Medical billing and coding is a in-demand profession that is a part of one of the largest industries in the United States. Medical coding is the language that the health care industry uses to operate. Because the health care relies on medical coding to operate, medical coders are often viewed as some of the most valuable employees in the health care industry. Medical coding involves assigning medical code numbers to descriptions of medical diagnosis and procedures. Medical codes are also used to identify symptoms, help perform administrative functions such as scheduling, staffing and planning new services.
Medical Coding Training
Medical coding training can be obtained at junior or community colleges with an accredited medical billing and coding program. Many of these colleges offer one-year diploma or two-year associate degree programs which are sufficient to enter the medical billing and coding field. Medical coders need to be able to code information such as symptoms, doctor observations, treatment procedures treatment outcomes and medical history.
Curriculum at Medical Coding Schools
The curriculum at medical coding schools generally includes an overview of informational medical topics, as well as an introduction to billing software. Medical school programs also focus on Web applications, ethics with regard to medical records, and hospital and insurance policy. Some common courses taken by medical billing and coding students include:
Data coding and abstraction
and Computer science.
Medical Coding Careers
Medical coding schools prepare students for careers in the lucrative health care industry by teaching them a variety of important skills. Some common skills that medical coding students learn are – registering and recording patient information, verifying patient insurance, referrals and pre-authorization, recording transactions, processing payments, managing patient accounts, billing, coding, reporting insurance claims, and collecting payments from patients and insurance companies. The main task of coding professionals usually involves organizing, compiling and translating the medical treatment information recorded by doctors.
Typical Work Environment
Medical coding professionals usually work in a clinical setting. Medical coders have little to no contact with patients. The majority of medical coders work in general medical or surgical hospitals. Medical coders also work in doctors offices, nursing care facilities, outpatient care facilities and for the Federal government. The medical coding field requires a high level of specialized training. The more training one has the more likely one is to find employment in the medical coding field.