What does a Medical Coder do? The importance of medical coding billing functions to the providers reimbursement is explained. I’ve also described what some of the fundamentals are such as ICD-10 codes, CPT medical billing codes, and CPT modifiers.
A medical billing coder analyzes patient charts and assigns the appropriate code. These medical billing codes are standard diagnosis and treatment codes used throughout the healthcare industry.
The diagnoses are ICD-9 codes (soon to be ICD-10 codes) and the corresponding CPT treatment codes. The treatment may also have additional coding referred to as CPT modifiers that more specifically defines the treatment.
Medical coding is vital to the financial health of the organization. The coders work is the basis for payment by the insurance provider. A lot of emphasis is placed on insuring the patient encounter is accurately coded so the provider is fairly paid for the services rendered.
Medical coders should be detail oriented and knowledgeable in medical terminology and good with math. The ability to use medical claim software and a general comfort with computers is also necessary. The coder interfaces most with health care providers, other office staff, and insurance companies – but rarely with the patient.
The medical coder looks up the diagnosis and treatment codes in coding reference books or online coding reference services. Many of the online references are up-to-date with the latest codes and many have illustrated guides, cross references, and can warn of potential claim payment problems or denials.
Many medical billing and coding specialists obtain certification from a recognized professional organization such as AAPC or AHIMA. Becoming certified in medical coding demonstrates one’s competence, makes one more attractive to an employer, and improves your income potential.
As a minimum coders should have a high school education. Certification requires passing a written exam and completing minimum training from an accredited program. The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) designation offered by the AAPC is one of the more popular credentials. Training can be taken both in a traditional classroom or online to be prepared to passing the certification exam.
Medical coders may work for several different types of employers. This may be a physician’s office, hospital, clinic, outpatient facility, insurance company, or research organization.
In many practices the medical coder also has medical billing responsibilities.
Below are several medical coding topics discussed in greater detail:
ICD 9 Codes
Find out what ICD 9 codes are and their relationship to CPT codes. What are the best ICD-9 codes reference for the medical billing and coding specialist.
CPT Medical Billing Codes
Find out what CPT Medical Billing Codes are and their relationship to ICD codes. What are the best references for the medical billing coder.
CPT Modifiers provide additional information to payers to make sure your provider gets paid correctly for services rendered.
Medical Coding Certifications
Learn what Medical Coding Certifications are available and who administers the medical coding certificate.
Medical Billing Coder
Good coding complements the billing process and insures the provider is getting fairly compensated for their work. Even if you want to stick strictly to medical billing, having a basic understanding of what the medical billing and coding specialist does is important. Learn what the duties are when considering a medical billing coding career.
ICD 10 Codes
ICD 10 Code – Why the transition from ICD 9 Codes to ICD 10 concerns me as Medical Billing Business owner based on my experience with other transitions – like NPI.
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 Coding Salaries
See what affects Medical Coding Salaries are and what the salary range is for medical coders. Learn how experience influences the Medical Coding Specialist Salary and compare to other Medical Office occupations.
Online Medical Coding Schools
Many people consider online medical coding schools because they wish to obtain marketable skills and become certified as a medical coder. Online training has made it possible to learn at you own pace, at a time convenient for you, and generally for a lower cost than traditional campus programs.
Remote Medical Coding
Learn how Remote Medical Coding Jobs are possible and the benefits or working remotely. Search for Medical Coding Jobs online to find employers that allow Medical Coding From Home.
Medical Coding From Home
Is Medical Coding From Home possible? My experience operating a home business that provides billing and coding services as part of our medical billing home business. The nature of the work lends itself well to work from home.