What does a Medical Coder do?
Medical Coders work at hospitals, clinics and other healthcare settings to facilitate communication with insurance companies. They spend most of their time interpreting patient files and manually updating them with medical codes. When assigning a code to a patient’s file, Medical Coders use established systems that make it easy for insurers to recognize what kinds of treatment they cover under a patient’s plan. Medical Coders also gather documentation to validate their coding choices and argue against any wrongfully denied claims. They analyze all parts of a patient’s visit, including diagnostic tests, consultations, in-office procedures and prescribed medication.
Medical Coder skills and qualifications
A Medical Coder works in healthcare facilities and is responsible for converting medical diagnosis, equipment and processes into standardized codes that are used when filing insurance claims. The skills and qualifications that a Medical Coder needs in order to achieve this include:
- A strong understanding of physiology, medical terms and anatomy
- Proficiency in computer skills including typing speed and accuracy
- Mathematics skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Organizational skills
- Ability to maintain a high level of integrity and confidentiality of medical information
- Strict attention to details
- Knowledge of data entry and transcription
Medical Coder salary expectations
A Medical Coder makes an average of $22.10 per hour. However, this pay rate can vary depending on a candidate’s education and level of experience.
Medical Coder education and training requirements
A Medical Coder should have the educational qualifications and training necessary to do the job. Although the educational requirements vary from one employer to the other, most medical facilities prefer a Medical Coder with a master’s degree or at least a bachelor’s degree. However, most entry jobs require the successful completion of a certification program or a bachelor’s degree. Relevant concentrations for certificates, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees include medical billing and coding, healthcare administration, health information management or a related field of study.
Medical Coder experience requirements
A proficient Medical Coder should have experiences with medical coding guidelines and procedures such as ICD-9, CPT, ARG and ASA, among several others. Experience in other clinical services search as program management and health records is an added advantage. Medical Coders should have at least 2 years of experience in the medical field, either through work or volunteer roles.
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