The future of medical coding

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (37)

valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

51 months ago

there will be an increased demand for experienced, competent and certified coders. i know there is a lot of apprehension about all the new coding software that makes coders obsolete, that is not the case. there is too much error with the software and physicians do not understand codes well enough to do it themselves.

the best advice is to make yourself as knowledgable as possible

as far as ICD 10, my employer is already in the process of updating its coders with this information (and it is 3 years away!!) once it gets closer we will have webinars to acquant us with it and we have been told that when ICD 10 goes live in Oct 2013 we WILL be versed in it.

it is definitely a dramatic change, i think i read that icd 10 will have 70,000 codes, that is alot! it will go from 5 digits to 7 alphanumeric codes, plus an incredible amount of specificity.

the hardest part of the ICD 10 switch (as far as coding goes) will be the physician documentation. if their documentation is not specific and complete coders will not be able to code correctly because it will be to vague.

another problem will be insurance companies, some are not updating their systems and will not be able to identify the ICD 10 codes that are being submitted and will deny them, which will cause A/R issues and a cash flow problem.

this was probably WAY more than you wanted to know, but i hope i was some help.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (44) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

futurecoder in Modesto, California

51 months ago

Don't worry, ANY and ALL info and insight about coding is helpful and very much appreciated! Glad to hear there's still a bright future for coders and that computer software can't take over entirely! Seems as though ICD 10 will involve lots of learn-as-you-go in dealing with all the changes and complications. I suppose employers don't have much of a choice but to educate their coders about it so that they will be ready once ICD 10 goes into effect. I wonder though how schools are preparing their students for this new system or will new grads just have to be trained once they land a job?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

Codingnow in Columbus, Ohio

50 months ago

GO to aapc.com and do their online coding program. Only this and the AHIMA degree programs are recognized as being legit. The CPC is for working with physician's and the CPC-H is for working in a hospital setting. The AAPC certificate will land you a job in coding for places willing train. Coding is still very in demand, but I'm not as optimistic about the 10 year outlook as the other post. I think the technology and outsourcing will start moving into the industry in the next 10 years

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (26) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

elegant2g

42 months ago

Check out brookslegacycoding.net, for medical coding training. I have been an istructor for over 10 years. Online and affordable...

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

EdieinNC in Raleigh, North Carolina

33 months ago

This is all very good information. I am currently a medical transcriptionist but am moving into the billing and coding area. Can anyone tell me if It will be necessary to educate myself in ICD9 or just wait for ICD10. Will I need to know both to make the transition?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (22) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

valentine in Sandy, Utah

33 months ago

EdieinNC in Raleigh, North Carolina said: This is all very good information. I am currently a medical transcriptionist but am moving into the billing and coding area. Can anyone tell me if It will be necessary to educate myself in ICD9 or just wait for ICD10. Will I need to know both to make the transition?

You definitely need to learn ICD 9, if you are working as a coder as of Sept 2013, you will be using ICD 9. And knowing the actual process of looking up codes with ICD 9 will make learning ICD 10 easier.

@ Anna, I saw that article as well that the AMA is wanting to stop ICD 10, but I seriously doubt that will happen. Too much has gone into it so far to implement it. Which certification are you studying for?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

anna in Raleigh, North Carolina

33 months ago

CPC
I have the RHIT yet no paid coding experience.
you?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

EdieinNC in Raleigh, North Carolina

33 months ago

Thanks for the info. everyone. Anna, I will be e-mailing you to chat some more about this. I am curious though, should I be studying the billing area as well the coding. I think there used to be a time when you could specialize in one or the other but I have heard that knowing both areas will be in more demand.

Also, Is there a school that is more recognized? There are so many on-line programs out there and I want to make sure I pick one that is the accredited but also not too expensive.

Thanks again!

Edie

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

valentine in Sandy, Utah

33 months ago

anna in Raleigh, North Carolina said: CPC
I have the RHIT yet no paid coding experience.
you?

I have my CPC, have 5 years of outpatient coding experience and 7 months of inpatient, I am studying for the CCS.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Anna in Raleigh, North Carolina

33 months ago

Valentine, which do you like better, inpatient or outpatient coding? Also, Is there a big difference in salary?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

valentine in Sandy, Utah

33 months ago

Anna in Raleigh, North Carolina said: Valentine, which do you like better, inpatient or outpatient coding? Also, Is there a big difference in salary?

