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Medical Coding Could Be the Best Work From Home Job Available Today

Medical Coding Could Be the Best Work From Home Job Available Today

What is a Medical Coder?

Medical coders and billers are unsung heroes. They don't treat patients, but they are essential to the delivery of high quality healthcare.

Why?

For one reason, medical coders help ensure that patients aren't overcharged. They also make sure doctors, healthcare providers and insurance companies are compensated properly.  Both coders and billers provide researchers with the data they need to help prevent diseases and epidemics.

If you think that sounds important, you're right.

Without medical coding, our healthcare system would fail.

That's why medical coders are in such high demand, and why it's one of the highest paying jobs available today. 

In fact, medical coding is listed among the top 20 fastest growing occupations by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with nearly 30,000 new positions expected by 2026

Medical coding is also one of the most flexible jobs you can get. You can perform many medical coding jobs at home. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, work from home medical coding has become much more common.

If you want to learn more about why medical coding is one of the best work from home jobs available today, then read on!

If you're ready to start applying, you can find many medical coding jobs here on MotherWorks.

What does a Medical Coder Do?

Health information professionals go to work whenever someone visits a doctor or healthcare facility. 

After a doctor makes a diagnosis or performs a procedure, a medical coder will update patient records and billing documents with special alphanumeric codes.

A medical coder determines which codes to apply based on documentation provided by the healthcare provider. As a medical coder, you will review a variety of documents, including transcribed notes from a physician, visit summaries, and test results.

As you might imagine, thousands of medical codes are used in healthcare. As a medical coder, you will have to become familiar with these codes.

  • The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is used for patient diagnoses
  • The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are used for medical procedures
  • The Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) is used for healthcare delivery services

The ICD and CPT Codes are among the most common and important codes.

CPT codes are maintained by the American Medical Association (AMA).  

ICD codes are found in electronic medical records, medical charts, bills, and hospital records. Common Procedural Technology (CPT codes) refer to a procedure or service performed.  

Where do Medical Coders Work?

You don't always see them because they work behind the scenes, but medical coders are everywhere in healthcare.  More than 340,000 people are working in the U.S. as medical coders and billers. 

You'll find medical coders in doctors' offices, hospitals, clinics and a myriad of other healthcare facilities. 

But more and more, medical coders are working from home. Medical coding can be done remotely if proper security measures are in place to protect the confidentiality of patient medical records.

Work from Home Medical Coding Offers Great Pay and Quality of Life

Medical coding jobs at home have become more prevalent due to the pandemic, but also because some medical coding jobs can be done just as efficiently from a remote location.

According to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AACP), the average annual salary for a medical coder (certified and non-certified) exceeds $55K. That's about 15% above the median salary of all U.S. occupations. 

A college degree is not required to be a medical coder, but coders with a bachelors or master’s degree can earn significantly more.

Your salary will also depend on your level of certification. For example, becoming a Certified Inpatient Coder can raise your salary to $65K. With additional certifications and credentials, you can expect to earn more than $70K per year. There is a different certification track for billers.

In addition to excellent pay, health information positions offer good job security and better quality of life. Health information professionals rank number 55 on the U.S. News and World Report's list of 100 Best Jobs

Is Work from Home Medical Coding Right for You?

If you want to be medical coder, whether at home or on-site, you should have excellent attention to detail, feel comfortable managing data, and like working at a computer. 

Medical coders often use special software, which may interact with a secure private network to review medical records. But they also deal with digital and paper documents and email. 

You will have to become familiar with medical terminology, and you may be required to become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC), or become a member of the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

What's the Difference Between a Medical Coder and Medical Biller?

Generally speaking, a medical coder works behind the scenes with medical records but a medical biller will also interact with patients. 

A medical biller facilitates billing for doctors and insurance companies, so it's usually necessary to communicate with patients. Medical billers may issue invoices to patients for visits and procedures, and send documentation to insurance companies to seek reimbursements. 

Billers and Coders have a similar skill set, but medical billers may have a better understanding of what insurance companies require. In smaller offices, a medical coder may perform both jobs.

Medical coders and billers also government health programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Confidentiality is Key in Medical Coding

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically expanded the number of remote medical coding job opportunities. But while technology makes it possible work from home as a medical coder, remote medical coders must take steps to protect patient privacy and personal health information (PHI).

As a work at home medical coder you will need to have wi-fi routers and computers that are encrypted and password protected.  You will also need to have quiet place to work, since medical coding requires concentration, accuracy and speed to reach production targets.

One Code You Should Know

One of the newest and most significant medical codes is U07.1. That’s the ICD code for COIVD-19. The code is not only important for healthcare providers, it will be used by epidemiologists and government officials to track the spread of the disease and fight the Coronavirus pandemic. When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, contract tracers become involved to help identify and notify those who may have been exposed to the disease.