Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Types of Medical Coding Jobs

Within healthcare, multiple job opportunities exist with the majority in great need for qualified workers. Because there is an increasing number of people needing quality medical care, this particular sector is growing faster than expected. Some of the jobs in highest demand are those involving actual medical professionals who provide patient care while others are workers behind the scenes handling patient accounts, running diagnostics, and so on. For this group of people, skilled employees are needed most for medical coding jobs.

As far as medical coding jobs, there are actually several different career opportunities, each being slightly unique and offering a somewhat different pay scale. Because of the huge need in this area, we wanted to provide information specific to options for medical coding jobs that a person might consider. Keep in mind, all of these jobs offer stability, good pay, and opportunity for advancement within the healthcare sector.

Job Information

To start with, it is important to know that while there are many different medical coding jobs from which a person could choose, they do not all fall under this category or have titles that would reflect as being associated with medical billing. Therefore, it would be more beneficial to look at jobs that involve the same type of work opposed to jobs being titled as “medical coding”. Overall, work for jobs such as these includes billing for services provided to patients, as well as medical supplies and procedures.

These jobs entail using a numeric coding system which would be applied to diseases, conditions, treatments, diagnosis, medications, treatment plans, and continued care among other things for each patient seen. With the information for a patient file being properly coded, the process of filing insurance forms for payment or reimbursement would be possible. Therefore, while coding is a large part of these jobs, billing is also involved which is why jobs are sometimes referred to as medical billing and coding.

Although some medical coding jobs are entry level positions, the work requires a skilled professional. Qualifications to work in the various jobs would vary to some degree but they would all require something specific to include the following:

  • Experience in billing and coding
  • Experience working in a healthcare environment
  • Specialized knowledge
  • Experience with insurance or medical billing and coding procedures
Now, there are some companies that will hire a person for medical coding jobs who has not worked in a healthcare environment but for the most part, this would be a huge benefit for the facility and doctor but also the individual hired to do the work. 

Medical Coding Arenas

As mentioned, several different options exist for medical coding to include actual jobs and duties, as well as areas of expertise as shown below. Depending on the individual’s experience, training, and education, as well as the hiring doctor or facility, the area in which a person works could be just one or several.

Medical – The areas that commonly need medical coding experts includes dentistry, cancer care, and pediatrics
Coding System – In this case, areas would include a doctor’s office, nursing home or assisted living facility, or surgical center
Insurance – Along with private and public insurance companies, the individual would likely handle insurance claims with Medicaid and Medicare
Patient – This would include patients on an inpatient or outpatient basis, as well as those receiving emergency care

Job Options

Regarding actual medical coding jobs, the following are a few examples where dedicated and skilled workers are always needed.

Medical Billing Clerk – Primary responsibilities for this job involves maintaining patient records specific to services, goods, and procedures provided for a specific healthcare facility. Invoices would be generated and bills printed for payment from patients, as well as insurance providers, merchants, and various service providers. Because the person in this role would have direct contact with patients and professionals, great communication and customer service would be mandated along with billing and medical coding ability.

Medical Coding Specialist – For this job, medical documents would be reviews and key information about a patient’s condition extracted. That information would then be translated using numerical codes into a diagnostic and procedural system that allows insurance claims to be filed while following regulations set by the federal government.

Clinical Data Specialist – This is the last of the medical coding jobs we wanted to mention, which includes duties of reviewing, editing, and making corrections to data that the internal computer systems generated. With this, accuracy and compliance of information for medical billing purposes could be validated specifically for Medicaid and Medicare.

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