Medical Coder

Medical coders perform their duties in hospital or medical clinic billing offices. Medical coders examine, process, and complete insurance claims, so doctors or other medical providers are paid by insurance companies for the services they perform.

Medical procedures are categorized by CPT codes, and medical diagnoses are categorized by ICD codes. This makes it easy for insurance companies to track medical procedures performed by doctors and other medical specialists. This code system has reduced fraud and payment errors.

Medical coders or billers are required to be high school graduates and complete a medical coding accreditation program. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) sponsors Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and other similar certification programs. Vocational, community, and online colleges offer medical coding training programs. It usually takes 1 to 1 ½ years to complete formal medical coding training.

Job growth for medical coders is expected to remain high. Although many coders now use specialized software to code, trained professionals are needed to enter and review information and resolve disputes with insurance companies, doctors, hospitals or medical clinics. Effective and precise coders are needed for healthcare providers to remain financially solvent since doctors cannot be compensated until medical coding has been completed and submitted to insurance companies. Medical coders usually work during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 40 hours per week.

Medical coding is a great way to acquire work experience and qualify for higher-paying office or management jobs.

Medical coders work in hospitals, physicians' clinics, rehabilitation centers, and other medical clinics. Many medical coders work as private contractors, making it possible to work from home.

Education and Training

Medical coders are not required to complete standardized training. Medical coders often begin as medical assistants where they learn medical terminology and numerous CPT codes. Many hospitals and clinics prefer to hire Certified Professional Coders.

Medical coding training programs can be completed online and at community and vocational colleges. It typically takes a year or year and a half to complete a program.

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