Shadowing a Doctor

August 3, 2015

Hospitals and other medical facilities need to get reimbursed by insurance companies for the treatment that is provided to patients. Medical coders help to run the systems that process patient records and payment related details so that the correct details can be sent across to the insurance companies.

The growth of medical coding

With the tremendous growth of the healthcare and insurance sectors, it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of codes and numbers that are assigned to every treatment given to a patient. A mistake in the coding can cost healthcare facilities thousands of dollars every year. This is why most healthcare facilities require qualified medical coders to handle their billing systems so that every record is processed properly. This has led to a major growth in this field and the demand for these professionals is increasing every year.

Role of a medical coder

Medical coders work in different types of medical facilities including hospitals and doctors’ offices. These professionals make use of various technology and management systems in order to record medical treatments and procedures that are given to patients so that the proper treatments are billed to the various insurance companies.

Every treatment and bill is assigned a code that is then sent to the insurance company, which will process the claim based on the information that they receive. This means that coding of every bill and all the necessary information with regard to the treatment given to a patient is important as a small mistake in the coding can result in a wrong claim being processed by the insurance company. This will affect the reimbursement amount that has to be given to the hospital or the doctor.

Qualifications needed to become a medical coder

To become a medical coder, you need to complete an accredited one-year certificate program or a two-year associate degree. Ideally, you should have completed your previous studies focusing on some field related to mathematics or science. The one-year certification will give you a quick entry into the field while a two-year program will give you more experience.

After you have completed your degree in medical coding, you can start looking for a job in the field. The two biggest employers of medical coders are large medical facilities such as hospitals and physicians offices. Because of the meticulous nature of the job, the demand for experienced coders but because it is still a new specialty getting a job is still relatively easy.

Although this certification is not necessary to start working in the field, it can help you at a later stage in your career when it comes to promotions and job offers with larger establishments. Continuing education is also necessary for anyone who wants to enter medical coding because systems and technology keep updating so you will need to take courses regularly to keep up with the times.