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Medical coders work in every type of health care facility, including doctor’s offices, surgery centers, hospitals and health care systems. Some experienced coders have the ability to work at home through an employer or as a contract worker.
Coding requires extraordinary detail. The coder must carefully review the patient’s chart to learn the diagnosis and itemize every service provided. If a service is overlooked, the provider will not receive payment for it. If the coder chooses the wrong code, the provider may have to return any excess payment or face legal charges for overbilling. It’s ultimately the coder who should be well-skilled and focused.
Earning a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree can strengthen a medical coder’s career; however, it’s not required to show proficiency. What is necessary is to have a solid foundation on anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. If you want to pursue a career as a medical coder, we expect you complete a medical coding course of study.
Prospective billers and coders might also be interested in exploring other career options with similar salaries, educational requirements, and work environments. Medical billing and coding can be an excellent starting point for those who wish to explore alternative clinical or health administration options. The following career profiles are either alternatives or complementary fields to the medical records and health information technician fields.
While there is an abundance of job listings for medical billers and coders, newly-certified professionals might have a difficult time finding positions that meet their location, compensation, and scheduling needs. Luckily, there are dozens of job boards that aggregate listings for healthcare jobs. Several of these sites are dedicated to medical billers and coders who have obtained their credentials. These online resources can help you find roles that match your professional needs.
According to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), billers work primarily with patients and insurance companies on claims submissions. Billers often perform more customer-service oriented tasks than coders. Medical coders generally work with healthcare professionals to accurately categorize the services and products provided to patients.