Medical coders are an inseparable part of the present healthcare industry. They compile and store patient related medical data in every healthcare institutions. They jobs are greatly benefiting our common people in every healthcare settings, whether that is a physician’s office or a big state hospital. Medical coders are getting more eminent in the society as they are the professional people who help to maintain a common standard of medical practice across the country.
According to AAPC, there are approximately 125,000 medical coders registered as one of their members. Some are registered under the umbrella of AHIMA. So, the actual number of both registered and non-registered medical coders could cross 200,000. Again, many young students are studying medical coding who are supposed to enter into the medical coding job market by 2014 or 2015.
Medical coders learn many things in short but not in details during their student life. They have to learn the basics of anatomy, physiology, pathology, gynecology, medicine, surgery, dentistry, critical care etc. It is not the same in case of other healthcare professionals, for example, doctors, pharmacists, nurses etc. They have to go through details of some typical topic during 5-8 years including an internship 1-3 years. But medical coder course curriculum does not require deep detailed study some typical subjects for a longer period of time, rather they have to go through a lot of health related subjects within 1-2 years time. If any medical coding student wishes to pursue a certificate degree, then one year is enough for him to earn the degree unless he passes at one chance. But, if the student wishes to pursue an associate degree, he/she have to spend 2 years in a certified coding college. 2 year medical coding associate degrees have a benefit over the 1 year associate degree. That is if one continue to do further study then after achieving 2 year associate degree, he/she could get directly admitted into a BHA (Bachelor of Healthcare Administration) degree. But in job market, whether you are a certificate degree holder or an associate degree holder, you have to get professional certification from AAPC or AHIMA.
Their professional certification status is highly valued by employers (hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers, medical coding agencies etc.). Although in house medical coders were the beginners in this coding field, nowadays many professional medical coders are working from home online. Yes, it will be very interesting to know that online medical coding from remote places have become very common at present. Even many hospitals and clinics are now declaring that their medical coders are not required to come to their premises 5 days every week. 1-2 days reporting at the office is enough unless he/she able to deliver his/her task appropriately on time. So, every medical coder is enjoying this advantage. However, they are enjoying the same salary. The average salary of an entry level medical coder is $20,000-25,000 annually. Perhaps, they will enjoy higher salary when they will hold more work experience. The average salary of an experienced medical coder is $40,000-45,000 annually. After 10-15 years, they are expected to earn more.