If you’re a parent, you already know kids love role-playing. One of the more popular games is pretending to be a doctor. “I’ll be the doctor and you can be the nurse,” your little one exclaims.
But here’s what most people don’t realize: The healthcare industry offers a plethora of career opportunities exceeding being a doctor or nurse.
One of the options often overlooked is medical coding. If you’re asking yourself, “What is a medical coder?” you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to get more info at this growing medical career path.
What is medical coding, exactly?
Before we delve into the talk of what medical coders do, it’s paramount to have a solid understanding of what medical coding is at its core. Medical coding and record-keeping has been traced back in crude form to as far back as 17th century in England, but it’s quickly evolved in the past few decades.
According to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the medical coding definition reads as follows: “Medical coding is the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes.” Simply put, this means the process of translating vital medical information into simple codes for the purpose of documenting medical records and accurately calculating medical billing.
There are a few varying forms of medical codes used in healthcare settings today, but each of them allows for identical documentation between medical facilities. Having a standard system enables a more seamless transfer of medical records and more efficient research and analysis to track health trends.
What is a medical coder?
Medical coders are the professionals responsible for translating a physicians’ reports into useful medical codes. These individuals work behind the scenes in a variety of settings, ensuring all relevant information is coded appropriately to ensure consistency and accuracy.
After a medical practitioner examines or treats a patient, the insurance company needs to understand what was done in order to process the bill. Common language is too imprecise to provide the insurance company the precise details it requires, so a set of exact codes has been established to define medical procedures. It’s the job of the medical coder to pass along this information in a way that is useful and efficient.
Where do medical coders work?
You may assume that you know the answer to this question and it’s hospitals, of course you’re right. But there are several other settings a medical coder might work. The fact is that these professionals are employed anywhere that provides medical services. This includes hospitals, clinics, urgent care facilities, nursing homes, treatment centers and more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Insurance agencies also employ medical coders to handle claims from patients from the other side of the table, verifying the accuracy of incoming claims. Speaking of accuracy, some law firms even employ medical coders to help identify billing fraud.
What are some qualities that successful medical coders share?
There is no “distinctive” prototype when it comes to medical coders. You’ll find young and old, men and women, single and married. But good medical coders do share some common characteristics that aid them on the job. One vital trait is a strong ethical standard because the patient data they work with is highly private.
Medical coders must also possess a keen eye for detail, as a one-minute mistake in a code could lead to a much larger issue. They also must be able to maintain their focus as their work is extremely repetitive in nature, yet extremely important.
Top 10 remote coder jobs at the moment
Remote Full-Time Payment Poster
- Envision Radiology – Colorado Springs, CO 2.9
Two plus years’ of experience in medical billing – preferred. Identifies attorney/client bill payments, over reads, medical records, & distributes to the…
$14.40 – $17.35 an hour
- Medical Coder
University of Colorado Medicine – Remote +1 location3.7
A background in a medical environment and extensive knowledge of medical terminology are needed. Completion of a medical coding test will be required to qualify…
$21.21 – $31.65 an hour
- Risk Adjustment Coder – Remote, Part-Time
NewWave HQ – Remote
Advanced knowledge of medical terminology, abbreviations, anatomy and physiology, major disease processes, and pharmacology.
Estimated: $44,000 – $56,000 a year
- Medical Payment Poster
TruBridge – Birmingham, AL +1 location2.6
3+ years of previous experience in medical billing and general office procedures. Cash posting using Excel/Access and company software programs.
Estimated: $31,000 – $41,000 a year
- Certified Professional Medical Coder (Remote) – $26-$30/hr.
eCatalyst Healthcare Solutions – Phoenix, AZ
Ability to understand medical/surgical terminology. Reviews and analyzes medical records for accurate code selection.
$26 – $30 an hourQuick Apply
- Medical Coder
Porter Medical Center – Middlebury, VT 3.3
Primary Shift: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. The Medical Coder is a member of a team that is responsible for coding review, coding education, and charge entry.
Estimated: $36,000 – $48,000 a year
- Medical Payment Poster
Computer Programs & Systems, Inc – Remote
3+ years of previous experience in medical billing and general office procedures. 3+ years of previous experience in medical billing and general office…
Estimated: $30,000 – $41,000 a year
- Certified Coder – Remote Work Opportunity
Faculty Physicians Inc. – Baltimore, MD
Performs functions such as reviewing documentation and selecting the appropriate procedure and/or diagnosis code to be entered in billing documents.
Estimated: $29,000 – $40,000 a year
- CODER I
Baptist Health Care – Remote 3.8
Skill in using medical billing computer systems; Skill in mathematical computation, keyboarding and organizing files; Ability to demonstrate a high level of…
Estimated: $27,000 – $40,000 a year
Payment Poster (Remote)
- PT Solutions Physical Therapy – Remote 3.7
This is a remote position that may require occasional travel to corporate headquarters in Atlanta, GA. The Payment Poster is responsible for posting payments…
Estimated: $26,000 – $36,000 a year
- LifeBridge Health, Inc. – Timonium, MD 3.6
Under minimal supervision, posts cash receipts and denials from all payors via electronic or paper remits in GE Centricity, in an accurate and timely manner.
Estimated: $37,000 – $48,000 a year