If you are interested in a new career, one that will enable you to work in the medical field but without the necessity to provide direct patient care, then an exciting career as a medical coder may be perfect for you. Working as a medical coder will permit you to work in various medical facilities and hospitals, where you would assist with the billing process by performing numerous medical coding and related duties.
What are the duties of a medical coder?
Medical coders must extract and assign medical codes from physicians' notes in order to prepare them for the billing process. The medical coder's job entails inspecting patient charts in order to verify which specific procedures were performed. After the coder verifies that certain procedures were actually executed, the coder will then assign special codes along with explanations to be given to the medical biller. Assignment of codes for all patient diagnoses must match those of the physicians' for complete accuracy. These codes must also correspond with the injury or illness of that particular patient.
Medical coders may have additional duties, as well. They may work to provide advocacy for patients regarding medical necessity, and they might also be assigned to audit patient charts.
Where do medical coders work?
Medical coders work in hospital, clinics, doctor's offices and other facilities where medical services are performed. Some coders who are able to contract with medical centers are even able to work from home in some cases, but not all.
How can I prepare myself for a successful medical coding career?
A career in medical coding is very in-depth, and it requires a great deal of knowledge and skills. A thorough understanding of anatomy as well as medical terminology is truly important in order to be a properly skilled medical coder.
Although an advanced degree in medical coding isn't required to work as a medical coder, it is necessary to complete a medical coding course and then pass the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam in order to become certified. Training programs can be completed in as little as 4 months, depending on which program you choose.
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