Medical coding is a growing field with high demand, and it’s an excellent way for people to work from home. However, the medical coding job market can be very competitive.
To get a head start on your new career in medical coding, read our tips below!
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What do medical coders do?
A medical coder translates a doctor’s notes and reports them into billing codes used by health insurance companies to reimburse healthcare providers for medical services.
For example, if you see your doctor for a physical exam, they will document the visit in your medical chart. The medical coder’s job is to review that documentation and assign billing codes for the services rendered, such as a physical exam or lab work.
How to become a medical coder
There are different ways to become a medical coder. One option is to complete an accredited coding program at a community college or technical school. Through this method, you’ll learn the skills necessary to work in a:
- Doctor’s office
- Medical billing company
Another option is learning how to code on your own from home. It does require some self-discipline and time commitment, but it can also be generously rewarding when you get that first job offer! You must prove your coding knowledge and skills to potential employers by passing a certification exam.
You could also earn an associate’s degree in medical billing or health information technology from an accredited school that passed your AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association.)
Another option is to enroll in a medical coding online training program that offers an accreditation, such as the AAPC Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential.
What are the skills/ certifications required?
The best way to learn how to perform this job quickly and correctly is with on-the-job training under the guidance of a medical coder mentor.
However, many employers require certification from professional organizations such as AAPC or AHIMA.
Some of the skills that you will deploy frequently include:
- Critical thinking skills to ensure that the documentation accurately describes the patient’s medical condition and services performed
- Organizational skills to effectively manage a large volume of coded data
- Knowledge of medical terminology and anatomy
- The ability to use software programs to translate doctors’ notes into billing codes
- Communication skills and the integrity to uphold confidentiality
The average salary to expect from this job
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual wage for medical coders is $39,180.
However, salaries can vary widely depending on experience and skill set. Salaries also vary among companies and their profitability. But this job is generally considered to be a high-paying one.
Can you become a Medical coder without experience?
Yes, many medical coders are hired with no prior experience. However, it helps to have some certification or training in coding and billing procedures.
There are several ways to obtain the necessary skills, including on-the-job training, certification courses, or degree programs.
Medical Coding process
List of companies that hire candidates with no experience
The job market for medical coders is highly competitive, but it’s not impossible to find a job without any knowledge. Many healthcare organizations are willing to train the right candidate for the job.
Here are some companies that have been known to hire candidates with no prior coding experience:
Accenture is a global professional services company that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations.
Alorica offers customized career solutions to organizations around the world. It is committed to helping its clients build stronger relationships with their customers through outbound sales programs combined with in-house customer service capabilities. It has more than 32,000 dedicated employees serving clients in nine countries.
CACI International is a leading provider of information solutions and services for the U.S. government in national security, civil markets, and health care.
Convergys offers management consulting, customer experience outsourcing, business process outsourcing (BPO), and analytics.
Headquartered in Chicago, Hexagon is a leading provider of clinical and financial information solutions for the healthcare industry. The company provides clients with software systems that monitor quality care while improving reimbursement rates.
Insurance Services Office (ISO)
This global leader in insurance brokering offers professional consulting services to over 300 insurance companies in more than 130 countries.
Founded in 1946, Kelly Services is a global provider of workforce solutions that includes temporary staffing, outsourcing, vendor management, and consulting. The company places over 550,000 employees with its clients each year.
Optum is a leading health services company that provides information and technology-enabled health services to improve the quality of care and lower costs for consumers. It serves more than 85 million people across its family of companies.
Sutherland Healthcare Solutions
Sutherland is a leading global provider of intelligent information technology and next-generation services to the healthcare industry. Its team works on client projects in over 100 countries, including all 50 U.S. states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
TeleTech provides innovative customer experience, engagement, and growth solutions globally. It helps clients acquire and retain profitable customers through omnichannel interactions that increase sales conversions across multiple touchpoints. TeleTech has over 125 years of experience in the industry it serves.
TEKsystems provides IT staffing, talent management, and services to help its clients accelerate the delivery of business value. It has more than 100,000 professionals in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific who provide expertise in information technology, applications development, IT infrastructure, engineering, and consulting.
The Next Step
If you are interested in becoming a medical coder, the best way to learn how to perform this job quickly and correctly is with on-the-job training under the guidance of a medical coder mentor. However, many employers require certification from professional organizations such as AAPC or AHIMA.
If you are not employed in the medical field, your best bet is to start with an entry-level healthcare position and work up. With some dedication and hard work, you can be on your way to a successful career as a medical coder from home!