Medical Coding Job Opportunities

Learn what the outlook is for Medical Coding Job Opportunities. Search for medical coding positions in your area to see what medical billing and coding employment is available.

Medical coders are health information professionals who specialize in coding a patients medical information for reimbursement of the health care provider.

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) creates the Occupational Information Handbook which gives the outlook for various professions in the United States. The medical coder job falls under the classification of Medical Records and Health Information Technicians. According to their latest report, approximately 2 out of 5 jobs (or 40%) of jobs are in hospitals. The remaining 60% are in provider offices, nursing facilities, outpatient centers, and home health services.

Education
Many medical coding technicians obtain an associates degree from a community, vocational, or junior college. There are exceptions, such as myself, of those who have succeeded through on-the-job training with no formal education in coding. Employers do tend to favor those with credentials from AHIMA or AAPC for promotion and advancement into management – especially larger employers like hospitals.

Strong Demand
The DOL projects a faster than average growth for medical coding job opportunities with those having a good background being in especially high demand. Through the year 2016, medical coding positions are estimated to increase by 18%.

This higher than average demand is due to the increased need for medical treatments, procedures, and tests due to an aging population. Also driving the demand is greater scrutiny placed on health care services by insurance companies, consumers and their employers, and regulatory agencies.

Medical coding positions will also be abundant for those with good computer skills. There is an increasing movement by the health care industry to electronic medical records. DOL projects new jobs in physician offices, for outpatient and home health services, and nursing facilities. Not only will new positions be created, but medical coding job opportunities will be created by retirements.

Experienced medical coders with credentials will be in particularly high demand. Health care providers and facilities are challenged to attract and retain coders. The Occupational Outlook anticipates job prospects to be especially good for medical coders through temporary job agencies and professional services firms. In their quest to attract medical coders, employers will probably be more accommodating by offering remote medical coding jobs.

Skills
Medical coding job opportunities require a minimum competence in key skills. Coders should have good written and verbal communication skills as they frequently deal with other healthcare professionals (like doctors and nurses), healthcare facilities, and insurance companies. Computer and typing skills, a good grasp of medical terminology, and an attention to detail are also good attributes for the successful medical coder.

Technology
The increasing demand for the use of electronic medical records (EMR) will increase significantly in the coming years - especially now that the federal government is encouraging EMR use. This will broaden the job responsibilities and opportunities for the medical coder.

Coders should have good basic computer skills in order to take advantage of the capabilities of the EMR and other associated software technology. This will help in entering, maintaining, and analyzing health information data on diseases and associated treatments.

Coders with good computer software and technology skills will be very attractive to employers as these healthcare providers begin to adopt EMR systems.

Medical Coding Salary
A very important question when considering medical coding job opportunities - what does it pay? This page discusses the influences on Medical Coding Salaries and what salary range to expect for medical coders. Learn how experience influences the Medical Coding Specialist Salary and compare to other Medical Office occupations.

Work Schedule
Most medical coding positions work a typical 40 hour work week with occasional overtime. Hospitals which are open 24/7 may require coverage during evening, night, and weekend times. Because of the nature of the work, employers may be more accommodating of flexible work schedules.

Certifications
There are two organizations that offer several levels of certification credentials for medical coders; American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Learn what Medical Coding Certifications are available and who administers the Medical Coding Certificate programs.

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