Today we need not worry about paying doctor’s fees when we make a visit at their clinic. We know that we have medical coverage and the doctor will directly bill to the insurance company. There is much work involved in such a process. After a patient visits a doctor’s office, a bill is generated in his or her name under a specific code. That bill is then sent to the insurance company. The code tells the insurer of the nature of the appointment and the coverage of the doctor’s service. If you had an x-ray taken or a blood test conducted, the code on the bill will differ. CPT codes differ on medical records as per the kind of examination or medical services availed of by a patient. In many medical offices the code is generated automatically as per the details entered. The CPT code is then added on the bills generated for such medical services provided which in turn is sent to the insurance company.
The Medical Codes That Exist
This is how medical coding works in medical institutions these days. There are more than nine thousand CPT codes that exist at present. These codes are developed for every type of health care service imaginable that is provided by the different health care practitioners at the different facilities. CPT Is the short form for Current Procedural Terminology. There are over 13500 ICD-9 codes which stand for International Classification of Diseases of the recent revision. The other codes are for medical supplies as well as other health care settings.
Role of Medical Coders
Medical coders are employed by medical institutions and clinics to go through patient chart and to assign codes as per the healthcare service being provided to them. They need to ensure that the health care providers are getting reimbursed for the services rendered in the right manner. Coding accuracy and checking the same is daunting work. The coder needs to read the doctor’s and nurse’s notes carefully to understand the exact nature of service being given to a patient. Thus, if medical coders are not experienced enough, they may fail to bill for certain services performed. There are estimates made of the costs of incomplete or inaccurate coding. That can cost health organizations thousand of dollars every year.
Importance of Medical Coders
There are physicians and hospitals who are in need of the services of medical coders. They need the services of coders in order to receive accurate reimbursement. The role of medical coders is becoming valued in the current healthcare industry. Today there are certified professional coder programs. One needs to pass such a program in order to apply for the position of a medical coder.
Typical Workday of A Medical Coder
A typical work day of a medical coder begins by reviewing the batch of patient notes that are of the previous day. These need to be coded in the right categories. The type of records maintained is determined by the clinical settings. This may require a certain degree of specialization. There are medial coders who work on medical specialties while others work in smaller and more general medical offices.