If you want a career within the always-growing healthcare industry but don't want a job involving direct patient care, becoming a medical coder may be the perfect career goal. An important member of any healthcare team, a medical coder is responsible for organizing and making sense of the massive amounts of data that exist within today's complex system. If you think this is the career for you, here are the five steps you need to take to make your career ambitions come true.
First, you'll need to cover the basics by meeting certain prerequisites. To begin with, have a high school diploma or GED. Also, make sure you can pass a background check since individuals with drug offenses or related crimes are often turned down for these jobs. Many employers now prefer coders who have an Associate's degree.
Once the basics are covered, it's time to start and complete your medical coding training. If you're like many people who enter this field, you can take online medical coding classes and work for your classes around any personal or professional responsibilities you may have at the moment. You can typically obtain a certificate in about nine months. When taking classes, you'll learn such things as ICD-CM coding, Revenue Cycle and Billing, and more.
After obtaining your certificate or degree, you should gain certification. In doing so, this shows the employer you are dedicated and possess key skills needed on the job. Common medical coding certifications include Certified Professional Coder, Certified Coding Specialist, and Certified Coding Associate.
Prior to your applying for medical coding jobs, it's best if you brush up on the various coding skills that are in high demand at most of today's hospitals, doctor's offices, and other medical facilities. Currently, some of the most sought-after coding skills include Inpatient Coding, Anatomy, Physiology, and HCPCS Coding.
Finally, once you've put in months of hard work, it's time to land your first job. In many cases, the school where you got your certificate or degree can help you in your job search, since institutions often have working arrangements within the healthcare industry to help their best students get these important jobs. But before you begin, stop and think whether you prefer working in a hospital, a smaller doctor's office, or elsewhere. Once you take these steps and become a medical coder, it's likely you have a well-paying job that offers you job security for many years to come.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks. She recommends this resource when it comes to online medical coding classes.