How Will You Define Medical Coding?

Often referred as medical classification, medical coding is a standardized process that involves alphanumeric as well as numeric codes assignment to medical diagnosis and procedures.

A medical coder will also use results of the lab, medical records and even the transcribed notes of the physicians to determine the codes carried out for different procedure and diagnosis. Today, the world of medical coders has evolved with newer avenues coming up in statistical as well as research purposes.

They will always be needed for Medicare and Medicaid forms of reimbursements, request forms in diagnostic as well as claim forms in insurance. Today, they will also be a genuine requirement to track the process involved in major illness and diseases.

What are the types of medical coding?

A medical coder today has to be well versed in both CPT and diagnostic codes. Coders use CPT codes to virtually code everything from simple doctor office visits to a spinal surgery.

  • The International Classification of Diseases or ICD is also used for indentifying the exact reason for the visit of the patient and the diagnosis.
  • Combination of ICD-10 and CPT are a regular use in insurance for informing the payers about the procedure followed and the care received by the patient.

The basic difference between medical billing and coding

The fundamental difference between a medical biller and a coder is that in some settings, billers may or may not serve the function of a coder and their final responsibility will be generating collections with bills.

  • A medical coder is not primarily responsible for matters related to money. Instead, their concern will be to report accurately the medical procedure and patient diagnostic services.
  • In another way, we can say that a medical coder essentially acts as a translator between the medical billers and the physicians.
  • They will review the medical records that are written by the therapists, nurses, physicians and the other professionals involved in the medical process.
  • They will compare it with the established credentials of the American Medical Association (AMA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the other health insurance plans like Medi-Cal (go to this website to learn more) that tend to be provided by state governments. However, standardizing and distilling the information into medical coding will be the ultimate priority.

Exciting opportunities for a medical coder

A medical coder who is looking for a lucrative career opportunity will have to possess a sound knowledge of human anatomy, medical terminology, and physiology.

An Associate’s degree program will be best suited as it will focus on medical coding. The CPC is in high demand as employers clearly understand that the requisite skill-set is present and they can perform the job role with complete proficiency.

It is not easy to pass an exam in CPC. Accredited experience and training is a must. An externship for becoming a CPC-A or Certified Professional Coder Apprentice will give an excellent value apart from relevant online programs and training from private and public universities and community colleges.

The best part is with complexities in federal regulations and stringent payer guidelines, a medical coder expert in handling ICD-10 is going to be of great value.


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