Medical Terminology: As a medical coder, you should know some medical terminologies during your academic life, such as, test, diagnosis, screening, blood, infection, inflammation, various diseases, malaise, treatment, prescription, surgery, intensive care etc.
Subject Matter: During your academia, it is always recommended you understand the basics of anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, medicine, surgery and Physiology as much details as you can. This will be very helpful in your career.
Medical Coding & Billing: How to give proper code to different services offered to patients in different healthcare institutions is the main technical job for any medical coding professionals. You will learn it practically during your internships. But it is always expected that you will know that basics of medical coding or billing process during your academic life.
Internships: Internship is a very important part for every medical coding professional to understand the depth of the industry as well as what will be the job responsibility of a medical coder in this industry. If you really work hard in these days, you must learn hand to hand how the coding process is done, what laws and policies are followed during this coding process and how the payments are facilitated.
Clinical Classification Systems & Health Information Management: You will know these terms during your academia, but unless or until you enter into a medical coding or billing job, you will not learn these in details. These are mainly organization driven or practically operation-driven areas that can vary country to country, state to state or even hospital to hospital.
Certification: Your aim of becoming a successful medical coder will not be fulfilled until you get a professional certification. Many professional bodies provide certifications upon fulfilling their membership criteria and assessment test. American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) are two renowned certification awarding bodies among them. Getting their certification upon graduation from a coding college is a great boost for one’s medical coding career. At present, AAPC has almost 125000 professional coders under their umbrella. And the numbers are growing every now and then. So, if you have already completed your certificate degree or associate degree, take AAPC membership and sit for the AAPC certification exam. Then, you will be designated as Certified professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Professional Biller (CPB). However, getting certified is not the end. As the profession is evolving very fast, news rules and techniques are getting noticed every now and then, in order to become successful in this profession, you also need to be updated. As for examples, coding guidelines ICD-10 is going to be introduced next year. Every medical coder should get acquainted with this before its introduction.