Medical Coding is also known as insurance coding and involves assigning codes to diagnoses and procedures, enabling financial reimbursements from insurance companies, government agencies, software companies, and consulting firms. This technique helps in identifying the claims and displays the entire history of the patient and the services performed. Demand for medical coding is rapidly increasing with the evolution of new vistas in the realm of diagnostics and treatment. Medical coding is also outsourced to other countries that offer cheap labor and flexible work hours.
Medical Coding: Benefits
Medical coders are professionals who convert the physicians note into codes using specialized software, which are utilized by the insurance providers to compensate the health care provider. To correctly file a claim for each third party payer, the coder has to choose combinations of different standard coding systems. This specialized service helps avoiding frauds and helps organizations to reduce their administrative costs and time overruns.
Medical Coding: Scope and Programs
Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries globally, and hence, skills of a certified coder are in great demand. There are ample employment opportunities for such certified coders in hospitals and clinics across the country.
The American Health Information Management Association offers certification in this field. Besides, there are several medical coding schools, training centers, and institutes offering certification in medical coding. They also offer training programs online.
Certified Medical Coding Specialist Certification is an internationally recognized certification offering a number of programs designed get students exposure to medical terminology, coding protocols, patient charts, and physiology and medical/human anatomy. The diagnosis is identified and then converted into numerical codes, which are electronically processed for payment by third party payers such as insurance companies, Medicare companies, and government agencies etc. The training program also covers both type of code sets that is diagnostic codes and procedural codes.
The eligibility criterion to enroll into such a certification course is a Bachelors degree, preferably in human sciences or pharmacy. The selection is usually through a written test, followed by an interview. This course prepares the student in a fast track methodology including Current Procedural Terminology and International Classification of Diseases. The training period varies from institute to institute, but generally it does not extend beyond six months. The students are awarded Certificate of Completion upon successfully passing the Final Examination with an 80% or better score. Some institutes also get their students suitable placements after they complete the course successfully.