Are you considering a medical coding course, but you’re wondering: is medical coding hard? The following article will detail the necessary skills, training, and required certifications to learn medical coding and become a medical coder.
What Is Medical Coding?
Medical coding is an allied health profession. Allied health professionals are people who work in the health profession, but are not doctors, nurses, or dentists.Medical coders review documentation from doctors and medical professionals and are an important part of the medical field. Medical coding is used to translate diseases, injuries, and procedures into numerical designations or codes electronically to create medical records for billing and information purposes.Most medical coders will work in general practice offices and translate a broad range of information, while other medical coders will specialize in certain specific areas of coding, like creating cancer registries. For medical coders who choose to work on cancer registries, additional training and certifications may be necessary. If you’re curious about medical coding and would like more information, check out: What is Medical Coding and is it for You?
Is Medical Coding Hard To Learn?
Medical coding can be challenging to learn. However, with the right training and hard work, a career in the growing field of medical coding is possible.There are three different categories of complex codes that must be learned during training to become a medical coder. Medical coders must be detail oriented, follow tight deadlines, and understand the necessary guidelines and specifics of medical coding.Medical coders may encounter many different scenarios in the medical profession that they have to interpret and code. These skills will be taught in medical coding training. Medical coding reference books and software can provide assistance to medical coders.
Are Medical Coders In Demand?
There is a need for medical coders in the allied health profession. The predicted job outlook for medical coders is 11% growth (2018-2028), which is much faster than the 5% average growth rate of all occupations.As the population ages and lives longer, the need for allied health service professionals, including medical coders, will increase. The aging population will likely also lead to the need for more “special purpose” registries that track diseases like cancer. Medical coders are sometimes called coding specialists and with additional training, can work as cancer registrars. Conveniently, medical coders can work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and sometimes from home.
What Type Of Education Is Needed For Medical Billing And Coding?
A medical coding education can be achieved in a variety of ways. Medical coders may pursue a diploma, certification, or degree and medical coding training can be achieved through a trade school program.The Medical Coding Specialist Program at Midwest Technical Institute (MTI) is a 9-month program that prepares graduates for entry-level careers in medical coding. At MTI, medical coding classes include the following:
- CPT & Modifiers
- Office Skills & Coding
- Administration & Coding
- Insurance Guidelines & Coding
- Insurance Claims & Coding
- Employment Prep and Certification & Externship
- An externship provides real-world experience in addition to the classwork instruction.
How Do You Become a Certified Medical Coder?
After deciding to pursue medical coding, the first step is to decide on the right medical coding school. After completing medical coding training, medical coders can sit for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam that is administered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).