Saturday, May 21, 2022

3 Reasons Why Medical Coding Is the Career of the Future

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Medical Coding Is the Career of the Future

There is an ever-increasing demand for careers in medical care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical care is one of the fastest-growing industries, with a projected 16% growth that anticipates about 2.6 million new jobs between 2020-2030.

If you’re interested in helping others in a medical care-related field but would prefer to work in a more administrative role that involves computers, code, or data entry, a career in medical coding could be right for you!

medical coding

Medical coders create and maintain electronic health records that follow guidelines for protecting patient privacy. Coders translate patient diagnoses and procedure codes into a computer system. Typically, coders work together with physicians, billers and other healthcare personnel to ensure accurate costs and claims. 

Medical coding is essential for recording, organising, and securing patient health data. Coders have the critical role of accurately tracking and safeguarding health information. You probably want to ensure that this occupation has a solid future to start planning your future. 

Medical coding is the skill of converting patient records into codes for billing purposes. Medical coders are a part of healthcare providers who provide quality care and the best patient experience while optimising costs and other resources. This apprehension of delivering the best care for everyone is driving the growth of medical coders. 

Medical billing and coding specialists are essential in helping the healthcare sector. They keep costs down, reduce medical coding mistakes on claim forms and generally ensure accuracy on medical records. In other words, they are a vital part of a team that keeps healthcare facilities properly running. Every data must be prompt and accurate that keeps hospitals and clinics running.

As the medical coding and billing job description indicates, it is a technical vocation that requires a certain level of mastery of the software involved and a keen insight into the healthcare industry. Suppose you opt for a career in medical billing and coding. In that case, you will work out of a medical institution and contribute to the smooth functioning of the institution’s payment, insurance, and records processes. Expediting these processes helps optimise the medical organisations’ resources and serve their patrons better.

Medical Coding careers have been gaining popularity across the United States, making them a great career choice in the medical field.  

Here are three reasons why you should consider pursuing a career as a medical coder:

1. It’s a growing career. 

According to the BLS, there is a predicted 9% growth for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians from 2020-to 2030, and the median annual wage in 2018 was $40,350.

Medical coding is a growing career for several reasons. As life expectancy increases, a larger aging population needs to be served by the healthcare industry. Technology is also changing medical coding as there is an increased focus on digitising health records. It gives medical coders an advantage as healthcare implements these changes. Coders will already have the technical knowledge to ensure accuracy and increase efficiency as these changes are made.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, do you know that the demand for medical billing and coding specialists has increased? That’s faster than average for all jobs!

Increasing healthcare demands are high for medical billing and coding. Certified coders are highly needed for organisations, insurance companies receiving medical claims, and risk management companies. In addition, hospitals are preparing for a smooth transition to prevent deep revenue losses by hiring medical coders. Experienced medical coders can pursue positions as health information managers and coding supervisors.

Another career aspect many people think about is the growing trend of vocation and the industry in general. While the salary is competitive, as we stated earlier, another positive is that the medical billing and coding job outlook is only expected to get stronger. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)  states, “Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” The reason that BLS gives for this projected growth is that “an aging population will require more medical services, and health information technicians will be needed to organise and manage the older generations’ health information data. This will mean more claims for reimbursement from insurance companies.”

Increased digitisation of records and growing healthcare needs will help medical coding remain an in-demand field for quite some time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as the population ages, healthcare needs are rising, and with that, people visit doctors more frequently. This results in a more significant amount of records to maintain and secure, which is why Medical Coders continue to be in demand. As a result, employment for medical records and health information technicians is projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028.

2. You can get started quickly.

People often think when a job in the medical industry comes to mind, a career in the medical industry requires an extensive education that lasts multiple years.

Many people assume it takes years to start a career in healthcare, but this is not always the case. Usually, you can complete your diploma in medical coding in as few as 12 months and an associate degree in 20 months. However, with an online program and multiple start dates available, you’ll have the flexibility and convenience to start when it’s best for you potentially.

After completing either coding program, you will be prepared for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam from the American Health Information Management Association. 

According to the AACP, working in your career makes you eligible for advancement for many healthcare business roles like medical auditing, compliance documentation improvement, and other professions.

You can earn a Medical Coding and Billing Specialist Diploma much faster than you can make a degree for many other careers. You don’t have to waste time taking classes you don’t need so that you can enter the field faster.

The best reason to pursue a medical coding career is flexible training and courses. Online classes and offline courses are available. Certification courses under physician-based coding are known as facility-based coding. However, each mode of learning has different timelines for course completion. 

A college degree is an added advantage to becoming a qualified medical coder. Many medical coding programs can be completed in three to six months, and the course would contain medical terminology, human anatomy, and physiology. Some institutes also have self-paced online classes, but it is known to be completed in 15 months.  

3. You can be successful with the right skills.

You can succeed in a medical coding career with the right skills. For example, an excellent medical coder has excellent attention to detail and is organised, efficient and thorough.

One of the biggest challenges for medical coders is learning and becoming familiar with medical codes to enter them into the computer system correctly. While medical coders end up memorising many codes, you don’t have to rely on your memory alone. Many medical reference codes and software help you process information as you enter it into the system.

One of the best parts about working in the medical industry is knowing that your efforts directly result in a better, healthier life for millions of people. Knowing that your work makes such a huge difference in someone’s life is extremely rewarding, personally and emotionally. You can enjoy that feeling with a medical coding job.

There are options to work outside of conventional professional structures as well. For example, being an IT-based job, a career in medical coding can give you the flexibility to work from home or elsewhere should your employer allow you to do so, and as long as you have access to a laptop and Wi-Fi.

A medical coding career path offers potential, promise and immense job satisfaction for any candidate looking for a change in career or taking the first steps toward building their professional life. 

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Dennis L. Hernandez
I am a medical biller, a blogger and have 20 years of experience in medical billing, medical billing management, and medical assistant. My background includes positions as a clinical medical assistant, medical records technician, medical office manager, biller, and coder.

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