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Medical Coding Job Description

Shrinivas Kanade Jul 14, 2019
Willing to work as a Medical Coding Professional? Be sure that this field can prove lucrative but only if you invest 100% of your interest to develop the skills it demands. Tap through to know more in details about this profile.
A medical coder is an important cog in the health care sector. If you want to become one, read up here the information about the role and responsibilities this profile holds; and how to do billing and coding work from home.

Duties and Responsibilities

After a doctor examines and treats a patient, he reports his findings verbally to a recording machine such as a Dictaphone. Naturally, he uses medical language to describe the cause of the patient's discomforts and the procedures performed or the medication prescribed by him.
The insurance company that is providing health cover to the patient and which is expected to pay the cost of treatment, wants the report in a language that it can use to arrive at the cost of treatment. These professionals carry out the task of translating the medical terms to standard alphanumeric codes that is acceptable to the insurer.
They spend a majority of their time analyzing and coding patient charts. In addition to this, what their role includes is:
  • Handle medical coding and claim submission such as Medicare to insurance companies.
  • Keeping in contact with the insurance company to get the claims settled.
  • Proficiency in using billing software to handle the electronic procedures.
  • Along with providing patient data with the claim, verifying the authenticity of the patient's cover and proceeding with cash posting and reconciliation.
  • Pursue old accounts that are not yet settled, and realize the income for the health care provider, be it an independent practitioner or a hospital.
  • Depending on the setup he/she is working in, marketing the employer's services to doctors, physicians, or establishments such as hospitals may be expected as one of his/her responsibilities.
  • Detect and prevent an insurance fraud from being committed.
  • Handle confidential medical records of patients with discretion.

Qualifications

This field does not demand a higher qualification; however, it must be noted that this job demands that the individual should be knowledgeable about human physiology, and medical terms related to diseases, treatments, and procedures.
He/she must also be familiar with the instruments and accessories used during surgical procedures, to identify them and list their usage. An aspirant can complete an online course or attend one run by a professional institute. He/she can further the prospects by completing certifications supported by the 'American Academy of Professional Coders' (AAPC).
Some other similar certifications include the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or the Registered Health Information Technician's certification (RHIT). A bachelor's or advanced degree in health information management or healthcare administration increases a coder's opportunities for advancement.

Career Opportunities

Jobs are found in the setups like clinics, hospitals, group practices, long-term health care establishments, and in government supported agencies. The average salary is around USD 42,000 annually; which may vary depending upon the employer, the job location; and experience and the educational qualifications of an indivusal.
What are the future prospects for a medical coder? Is it possible for him to start a business? You would be glad to know that healthcare is a trillion-dollar industry and unlikely to decline in the coming years. What's more, a growing number of health care providers are looking to outsource such work.
Medical coding services usually take a percentage of what the providers charge for a procedure. After you have been certified and gathered enough experience in this field, then you could think of starting your own independent service.