What is Medical Coding and How Can it Help You Build a Career?

·2-min read

Medical coding is the translation of medical reports into a shortcode used within the healthcare industry. This helps summarise otherwise cumbersome medical reports into efficient, data-friendly codes.

Medical coders are individuals responsible for translating physicians’ reports into useful medical codes. These professionals work behind the scenes in a variety of settings, ensuring all pertinent information is coded appropriately to ensure consistency and accuracy.

After a medical provider examines or treats a patient, the insurance company needs to understand what was done in order to process the bill. Common language is inexact to give the insurance company the accurate details it needs, so a set of specific codes has been established to define medical procedures. It is the role of a medical coder to provide this information in a way that is useful and efficient.

While complex and detail-driven, medical coding really comes down to knowing how to navigate the three main code sets: CPT (Current Procedure Terminology), ICD (International Classification of Diseases), and HCPCS (Health Care Procedural Coding System). These code sets help coders to document the condition of a patient and describe the medical procedure performed on that patient in response to their condition.

Scope and growth for medical coding amid pandemic

The rise of the pandemic in 2020 let the healthcare industry take the centre stage globally bringing for the challenges both hidden and visible that needed immediate attention. As healthcare providers have been stretched to deal with the burgeoning problem at hand, there is a heightened demand for labour across departments, thus boosting healthcare offshoring across countries.

In India, the healthcare offshoring industry has witnessed business growth. India is known to be the second-largest healthcare outsourcing destination. Nearly 80 per cent of healthcare business from USA is outsourced to India. Thus, the demand for professional medical coders is increasing and they play a crucial role in the healthcare delivery system.

The need and demand for medical coding will only keep rising since the recent advance of computer-assisted coding (CAC) has only helped ease the job of medical coders the world over.

How does one get into medical coding?

To pursue medical coding, an individual must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree preferably from a life sciences background. One must have the analytical ability to read and analyse medical records and patients details by using the right codes for billing procedures.

Institutes offering degree in medical coding

Institutes like IGMPI, CIGMA Medical Coding Academy, National Institute of Medical Coding offer courses in medical coding besides several online platforms that offer short-term certification courses in the subject.

– Authored by Hardeep Puri, Founder- Learntoupgrade

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