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Trends impacting the future of medical coding in 2017

Working in the healthcare sector is a crucial factor and likely to be trendy in the present days. Most of us are aware of a nurse, medical assistant or a medical lab technician working in a hospital or a diagnostic center. It is certainly worthy to be studying and progressively making a career in the challenging healthcare sector.

The managed healthcare industry, in particular, is showing an evolving trend, and it is crucial for medical professionals to stay abreast of the modern trends.

Medical coding is one such challenging field of study owing to the recent advancements keeping up your pace while handling crucial medical information.

What is Medical Coding?

Medical coding is a specialized professional study that entails the broader healthcare administration. A professional medical coder reviews the documentation of the patient’s records translates the written documentation into a universal standard medical code using certain algorithms. These codes are submitted to the third parties to collect the statistical information related to specific ailments and develop treatment protocols.

Let us consider the healthcare trends that affect the future of medical coding and see the way it is going to have a long-lasting effect on the healthcare sector.  

 

  • The transition towards ICD-10:

Since last October, the coding system has got upgraded through the transition to ICD(International Classification of Diseases)- 10 coding system in the patient procedures. ICD-10 has around 69,823 diagnosis codes, and 71,924 procedure codes and the addition of  140,000 new codes makes it essential for the coders to adapt to new changes to prove themselves productive and efficient in the industry.

Many employers provide training to ease the transition.  However, it is certainly advantageous if an individual enrolls for training in ICD-10 and sharpen one’s skills.

  1. Electronic Health Records:

Coders can leverage their value in the healthcare industry while getting familiarized with the latest coding trends like the Electronic Health Records(EHR).

Every aspect of professional health care services involves diligent record keeping.  Poor record maintenance can lead to a variety of problems. The traditional paperwork system of paper health record systems in smaller organizations has glaring setbacks in the form of occupying a lot of space,  vulnerable to lose and getting destroyed, difficulty in disseminating and storage. It is not the case with Electronic medical records, which is one of the upcoming trends. EHR system makes the process of medical coding more efficient and accurate as far as the professionals in the field are aware of the new trends and software. Comprehensive training in EHR will assist the billers in excelling in their roles and making the process of coding much easier.  

  1. Updated CPT codes:

The CPT or Current Procedural Terminology involve identification of codes that the coders use to report medical procedures and services. Upgradation of the CPT codes happens more frequently mostly every six months and are not very static. This emerging technology is crucial for a medical coder to avoid any delay, risk of incorrect coding, delays in backup for doctors and patients.

The facts about Medical Coding: The real myth buster

Medical Coding involves the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. The procedural codes entail the medical record documentation, transcription of physician’s notes, results of laboratory tests and radiology, etc. To become a certified medical coder, one needs to have the knowledge of healthcare systems, and the procedures performed on the patient, that form the major component of medical claims. The massive amount of data entailing the patient’s records, particularly in the case of major ailments, medical coding helps in efficiently handling huge quantities of information.

A medical coder needs to have the knowledge about three types of codes such as

  1. International classification of diseases(ICD)- this represents doctor’s diagnosis of the patient’s condition.
  2. Current Procedure Terminology(CPT): This code is published and maintained by the American Medical Association and is five-digit numeric codes that get updated annually.
  3. Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System: Involves a set of laws based on CPT codes. Correspond to the procedures and durable medical equipment, ambulance rides, prosthetics, drugs, and medicines, etc.

Thus the role of Medical coding and billing specialists assumes significance in the medical industry. The specialized knowledge in translating the medical records into standardized codes for inpatient and outpatient needs is a crucial task. The professionals usually work on site for various healthcare facilities.

Few important facts about the medical coding:

  1. Research and statistics project a steady increase in the job market by 2018.
  2. Increased demand for coding services was owing to the growing number of medical tests, treatments, and procedures.
  3. There is an increasing need for the professionals in the field due to the increased demand for liaising with health care professionals, insurance industries and maintenance of electronic medical records.
  4. It is a vast field of knowledge which requires fast-paced work and flexibility of work schedule.
  5. Earning the certification in medical coding makes you a lucrative career in prospective organizations.
  6. Every place that offers medical services like hospitals, outpatient, and inpatient clinics besides hospitals require the assistance of a medical coding specialist.

