Medical coding can be defined as the assigning of medical codes to different diagnosis and procedures, used in a hospital or in allopathic medicine, so as to make the procedure of reimbursement easier for all the parties involved.
A medical coder should have the ability to convert a disease into ICD-9-CM code (acronym for international classification of diseases manual) and a medical diagnosis into a CPT (current procedural terminology) code. This requires accurate and detailed knowledge of codes and the procedure that they stand for. Schools and colleges that offer courses in medical billing and coding provide extensive training in this field.
There are many types of medical coding courses that teach subjects such as advanced medical coding, procedural medical coding, advanced medical coding, medical coding and billing associate certificate programs, advanced coding for the physicians office, and advanced procedural coding. These courses are available on the Internet and in classrooms as well. Distance learning is another option that is open to people who want to pursue medical coding as a secondary career.
Some medical coding courses emphasize on topics other than coding such as accounting, business communication and professional development. Another specialization available under medical coding is medical insurance coding training. This course teaches the coder to recognize and apply the correct codes, government compliance regulations, reimbursement optimization, and eligibility for entry-level insurance position.
Personnel who work in a hospital or in a physician?s office (other than doctors) have an opportunity to become successful medical coders because of the experience that they possess. Health information management coders work in hospitals and physicians’ offices, and many are freelancers. In large organizations such as hospitals and insurance companies, coders work under the supervision of a health information manager or a technician.
As the health care industry is ever- expanding, the career prospects for a certified medical coder are very good indeed. However, a medical coder has to keep up with the continuous changes and advances that are made in this field almost on a daily basis.