In the recent past, the medical and healthcare industry has seen a burgeoning growth; what with some of the employers worldwide are attracting hordes of the global talent and workforce. The scenario is akin to the Indian perspective as well. Therefore, the profession of medical coding has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last few years. With successful completion of the related course and training, the prospects of finding highly remunerative job opportunities within the country or abroad are tremendous. There are a number of professional academies that offer courses on medical coding and so finding one that best meets your expectations is easy.
Medical coding takes in the process by which healthcare procedures and diagnosis, medical equipment and services are transformed into universally decipherable alphanumeric codes. Several medical record documentation, which include the transcripts of the physician’s notes and remarks, results pertaining to lab tests or radiology examinations, etc. are used to create the diagnosis and procedural codes. Professionals qualified and trained in medical coding see to it that the application of the codes is done with accuracy in the course of the medical billing process which in turn incorporates stages where requisite information are extracted from documentation, appropriate codes are assigned and claims are prepared to be recompensed by insurance service providers.
What does a medical coder do?
The principal task of a medical coder lies in analyzing several clinical statements and assigning standard codes by making use of CPT®, HCPCS Level II, and ICD-10-CM classification techniques. The coder keeps an eye on a particular patient’s medical record. These include the doctor’s transcriptions, proposed laboratory tests, imaging studies asked for and other sources. A medical coding professional makes certain that all these tasks are done.
On a daily basis, medical coder processes a wide selection of physician services. Medical codes signify the overall narrative of a patient’s experience with a doctor and must have definitive information about the settlement of the rendered services.
Comprehensive training and technical know-how are key towards making a success out of a career in medical coding. As a beginner, you must have a thorough-going knowledge of anatomy and different medical terminologies. It’s crucial that you familiarize yourself with codebook resources such as CPT®, HCPCS Level II, and ICD-10-CM and their corresponding coding mechanisms. Besides, knowing the matching guidelines of the coding systems and code compliance with insurance plans are also central.
Education qualification required for medical coding
You need to go ahead with a certificate program to become a medical coder. These programs encompassing a medical coding course are usually of 3 to 5 months duration. There are a few associate degree course programs as well that can continue for around 2 years. Besides earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, chemistry, biology, zoology, microbiology or biochemistry can bolster the career graph of a medical coder. Having a sound knowledge of physiology, anatomy and medical terminology is all-important which can be acquired by obtaining a Certified Professional Coder CPC® credential. It’s also recommended to take up and finish a medical course, pass the exam and earn designation as a CPC®.
The exam for CPC® is conducted by American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the world’s largest training and accrediting organization in the business of healthcare for professionals in the field of medical coding.
Employers are cognizant of the fact that CPCs® are individuals capable of performing complex medical coding tasks with utmost excellence, competence, and minimal errors. That’s why recent surveys on the average salaries of medical coders suggest that CPCs® are offered 20 percent more salary in comparison with their non-certified counterparts.
Typically the course fee is a one-time payment ranging between INR 20000 and INR 30000. This fee structure is applicable for regular or part-time courses, and training offered on an interactive mode. For overseas students, the course fee is roughly 700 USD.
When you decide on enrolling for a course, it’s suggested that you have a look at the variance in the registration fees offered by numerous identical institutes by means of carrying out a comparative study. This would help determine the approximate cost of submitting yourself to the training program. It’s optional that you join such medical coding training institutes that offer reasonable fees or special scholarship programs for meritorious students.
Additionally, you must focus on an institute that offers placement assistance to its candidates once the course gets completed. The repute of the institute is also another major influence one must pay attention to. You can have a fair grasp in evaluating the name of the institute once you go through its reviews online.