Medical Coding

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Medical Coding Course Exam, Syllabus, Eligibility, Duration, Fees (1)

Medical Coding is booming and is a great career option that is in high demand especially during the ongoing pandemic. Even in the field of Healthcare which is one of the fastest-growing industries for job seekers, people who know their way around a computer are essential. When we go to the doctor, come home and wait for the bill or the report, that is where Medical coders come in. They are responsible for compiling the patient data. Pursuing a career in medical coding can be exciting and challenging at the same time. This blog will act as a guide regarding everything about pursuing a medical coding course.

Course Overview

Course Medical coding 
Duration 9 months to 20 months
Eligibility 10+2 and an associate degree/certificate program/bachelors degree
Exams Required A Certification Exam like CPC
Salary  The average annual salary ranges between INR 4-6 Lakhs (India) 
Other Names Medical coding specialist, Diagnostic coder, Medical coding analyst, Clinical coding officer, Medical coding auditor

What is Medical Coding?

After a doctor treats a patient, the report needs to be created for the patient as well as the insurance company to understand what was done in order to process the bill. Medical coding is the process of transferring that healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes into uniform numeric codes. These codes are then used to accumulate patient data, process insurance claims with third party players, collect stats to track information of specific disease, treatment etc. Medical coders work behind the scenes in the healthcare industry and ensure that all information is coded appropriately in a way that is useful and efficient. Medical coders are required to know how to use 3 basic code sets: CPT (Current Procedure Terminology), ICD (International Classification of Diseases) and HCPCS (Health Care Procedural Coding System).

Also Read: Healthcare Management Courses: All You Need To Know

Roles and Responsibilities of a Medical Coder

Here is a list of the most important responsibilities you will have to indulge as a medical coder.

  • Updating patient records with standardized information needed for data management and billing purposes. 
  • Analyzing medical charts and assigning codes.
  • Assigning the code specific to each diagnosis and procedure every time a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider performs a service.

Also Read: Paramedical Courses List

How to become a Medical Coder?

The need for medical coders will only keep increasing with the rising demand for digitally-led medical infrastructure. If you are planning to pursue your professional career in this field, you need to go through the following hurdles.

Complete Medical Coding Training 

After finishing school, you can pursue medical coding certification courses from renowned organisations like AAPC (American American of Professional Coders), AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) and CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education). These programs are usually for less than a year and are available online. You can also pursue a certificate course in medical coding from universities and colleges. Certificate programs teach you the basics of disease processes, treatment procedures, terminology, body systems, and basic coding in ICD-10. Students can also choose to pursue an associate degree which is a 2 years course or a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or health information management which is a 3 years course.

Give the Required Exams 

In order to get certified, you have to give certain exams. Certified medical coders have better job prospects and salary packages as compared to non-certified medical coders. You can specialise in any field you want. The medical coding programs that you attended prepare you for these certification exams. Students can give the CPC exam which is conducted by AAPC. According to AAPC, coders who hold a certified professional coder (CPC) certificate earn 20 per cent more than their non-certified counterparts. Additionally, AAPC offers a variety of other certifications which certify the expertise of an individual in certain specializations and other medical fields.

Gain Work Experience

After getting certified and completing your courses, the next step is to get employed. Completing your medical coding course for professional associations such as AHIMA or the AAPC can unlock employment opportunities. Medical coders can work from home as many medical facilities get medical coding outsourced. After gaining some work experience, you can also attend additional courses in specific areas and brush up on your skills.

Also Read: Medical Coding Jobs in Canada

Eligibility Requirement to Pursue Medical Coding

  • Completed Schooling
  • A bachelor’s degree or an associate degree in healthcare related fields or in life sciences.
  • A medical training program
  • Being certified as a medical coder by a accredited institution
  • Knowledge of the basic medical codes used.
  • Analytical ability to read and analyse medical records by using the right codes and producing relevant data.
  • Basics of disease processes, treatment procedures, terminology, body systems.

Also Read: How to Learn Coding for Beginners

Courses in Medical Coding

The following course options are available in medical coding:

  • Advanced ICD-10-CM Code Set Training
  • Advanced Neurology and Neurosurgery Coding Course
  • Behavioral Health Coding Training
  • Dental Billing and Coding with Medical Cross Coding
  • EHR and EMR Specialist Course
  • Evaluation and Management (E/M) Online Training.
  • Home Health Coding Course
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) Coding
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Coding Course
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Medical Terminology 
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • CD-10-CM 
  • ICD-10-PCS 
  • CPT Coding 
  • CPT Coding 

Also Read: Cheapest Medical Colleges in India

Syllabus of Medical Coding Courses

The syllabus for general medical coding courses include:

  • Introduction to Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy Structure
  • Medical Terminology
  • Medical Ethics
  • ICD-9-CM Coding Manual
  • Infections using ICD-9-CM
  • Digestive System using ICD-9-CM
  • Coding for Pregnancy using ICD-9-CM
  • CPT Coding for Reproductive Systems
  • Coding for Mental Disorders using ICR-9-CM

Also Read: Healthcare Courses in the UK

Medical Coding Scope and Salary

The scope for medical coders is widely increasing, with the employment of medical coders projected to grow 15 percent by 2024. Medical coders can work in every type of health care facility like hospitals, clinics, medical facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, medical laboratories, etc. Medical coders can be employed as-

  • Medical Records Coordinator.
  • Coder
  • Medical Coding Specialist.
  • Medical Billing Specialist
  • Medical Records Technician
  • Health Information Specialist
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Health Information Clerk

The average initial salary earned by a medical coder is  Rs 4-6 lakhs per year and experienced medical coders can earn upto INR 15 lakh per year.  In the USA, entry-level positions start at an average of $35,000 (INR 2583162) per year while experienced workers can make up to $58,000 (INR 4280669) per year.

List of Institutions Offering Medical Coding Course

  • Medical Coding Inpatient DRG (PCS Practical Lab) on Udemy
  • Academy of Medical Coders in India
  • Keiser University
  • Fisher College
  • Herzing University

Medical Coding Fee Structure

The Medical Coding course fees can range from anywhere between 20,000 to 2 lakhs per annum depending upon the level of proficiency as well as your university/institute.

Medical Coding Course Skills

  • ICD-10
  • CPT coding
  • Microsoft Proficiency
  • Customer billing
  • Health information technology
  • Inpatient coding
  • Outpatient coding
  • ICD-9
  • Anatomy
  • HCPCS coding
  • Clinical documentation

FAQ’s on Medical Coding Course

What is the importance of medical coding?

Medical coding is the process of transferring that healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes into uniform numeric codes. These codes are then used to accumulate patient data, process insurance claims with third-party players, collect stats to track information of specific disease, treatment etc.

What is the salary of the medical coder?

The average initial salary earned by a medical coder is Rs 4-6 lakhs per year and experienced medical coders can earn upto INR 15 lakh per year. In the USA, entry-level positions start at an average of $35,000 (INR 2583162) per year while experienced workers can make up to $58,000 (INR 4280669) per year.

What is the duration of the course?

It can take 1 to 3 years to complete a medical coding course.

That was all the required information that you may need to become a medical coder, If you are interested in knowing more about medical coding courses abroad and want to pursue a career outside India, our experts at Leverage Edu are ready to help you make your dreams come true. For a free consultancy call us anytime at 1800 572 000!

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