What is a Medical Coder

The medical coding career is indispensable to the health care industry. A medical coders job is to report services and products provided by health care providers (such as doctors offices, hospitals, etc) to the health insurer of the patient. It is necessary to report this data in a very organized and specific manner. This is why it is important for the coder to have some sort of medical coding training.

With medicine not always being an exact science, medical coding gives it a way to be more cut and dry. In an attempt to make it more exact, the coder will convert the doctors notes, laboratory tests, requested imaging studies, and other tests into code that is usable and understood by the health insurance companies. It is vital that the medical coding specialist know enough about anatomy and medical terminology to be able to convert these notes into code. It is also vital that the coder be familiar with different types of insurance policies and companies, as the protocol of coding will be slightly different for every company and policy.

The codes used are very important for multiple reasons. One reason being that in order for there to be a system that health insurance companies can comprehend, there has to be a set standard. With this set standard they can then charge the appropriate amount to the patient and to the health care provider. Along with this responsibility, a coder may also have the responsibility to be an advocate for the care provider and patient in times that the patient requires necessary medical assistance. If the claim submitted by the coder is denied by the insurance company, it is also their job to re-file and audit those appeals.

Another reason the codes are important is because the data will eventually be used by both local and federal government for research. As a medical coder your job will help governments and researchers develop treatments for conditions that may not have enough information to make accurate conclusions on yet.

Medical coding is a profession that is absolutely vital to the health industry, because ultimately it cannot survive without someone handling the finances. The demand for jobs in the medical coding field seems to be increasing, along with the average salary which is strong despite the countries current financial uncertainty.