Trending Career: 5 Steps to Become a Medical Coder

Medical Coder
Medical Coder

Are you looking for a promising growth job in the healthcare industry? Have any healthcare jobs that don’t need to provide patient care directly? A medical coder is your dream career. Follow this post to know the step-by-step guide to pursue the medical coder job!

Why is a Medical Coder a hot job?

A Medical Coder is a special job in the healthcare ecosystem with an important role to help health processes and organize massive amounts of medical data every day. It’s only a behind-the-scenes job but you will have an essential position with daily duties.

Moreover, Medical Coders also have a good career outlook with high expected growth in the healthcare field. According to The BLS, the projected employment of medical coders would be increased 13 percent through 2026 (nearly twice the average for all occupations).

Why is a Medical Coder a hot job?
Why is a Medical Coder a hot job?

How much do medical coders make? The median annual salary for medical coders was $3,180 (2017) and above the average for all occupations. Their salary ranges also differ depending on other factors such as experience, education, and work setting. 

Now you need a better understanding of the road ahead. We have compiled useful information to offer you a guide on how to become a medical coder.

5 steps to become a Medical Coder

When having a doctor’s appointment, physicians or nurse records will note about the procedures and diagnose. Then the Medical Coder will use their knowledge about medical codes, payment policies, and government regulations to create medical records transferring them into a code for billing and insurance purposes.

If the Medical Coding department does not exist, it’s very difficult for the medical field and insurance companies to charge and cover for each procedure. 

1. Meet the Basic Prerequisites

To become a medical coder, you need a high school diploma or equivalent. A background check is also required because a medical coder must have a good application (no criminal history involving drug offenses or sexual crimes)

2. Complete Medical Coding Training

A Medical Coder doesn’t request to have formal education requirements. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you only need a postsecondary certificate or an Associate’s degree.

To have a solid foundation of knowledge, you should get a Medical Coding Certificate. This training course can be completed in as few as 9 months. Here are 4 Medical Coding courses you need to know

  • Coding Foundations
  • ICD-CM Coding
  • ICD-PCS Coding
  • Ambulatory Care Coding
  • Revenue Cycle and Billing
Top 4 Benefits of Medical Coding Training
Top 4 Benefits of Medical Coding Training

By gaining practical training and understanding this medical field, you will get good results for your medical coding job. Medical coding training online also allows you to fit and complete it in a busy schedule.

3. Obtain the Medical Coding Certification

Aftering completing a Medical Coding Certificate program, getting certified is the next step. This step will show you are a dedicated medical coder with important skills and can pass all job’s tasks.

Obtain the Medical Coding Certification
Obtain the Medical Coding Certification

4 popular certifications for medical coders

  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
  • Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
  • Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

You also can specialize your coding career by pursuing specialty medical coding certification in specific areas like ambulatory care, anesthesia, family practice, general surgery, and more.

4. Brush up on Medical Coding skills

Before applying for medical coding jobs, you need to know more about the demand of employers because you will prepare and put your best. Taking a balance of hard and soft skills is also a skill for a medical coder.

The skill table below identifies the top skills that employers are seeking when finding medical coders.

Technical SkillsTransferable Skills
Health information technology (HIT)ICD-10CPT codingInpatient codingCustomer billingAnatomyOutpatient codingPhysiologyHCPCS codingMedical terminologyCommunicationComputer literacyCollaborationResearchMicrosoft OfficeAttention to detailOrganization

5. Find a Job

Hunting for a job is your next step to becoming a medical coder. The BLS expects medical coding jobs will increase 11% through 2028. Below are some jobs for medical coders
Medical Records Coordinator

  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Medical Billing Specialist
  • Medical Records Technician (or Medical Records Tech)
  • Health Information Specialist
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Health Information Clerk

Conclusion

Hope this post can help you learn more about how to become a medical coder. It’s a better time to join the growing medical field allowing you to help others.