How to Become a Medical Coder
Have you ever wondered how to become a medical coder? Have you been thinking about returning to or going to school to become a medical coder? Here’s some great news! The field is one of the fastest growing professions in Texas and around the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, it’s expected to increase 22 percent from 2012 to 2022. Read on to figure out how get a new career started here.
First, make sure becoming a medical coder is the right choice for your career and future based on your life goals. If you want to help patients without directly diagnosing or treating patients, for example, you’ve found your job. The medical billing training is a great way to work in the healthcare without directly working with patients. A medical coder is responsible for make sure healthcare facilities, physicians and hospitals are reimbursed for provided medical services.
Medical coders assign standard medical codes for any treatment, diagnosis, procedures, and tests performed on patients. These medical codes are used to bill patients and third party payers like Medicare and insurance companies. Deciding whether a medical coding career is right for you ultimately depends on:
- Personal motivation
- The importance of flexibility and freedom
- Type of salary you want to make
- Benefit requirements
- How much you want to work in the field
Earn Needed Training and Certifications
Second, you want to get the training and certifications needed to actually work as a medical coder. Postsecondary associate’s degree, training and certificates are all available. You’ll take courses in medical terminology, classification and coding systems, and anatomy. Our recommendation is that you only select programs which give you hands-on experience working in the medical coding field. The best way to develop the needed coding skills, we believe, is through training that provides experience in the task at hand.
Keep in mind, as well, that the best medical coding programs pair you with Texas employers willing to let you put your knowledge into practice. Along with training certification preparation is another important step. Some employers don’t require you to become certified, but a medical coding certification stands out on a resume. You have the options between certifications like:
- Billing and Coding Specialist
- Electronic Health Record Specialist
- Medical Administrative Assistant
Prepare for Your Medical Coding Career
The third step in becoming a medical coder is to apply for jobs in the space. To start this conversation, it’s important to have a quality resume that stands out from the other medical coding graduates. You want to place emphasis on your internships and any jobs that helped you develop the medical coding skills, as well as the certifications and skills you’ve received. A good resume makes a compelling case for why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Keep in mind that a great resume doesn’t just list your jobs in chronological order. Instead, you’ll format it to show your skills in specific jobs and tasks. You also want to prepare for interviews.
Your interviewer will ask you questions tailored to the medical coding field. These questions will focus on insurance programs and your knowledge of medical coding. You may even be quizzed on medical terminology. These you should be well prepared for, by the end of your training, so just make sure to remember a few tips. First, be polite: this applies to your attire, your manners, and how you speak. Second, make sure to put your best foot forward in terms of past successes, skills learned, and your natural talents. Third, stay calm and remember that this is the start of your next career! Becoming a medical coder takes time, but the rewards are dramatic.
For anyone looking to gain a stable job, a career they can grow, and a balance to both their life and work becoming a medical coder is a great option. To start at the beginning, and complete every task along the way, is to guarantee job success. Perseverance is the key to success in any field.
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