It seems that each coder has their preference, for me I prefer inpatient. While a huge part of that is because of CPT (I much prefer ICD 9 PCS), for some reason, I just enjoy working inpatient better, it is a better fit for me.

On average, an inpatient coder makes more than an outpatient coder. The pay difference is usually because of the higher complexity of the charts and the higher dollar amount. DRGs are also a HUGE part of inpatient coding and they can be difficult to get correct, especially since RAC is focusing on overused DRGs.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

MJinATL in Decatur, Georgia

33 months ago

EdieinNC in Raleigh, North Carolina said: Thanks for the info. everyone. Anna, I will be e-mailing you to chat some more about this. I am curious though, should I be studying the billing area as well the coding. I think there used to be a time when you could specialize in one or the other but I have heard that knowing both areas will be in more demand.

Also, Is there a school that is more recognized? There are so many on-line programs out there and I want to make sure I pick one that is the accredited but also not too expensive.

Thanks again!

Edie

Hi Edie - I too am a medical transcriptionist, transitioning to coding and would love to chat with you!!! I started off earlier this year taking courses through AHIMA's coding online program, taking the A&P course. I began the medical term course soon after but did not complete due to financial constraints, but will resume courses in February. I like AHIMA's online course because of its flexibility. You have 15 weeks to complete but if you finish earlier than the 15 weeks, you began other courses. I like them too because of their various options; you can take a cluster of courses or courses one at a time. Of course, there are other accredited programs, in-house or online that are great. email me at mjohnson373@yahoo.com so we can chat!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Anna in Raleigh, North Carolina

33 months ago

Edie, I know that WakeTech has an evening program in medical coding and billing that I think meets at it's campus near Capital Blvd. in Raleigh. Durham tech has an online coding and billing program through continuing education. Also, CPCC in Charlotte has an online billing and reimbursement program through their continuing education department.
If you want a diploma (one year degree)in medical coding, Durham Tech has a new for credit program through their HIT department.
Do you want certificaiton through AHIMA or AAPC?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Rellis in Durham, North Carolina

33 months ago

Edie, You should look into the FTCC Medi-online course. It breaks CareerSteps coding program into 2 parts and each part is less than $200. You can check out CareerSteps website to see if you like their program, but you have to sign up through FTCC to get the discounted price. I can tell you that its pretty tough, but if you are serious and dedicate enough time to completing the course then you will do well.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

EdieinNC in Raleigh, North Carolina

33 months ago

Rellis,

Thank you for bringing FTCC Medi-online course to my attention. I will definately check into it.

Anna, I did check into WakeTech but they have not posted anything for Spring 2012 yet. They are going to put the schedule up on Nov. 30th.

Thank you everyone for your help.

By the way, I have an interview with Duke next week for an Administrative role. I'm hoping this works out because I will then at least have my foot in the door.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Rellis in Durham, North Carolina

33 months ago

Good Luck on your interview.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Anna in Raleigh, North Carolina

33 months ago

Edie, Wow! That's great you have an interview with Duke. That would be a great place to work. Good luck!
Did you check out Durham Tech's online program through continuing education?
That program through FTCC that Rellis mentioned sounds good too.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Medical billing outsourcing in Los Angeles, California

33 months ago

<a href="www.medical-billing.com/">Medical billing</a> jobs are growing in popularity today,with a lot of people taking medical billing courses in order to enter the profession.This is a good time to enter the medical billing industry. Not only is the pay good, but there are several openings for medical billing jobs to accommodate a lot of job seekers..

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Zac in Satellite Provider

33 months ago

Anna in Raleigh, North Carolina said: Hi, Edie, I too live in Raleigh NC and am moving into the billing and coding field!!
I would go ahead and focus on becoming proficient in ICD-9-CM for now if you plan on working in the field this coming year. Unbelievably recently there has talk by the American Medical Society about trying to stop the conversion to ICD-10 because of the enormous expense.
Email me at annasinger@bellsouth.net if you want to chat. I am starting to study for the coding certification.

