Pertinent Information On Medical Coding As A ProfessionLike most professions worth pursuing, you need to be adequately trained to work as a medical coder. To become a medical coder you must have a high school diploma and pass an accredited course in medical coding. In the United States, the American Academy of Professional Coders offers courses to become a Certified Professional Coder. These courses are conducted in classroom settings, as well as online. If there is a facility close to where you are located, you could attend the classroom course; if not, online may be considered. Getting certification typically costs between $1,000 - $2,000 depending on which course you decide to enroll in. You will not only be trained in punching in numeric and alphanumeric codes, but you will also be trained in the basics of medical terminology and codes used in the medical industry.
You will be taught to understand the different sets of codes that are used in the medical industry in the United States (or whatever country you are being trained in). There are different levels of training and certification programs available from which you can gain qualification in medical coding. CPC, for instance, is the certification for Outpatient Physician Office Credential. In this course you will be taught the correct usage of CPT, HCPCS level II procedures and supply codes, and ICD-9-CM codes for diagnosis; whereas the CPC-H certification is for Outpatient Hospital/Facility Credential.
This certification qualifies you to do coding and billing in an outpatient hospital. CPC-P which stands for Certified Professional Coder - Payer certifies you on the correct usage of CPT, HCPCS level II procedures and supply codes, and ICD-9-CM codes for diagnosis for coding and billing in offices from where payments are made. These include Medicare and Medicaid as well as other insurer's offices. Then, there are specialty coding credentials that you can gain. For example, if you want to work as a medical coder with a radiology and cardiovascular facility, you may opt to get the CIRCC certification.
Specialty medical coding jobs often pay more than more general medical coding jobs. In the medical coding profession you can expect to earn anywhere from $30,000 to over $50,000 annually and sometime more. Once you have proven your proficiency in your work you can also decide to work from home. If you work at a healthcare facility you will have a standard forty hour per week, Monday to Friday job. It will be like any other office job, the only difference being that you will be a specialist in the job you are doing. If a full-time job is not desired or preferred, once certified, medical coding may also be considered as a part-time profession.
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