By DeVry University
April 11, 2023
6 min read
April 11, 2023
6 min read
Is medical coding a good career? If you’re interested in working in the healthcare field, have a knack for precision and a passion for patient care but don’t want to pursue a clinical role, a career in health information technology, like medical coding, could be a good choice.
In this article, we’ll take a look at medical coding as a profession and some of what medical coders do on a daily basis. We’ll also explore some of the steps in become a medical coder, the projected job growth and potential benefits that can come from pursuing this kind of career.
Category I: Frequently used in medical billing and coding, especially in healthcare revenue cycle management.
Category II: Used primarily for performance measurement and quality of care. Unlike Category I codes, they are not linked to reimbursement.
Category III: Temporary codes for services and procedures related to emerging technologies.
PLA codes: These are used for lab testing.
Here are a few examples of CPT codes:
00300-00352: Anesthesia for Procedure and Services on the Neck
33016-37799: Surgical Procedure and Services on the Cardiovascular System
76506-76999: Diagnostic Ultrasound Procedure and Services
90460-0031A: Immunization Administration for Vaccines/Toxoids
After the medical coder itemizes the procedures with their corresponding codes, they add them to an invoice. Medical codes tell insurance companies and other payers, like Medicare for example, what services were provided and allows them to match the codes to the patient’s plan and determine the coverage for each service. The payer then reimburses the healthcare provider according to the terms of the patient’s policy.
The medical coder’s duties can vary depending upon the type and size of their employer, whether that’s in a hospital, physicians’ office, outpatient surgery center, insurance company or government agency. Generally speaking, their day-to-day work will typically consist of:
Gathering info and reviewing patient records.
Coding appropriate diagnoses and procedures.
Reviewing codes for accuracy.
Clarifying vague or inconsistent information in medical records with staff or physicians.
Assisting with medical record audits.
Medical Records and Health Information Technician
Insurance Claims Specialist
At DeVry, students prepare to move from school into the workforce with help from our Career Services team, who provide support with a range of needs from resume writing and networking tips to job search strategies.
Skills that can be learned quickly:
Compared to other degree types, it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a medical coder. While programs can vary between schools and programs, you may be able to earn your online Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding at DeVry in as little as 1 year, or even more quickly with qualifying transfer credits.*
Opportunities for professional development:
A medical coding career offers several opportunities for learning and may help prepare you to pursue a wider range of jobs within the field, especially if you are expanding your knowledge by earning specialized certifications. Certifications are not always required by employers, but they may help you stand out as a strong candidate.
The ability to work in a variety of settings:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 29% of medical records specialists worked in hospitals in 2021. In the same year, 19% worked in doctors’ offices and 9% held roles in professional, scientific or technical services.
Depending on their employer, medical billers and coders may have flexible schedules, including the ability to set their own hours, or the option to work from home without the typical workplace distractions.
1Eligible students who register for and complete the exams may be reimbursed for one exam sitting.
*Not including breaks. Assumes year-round, full-time enrollment.
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In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec. Naperville Campus: 1200 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system https://complaints.ibhe.org/. View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.
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