Really is this true if so i could agree

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

lauraheff22 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

28 months ago

I am just starting school for medical coding but I don't have any medical back round. I'm just worried that I m wasting my time and wont be able to find a job without ever having worked in the medical field yet. does anyone know if you are still able to get a job as a coder without the medical experience?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (40) / No (13) Reply - Report abuse

naomi in York, Pennsylvania

25 months ago

I live in York,Pa .can anyone tell me where there is a good program available in medical coding and billing that is not too expensive?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

eve in iowa in Davenport, Iowa

17 months ago

lauraheff22 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin said: I am just starting school for medical coding but I don't have any medical back round. I'm just worried that I m wasting my time and wont be able to find a job without ever having worked in the medical field yet. does anyone know if you are still able to get a job as a coder without the medical experience?

Laura, I used to be an RN and am also looking into coding but right now they are offering ICD-10 at the local college (although I'll probably take it online). Have you completed any coding course yet? They say everyone will have to be online for ICD-10 soon? Any thoughts for me?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

anna in Raleigh, North Carolina

17 months ago

EdieinNC in Raleigh, North Carolina said: This is all very good information. I am currently a medical transcriptionist but am moving into the billing and coding area. Can anyone tell me if It will be necessary to educate myself in ICD9 or just wait for ICD10. Will I need to know both to make the transition?

Hi Eddie,
How did the interview go with Duke (16 months later!)?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

shasha in Sacramento, California

15 months ago

I'm planning to enrol in medical billing and coding class... my question is the same with EdieinNC. Is it advisable to pursue this since the ICD will be implemented next year and i will be studying the ICD-9. is it necessary that you also know the ICD-9 or study the ICD-10?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Ryan in Friendswood, Texas

15 months ago

There are not any really fast ways to enter coding I'm afraid. You'll want to earn the RHIT or RHIA before an employer will really look at you seriously for coding. Rarely do I see employers looking at CCA or CPC. Mostly looking at CCS or CCS-P.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Windy Cat in Chicago, Illinois

10 months ago

jkt in Pathanamthitta, India said: hi i have completed m.sc in nursing.. do i get a good career growth in medical coding... plz replyy

I don't know much about India's job market but in Chicago, most employers who are hiring for medical coders want EXPERIENCED coders. Employers in Chicago want you to have at least two years of coding experience and be certified like: RHIA, RHIT, CCS...and there are other certifications. They will work with someone who has a bachelor's degree, certification, but NO experience. Like at University of Illinois in Chicago has a bachelor's degree in Health Information Management. Other universities and colleges in Chicago have similar degrees (Bachelor and Associate Degrees).

Your chances are definitely good if you have a degree in Nursing, but why not pursue a career as a Nurse? Also, I know of companies in the United States that have outsourced to India.

Just do a Google search and you should find plenty info.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Windy Cat in Chicago, Illinois

10 months ago

TO EVERYONE: I've done research on online learning classes like ED2Go or Gatlin, over the years. I just have NOT found any proof that people have become certified because of what they learned through these online school's classes. I've read the opposite more often than not, I'm afraid. I've chosen the community college route because in my city, the city community college is 100% recognizable by a potential employer than the 'online school'. I say this because if you have a certificate through the local community college in your town, but no experience in coding or etc, the employer is likely to give you a chance because your school in known in your city or state. Some schools have great online classes but these are because they have real schools in real buildings and they are well known...but others like 'Gatlin' well...not so much.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Windy Cat in Chicago, Illinois

10 months ago

UPDATES PLEASE: can we get some HONEST updates about whether people have found jobs after completing online medical coding classes? Have you gotten certification in your respective states? People always post about what they are doing but never come back and report an update which would be helpful to those who are still wondering if they should invest in online classes.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

enaidlily@msn.com in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania

3 months ago

I am an RN and will begin getting certified in billing/coding at a local college this year. I feel fairly confident as I have medical experience.I am concerned that it may be a matter of time before many medical jobs using a computer are outsourced. It is cheaper for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. Any words of reassurance that this might not happen?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jenny Horner in Edmond, Oklahoma

3 months ago

Windy Cat in Chicago, Illinois said: UPDATES PLEASE: can we get some HONEST updates about whether people have found jobs after completing online medical coding classes? Have you gotten certification in your respective states? People always post about what they are doing but never come back and report an update which would be helpful to those who are still wondering if they should invest in online classes.

