If you want a job in the healthcare industry but do not have the stomach for patient care, get a career as a medical insurance coder. Medical insurance coders are responsible for entering the correct information on a patient’s medical record to ensure reimbursement for healthcare services. Healthcare is one of the basic human necessities. Therefore, there is high assurance of job availability in this line of work. Education in the form of a certificate or degree is required for most medical insurance coding jobs. Jump start your career by requesting free information today from the schools below:
Medical insurance coders play a vital role in the medical field. They work with medical records to ensure payment or reimbursement for services and treatments provided to the patient. A medical insurance coder analyzes the patient’s records. It is his task to assure that all treatment and services have been given and documented correctly. He also checks if the patient has been billed the right amount.
Generally, medical insurance coders are employed by hospitals and insurance companies. They are trained to read medical diagnoses, conditions, and treatments on the patient’s record. An industry-standard coding system is used by coders in entering information on healthcare databases. Every medical service is assigned a numeric code to define diagnostics, treatments and procedures. This program assigns the proper codes, which makes it easier to monitor the treatment given and the amount billed.
The claim is them sent to the insurance carrier for review. If accepted, the healthcare provider is paid accordingly. If denied, the medical insurance coder makes an investigation regarding the rejected claim. He verifies the information, gets new details and update the database. Once approved, a bill is sent to the patient.
Skills and Requirements
A four-year college degree is not necessarily needed. However, those with certification have increased job options and opportunities for promotion. Candidates for medical insurance codering should have completed a certificate or associate’s degree program in medical billing and coding. Course work for degrees in healthcare information management includes training in medical terminology, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, data coding, and computer science.
Most employers provide training first before putting new hires on the line. However, this training is focused on the actual coding system to be used. Aspiring medical insurance coders should have a keen attention to detail. This is very important because any miscoding can result in a loss of income for the medical facility. Medical insurance coders should be driven and disciplined. Being organized is essential since coders are dealing with files and records.
Work Environment and Salary
Most medical insurance coders are hired by hospitals and insurance companies. However, job opportunities also exist in clinics, private practices, nursing homes, mental health institutions, government agencies and other healthcare businesses. Some institutions allow work from home as long as the resources are easily accessible.
Medical insurance coders work in an office-type setting. They also work a stable schedule during normal business hours. Expect a 40-hour work per week but should also be flexible to work overtime and on weekends. They do not work directly with healthcare providers, patients or insurance carriers. Transactions are mostly done via telephone communication and direct mailing.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/