the high demand for medical coders, the time and money put into your education and training is well worth it!