Hi Windy,
I went to school from 2009 to 2011 and got an Associates in Health info Technology from my local community college. Right after school I was able to find a coding job (I was lucky), and last year I obtained the CPC certification.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Ruby Slippers in Las Vegas, Nevada

3 months ago

enaidlily@msn.com in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania said: I am an RN and will begin getting certified in billing /coding at a local college this year. I feel fairly confident as I have medical experience.I am concerned that it may be a matter of time before many medical jobs using a computer are outsourced. It is cheaper for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. Any words of reassurance that this might not happen?

Its going away. My niece is a medical coder and that is her opinion. Anything that is "administrative" is going away. Thank EMR for that.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

Jenny Horner in Edmond, Oklahoma

2 months ago

Ruby Slippers in Las Vegas, Nevada said: Its going away. My niece is a medical coder and that is her opinion. Anything that is " administrative " is going away. Thank EMR for that.

That is not true. EMR will not eliminate coding jobs. You can't 100% trust a computer to do coding, and the codes will always have to be checked. And administrative?? People will need to be employed to enter billing information, import records, etc. Administrative is not going away. Not sure why your niece thinks any of that...

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

cyto1970 in Colorado

2 months ago

I am interested in programs to become a coder and would like advice from anyone in the field. AHIMA cost is $2000 to prepare for the CCA exam (online only). AAPC costs a bit more to prepare for the CPC (classroom or online) and CPC-H (online only) exam. Is one better than the other? I am also interested in the CTR program from AHIMA. I have not done any job shadowing or talked to anyone in this field. I appreciate any feedback!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jenny Horner in Edmond, Oklahoma

2 months ago

cyto1970 in Colorado said: I am interested in programs to become a coder and would like advice from anyone in the field. AHIMA cost is $2000 to prepare for the CCA exam (online only). AAPC costs a bit more to prepare for the CPC (classroom or online) and CPC-H (online only) exam. Is one better than the other? I am also interested in the CTR program from AHIMA. I have not done any job shadowing or talked to anyone in this field. I appreciate any feedback!

It depends on what you want to do, do you want a hospital or physician office environment? I wouldn't recommend the CCA, most employers want the CPC, RHIT or CCS. If you want hospital coding (inpatient), get the CCS or RHIT. RHIT's can also go into cancer registry. Get the CPC if you want physician office, CPC-H if you want outpatient hospital. Hope that helps!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

cyto1970 in Colorado

2 months ago

Thank you Jenny for your help. I prefer to work in a hospital so the CPC-H sounds like the way to go.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary in Stafford, Virginia

1 month ago

Ruby Slippers in Las Vegas, Nevada said: Its going away. My niece is a medical coder and that is her opinion. Anything that is " administrative " is going away. Thank EMR for that.

I believe your niece is right. Anything administrative is diminishing. This is because other professionals are taking the job of administrative responsibilities such register nurses with experience in administrative work or those with bachelors degrees. Also computers softwares are now extremely efficient of eliminating coding errors such as medical coding. The need of having someone correcting coding manually is very small.
I have been job searching in the medical field and have noticed the high demand in nurses taking over administrative job responsibilities I have done in my past employment. I did not need a degree for it but apparently due to all the new laws each year it appears that nurse will also need to further their degree to either a bachelors degree or higher. Nurses are not really doing clinical as much anymore- have you notice that they are doing more of the paper work coordination? Have you noticed that "techs" are doing jobs nurses use to do? This change is possibly because in the near future robots will highly and really be used. Doctors are currently in training using robotic surgeries. These robots will advance rapidly. The future is closer than you may think. People in the administrative careers will need to think of other job careers that would be in high demand in the near future. Although for me, I am tired and done. I hit bottom starting all over with entry level careers, but I know my children must get ready for the future. This was already predicted. :(

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

nikishere33 in Oswego, Illinois

1 month ago

Hi,
I have a question

I am a licensed practical nurse and I was going to pursue my CPC and then CCS. I worked in the insurance industry for a while and that'e where i want to stay.

I know i have to get a certain amount of hours to get rid of my CPC appretice status and i was wondering How much do entry level coders make?
I was also thinking about pursuing my RHIT..

Any advice would be great.

Thank you

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.