As the healthcare industry is growing day by day, this sector needs more coding personnel to facilitate its services and processes more smoothly in accordance with the norms and regulations.
Nowadays, patient accounts are maintained in computers, which has made the accounts and finance department in doctor’s chambers and hospitals more efficient and up to date. Health care professionals such as physicians, registered nurses and radiology technicians enter the suitable codes into a database at the time of a patient’s visit and select necessary information he/she wants. From that perspective, medical coders roles and responsibilities have got a definite shape and their need in the healthcare industry is beyond question or unavoidable.
That is why in the regular job circular, many recruiting agencies or hospitals often set following attributes in medical coder job description:
- Capable of allocating and review right and unique medical codes to various diagnoses, treatment, bill denials and reimbursements.
- Skilled in wide array of services: anesthesiology to radiology, surgical services to laboratory diagnostics, microbiology to insurance etc.
- Sound knowledge on keeping records, medical rules and regulations, bill payments and reimbursements, compliance and insurance laws.
- Must have strong communication skill so that he/ she could smartly communicate with other health care professionals and visiting patients (when necessary).
- Have good basic knowledge on subject matters: anatomy, physiology, microbiology and other medical terminologies necessary to properly code provider diagnosis and other patient focused services.
- Capable of working from home or far-away places.
- Flexible work hours so that occasionally he/she must have the capacity to take the higher workload.
- Having good managerial and documentation skill
- Not interested in routine work or desk-based job don’t need to apply.
- Capable of working 40-42 hours every week.
Whereas three fundamental criteria remains the initial selection choice for most of the healthcare companies, recruiting agencies or hospitals:
- Academic credentials: Minimum 1 year certificate or 2 year associate degree.
- Professional certification: AAPC, AIHMA or such type of well known certification.
- Experience: hand-on-hand professional experience as a medical coder in a healthcare setting.
Professionals who have graduated from Govt. certified colleges and holding a AAPC or AIHMA certification are usually capable of fulfilling the requirements mentioned in the job description. So, it is always better to get the certification before you enter the job market. AAPC also offers a membership for graduated medical coders and billing professionals. And when you will become a member of AAPC, you can use their vast knowledge resources and training facilities to enrich you capabilities as a skilled medical coder. You can also use their huge networking opportunities. AAPC currently has 127000 registered members around US. This will be very much helpful for your career in the future. However, in case of certification, you can choose Certified Professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Professional Biller (CPB) exam route. Both routes have good opportunities in career. You can focus more in your certification exam, for example if you are determined to work in a hospital setting goes for CPC-H. Such types of certification are on the rise. In a nutshell, these certifications and other services alongside your academic degree helps you to meet the attributes set in the job description by the hospitals or other coder recruiting agencies.