Joshi Medicode comprehensive curriculum provides a real-world experience and the skills to excel in the workforce. The candidates would get to develop professional support from the team expertise that enables you to move into the workforce successfully.

Here are few of the myths  and facts related to medical coding:

Learning medical coding is easy and can be done in a short period of 6 weeks. The fact is that a six-week training program is not sufficient to acquire the practical experience or skills. Coding requires an active long-term learning and continuous skill up gradation.

You can work from your comfort zone: It ‘s hard to obtain the requisite experience without building sufficient proficiency which can only happen through onsite learning under the supervision of a medical expert.

Medical coding involves only the knowledge of the medical field and material: A good understanding of the medical terminology, anatomy, diagnostic, and procedure evaluation is necessary but not limited. A medical coder needs to have the requisite knowledge of insurance policies, coding guidelines, math skills, attention to detail and organization.

The field involves mostly data entry: The fact is medical coding requires specialized knowledge to decipher a physician’s notes and to choose the right notes for billing. They should be able to determine the relevance of the information that requires specialized knowledge in information coding and application of the guidelines.

Statistical surveys indicate that the demand for medical records and information technicians will increase by 2024. More exposure to the new code set ensures better reporting of the patient’s medical condition.

Before applying to the course, one needs to check for proper accreditation and acceptability to various agencies and companies. Accordingly, gain a practical hands-on experience through on the job training and internships enhances your career prospects.

At the outset, medical coding requires credentials, dedication, expertise and hard work to ensure the right fit in the pharmaceutical industry.

Medical coding is an investment for your future- not an expense

Remember your visit to a doctor; your health provider would receive a bill containing a current procedural terminology (CPT) for the evaluation, diagnosis of the ailments through requisite tests like X-Ray, blood test, etc. This CPT code is what is what medical coding. The advancements and ever-changing needs of the healthcare industry facilitate the integration of data in healthcare.

Need and scope of medical coding:

Statistics indicate that around 9800 CPT codes are generated for every type of healthcare service offered by clinical practitioners. Also, there are 14,000 international classifications of diseases for which there are specified clinical codes for medical diagnoses.

A trained medical coder reviews the medical records to assign the codes and ensure the proper reimbursement services. The crucial role of a medical coder entails studying the medical evaluation by the doctors, assigning codes and determining what the patient is availing services.

Skills involved in medical coding:

Knowledge and competency of medical coding also involve private payer policies and government regulations for fundamental billing purposes and reduces the risk of loss in revenue by the doctors.

A certified professional coder demonstrates his proficiency and accuracy that entices

  • Physician’s services,
  • Surgery centers, hospitals, and healthcare systems.
  • Abstracting the correct diagnosis and procedural code.
  • Handling of the back office operations of the hospitals and medical practitioners.
  • Skills and efficiency in the review, processing and submitting the medical claims.

The data orientation involved in the work needs a careful review of the patient’s chart. The cruciality of the role necessitates that the coders should keep themselves upgraded about the new rules and regulations and the latest medical terminology and anatomy.

Prospective career: With an average range earning a potential of $3000 to $50000 per year, medical coders can establish themselves substantially in the job market with a higher potential.  According to the annual survey of AAPC, certified medical coders earn more than 21% in contrast to non-certified coders. Statistics also indicate that health care industry forms the major component of all the sectors of the economy.

Save your money, register and earn through your healthcare management certification at Joshi Medicode Technologies.

Investing your future career entails online/associate/bachelor’s degree in the field, alongside the medical and computer skills in basic biology and software related to computer billing.

Career and proficiency:

As a medical coder, you would be liaising with the health care provider and insurance companies, as you hold the demographic information associated with the patient as well as the summary of the treatment. The medical coder also analyses the purpose of claims filling, nature of the illness, list of medication, playing a significant role in medical decision making and evaluation of the patient history. The skills and software like ICD-9-CM and CPT codes help in claim processing which transmits the claim to the insurance company through electronic data interchange, ANSI 837 and CMS-1500. Being a medical coder, you would find handling crucial data of health insurance claims, billing management and documentation, electronic data interchange and modification, health insurance and managed care.

Thus the field of medical coding provides an alluring career in higher level medical management. An efficient coder has a crucial role in ensuring the financial success of a physician.

Thus opting for a career in the field of medical coding is an investment itself for your future.

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