What you need to know about Medical Coding [Definitive 2021 Guide]
Medical Coding is an important part of our healthcare system today. In fact, whenever you visit a doctor, a medical coder reviews and codes your medical report.
In addition, the codes used form part of a universal language used in healthcare. Therefore, a range of professionals can use coded medical reports.
It is the role of a medical coder to assign the codes and create the final document. As such, medical coders must be knowledgeable of both healthcare terminology and the coding system.
To help you understand the processes used in Medical Coding check out my guide below!
What is Medical Coding?
Medical Coding is done for a number of reasons. Firstly, hospitals are not the only people that use Medical Coding. In fact, the government and insurance companies also rely on Medical Coding. As such, coded documents can be used for:
Producing data for hospitals and government departments
Medical Coding is the process of assigning codes to a medical report. In fact, the coded document provides a summary of the medical report. Therefore, Medical Coding can be quite a detailed task. As such, Medical Coding reports include:
Therefore, to work as a medical coder, you need a good understanding of medical terminology. In addition, you need a good understanding of the coding system you’re using.
In addition, depending on who you are working for, and what country you are in, the codes may vary.
How does Medical Coding work?
Most reports are done with International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding. However, there are variations of this for different countries.
Firstly, the medical coder analyses the report. That way, they can advise the doctor of any issues. Secondly, they work through the report assigning the related codes. See below for the full process:
Doctor dictates the audio file
The doctor dictates the patient’s consultation into a microphone. Subsequently, this is uploaded as an audio file.
Typing the report
The transcriptionist accesses the audio and types it into a report. Furthermore, the report should be clear and easy to read.
Approval and filing
The doctors approves the report which is added to the patient’s file.
Medical coder review
The Medical Coder reviews the file. In addition, they may discuss the case with the doctor.
The Medical Coder codes the report. This is done in accordance with standard coding procedures. Generally, they are very familiar with coding standards, however, complex reports may require further review.
The Medical Coder reviews their work. Finally, the coded document is produced.
The final document is filed in the patient’s records.
Medical Coding vs Medical Transcription
A Medical Transcriptionist receives the audio file of a doctors consultation. They then produce a written report from the audio file. Finally, the written report is added to the patient’s record.
In contrast, the Medical Coder retrieves the report and codes it. The healthcare provider can then use this for billing.
To be successful at Medical Coding or Medical Transcription, there is a wide range of skills and knowledge required:
Good problem-solving skills
Knowledge of drugs and treatments
Medical terminology knowledge
Good attention to detail
Medical coders will also require:
Knowledge of coding standards
Excellent communication skills to liaise with doctors
Career opportunities in Medical Coding
A junior coder codes each procedure and ensures that hospital records are maintained. You would also be required to meet data reporting requirements for health funds.
An intermediate coder should have an in-depth understanding of codes. In addition, you would be responsible for meeting reporting requirements and maintaining hospital records. In most cases, you are able to work independently.
Finally, an advanced coder should receive more specialised reports. Therefore, you require knowledge of medical terminology and codes for a wide range of specialities. In addition, you may also be responsible for reporting, particularly for funding and research.
Salary and wage for Medical Coding
The salary for Medical Coding often depends on experience. Therefore, an entry-level coder will earn less than an advanced coder.
Expected salary for Medical Coding
How you can get started as a Medical Coder
If you’re looking for a career in Medical Coding, you need an advanced knowledge of medical terminology. Therefore, this career path is popular for Medical Transcriptionists wanting to upskill. In addition, the role of a Medical Transcriptionist and Coder in preparing and finalising reports can be quite similar.
Both of these roles require you to have an excellent knowledge of healthcare. Furthermore, you require a great attention to detail. As such, the Certificate of Medical Transcription is a comprehensive program that assists you in beginning a rewarding career in healthcare. In addition, it can also provide valuable insight into Medical Coding. That way, you can make sure that Medical Coding is the right career for you!
Therefore, if you would like more information on how to begin a rewarding career in Medical Transcription and Medical Coding, please request a course information pack below!
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