Even though the job responsibilities of a professional medical coder don’t include hands-on patient care but it certainly holds great importance. Medical coding is the key link that exists between doctors offering patient care and health insurance companies covering their services. A professional medical coder simplifies the doctor’s observations and notes. Accurate translation of the physician’s notes leads to quicker settlement of medical insurance reimbursement.
Key Job Responsibilities of a Professional Medical Coder include:
- Carefully review notes provided by clinicians or physicians. This helps in identification of the medical procedures or services received by a patient.
- Use the appropriate alphanumeric codes corresponding to each medical service or procedure
- Processing as well as filing insurance claims
- Carry regular follow ups on all the claims
- Preparing and dispatching monthly bills
- Engage with the debt collection agencies to deal with delinquent accounts
If you wish to pursue a career in medical coding then it’s imperative to learn about the key traits you should possess or acquire.
Qualifications that Employers Are Looking for in Professional Medical Coders:
Certification and Technical Skills:
Physicians or clinicians only hire certified coding specialist because the job involves using standard coding software. Thus, your GED or high school diploma isn’t sufficient to begin working as a professional medical coder. Some employers even seek at least 6 months of work experience, so an internship program might give you a head start. You can opt for two types of certifications – Certificate Coding Associate from AHIMA or Certified Professional Coder from AAPC.
A professional medical coder needs to read as well as review the medical records of a patient. They also have to go through a patient’s medical appointments, so that they can use the proper codes for patient billing. Now the same codes are used for processing the insurance claims for the insurance companies. You might come across ambiguous or confusing patient care information. Now, you’ll have to use your knowledge and analytical skills to put the right codes and complete the documentation clearly.
Eye for Details
: As a certified coding specialist, you’re required to use the right alphanumeric codes for every laboratory test or medical procedure. Any mistake in the coding will lead to problems for both the patient as well as the physician. You have to understand the fine differences between each code to use the appropriate ones. As a professional medical coder, you must be good with multitasking while paying complete attention to details. Attention to details will be needed while handling several documents, reports, and case studies.
Interest in Medical Science:
If you want to enjoy a successful career in medical coding, you must have some interest in medical science. Knowledge of medical terminology will make your job easier. Interest in human anatomy and physiology will help you differentiate between the different medical conditions. Employers are eager to hire professional medical coders who show deep interest in medical science.
Excellent Communication Skills:
Employers look for medical coders with excellent communication skills. A typical day of a medical coder includes telephonic conversation with doctors, nurses, clinicians, and medical care givers. To excel as a professional medical coder, you must work on your communication skills. Better communication skills will certainly give you an edge over other candidates during an interview.
Patience, compassion and stress management are some of the other virtues that every professional medial coder must possess. Ultimately all these qualities will improve your employ-ability quotient in the eyes of an employer. If you think you have all the traits for becoming a professional medical coder then just go for it!