In 202, the national health expenditure (NHE) grew 9.7% to $4.1 billion, which is over $12,500 per person. As you might imagine, that’s a lot of medical bills that doctors generate, send out, and receive payment for.
With so many hospitals, doctors, and patients, it sounds like it can become a chaotic process. But thanks to medical coding, it’s not!
What is medical coding, what do medical coders do, and how can you become one if you’re interested? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Medical Coding?
Medical coding is a bunch of preset numbers that indicate a number of things regarding a patient. For example, the numbers can mean their:
- Procedures undergone
This allows you to record a huge amount of information with only a few sets of numbers. You won’t have to write down lengthy descriptions!
There are actually 3 types of codes in this profession: ICD, CPT, and HCPCS.
ICD (International Classification of Diseases) is for injury, illness, and death. The WHO created ICD in the late 1940s and the current version used is ICD-10-CM. It has over 68,000 codes!
CPT (Current Procedure Terminology) is to document procedures performed. These codes are 5 digits long and there are 3 subcategories.
While medical coders use mostly ICD and CPT, they still use HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System). This is based on CPT codes and has to do with not just procedures, but also services and equipment that aren’t in the CPT coding system. It also covers things like Medicaid, Medicare, outpatient hospital care, and chemotherapy drugs.
What Do Medical Coders Do?
You might think that doctors handle all the medical coding, but you’d be wrong. Instead, there are specific professionals for handling this: medical coders.
They actually get all the information from the doctor and then turn that data into codes. These codes are then used for the billing process; more specifically, for insurance claims.
How to Get a Job as a Medical Coder
To become a medical coder, you need to go through a medical coding program. While most medical professionals are tough to get into, this one isn’t so bad. You can complete some programs in as short as 9 months!
Once you graduate, you’ll need to get your CCA (Certified Coding Associate). An alternative is getting your CCS (Certified Coding Specialist) credential.
You can expect to earn an average salary of around $45,000. This amount can vary depending on where you’re located, your education, experience, and specific work setting. Workplaces include hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, treatment centers, and healthcare revenue cycle management companies like Med USA.
Understand the Medical Billing Process Better
Medical coding is quite fascinating when you think about it. We’re able to condense a large amount of data into a few numbers, which is understood by people all across the healthcare industry. As a result, the processes are a lot smoother and faster.
So if you find this job interesting, start training to become a medical coder. It’ll be a fun job!
Keep browsing our blog page for more interesting posts.