How To Be A Medical Coder

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How To Be A Medical Coder

As the healthcare industry continues to grow, job opportunities abound. If you’re interested in a fulfilling career as a medical professional, it’s time to think about your options. Studying for years to become a doctor or a nurse may not interest you, however, those positions require a wide range of support people to help the healthcare wheel turn.

Jobs like medical office administrators, pharmacy technicians and medical coders are also in high demand. Check out the basic steps on how to be a medical coder.  

Medical Billing & Coding Specialist

A billing & coding specialist acts as a middleman between insurance companies and healthcare agencies. You could work in a hospital, clinic, physician’s office, nursing home or other healthcare facilities. Basic job duties include:

  • Use industry-specific software to assign codes to medical procedures
  • Review claims data to ensure compliance with industry rules and regulations
  • Medical records research
  • Communicate with insurance companies and healthcare agencies to resolve claims issues

  Steps to Becoming a Medical Coder

1. Get Educated A proper education will teach you the job-specific skills necessary to become a billing and coding specialist. Generally, healthcare agencies are looking for people who have completed a 2-year associate degree or certificate program in medical billing and coding or a closely related field. Typical coursework includes:

  • Keyboarding
  • Medical terminology
  • ICD 9 & 10 coding
  • Basic anatomy and physiology
  • Computer applications
  • Business communications
  • Office procedures
  • Medical law, privacy and ethics

  2. Obtain Proper Certification You’ll shine with potential employers when you show them you have earned the proper medical billing and coding certification. It can also put you on track for career advancement. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is an organization designed to provide professional development, resources and accountability in the healthcare industry. They offer a variety of certifications that you could be eligible for:

  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)
  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
  • Certified Outpatient Coder (COC)
  • Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
  • Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC)
  • Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA)

  3. Take Advantage of Career Services A good vocational school not only shows you how to be a medical coder, but also provides career counseling services. You’ll be able to meet with a counselor who can help you set goals, narrow down job prospects, create a resume, fine tune interview skills and anything else pertaining to getting your dream job. Don’t skip this important step on the path toward a promising future.   4. Accept Your Dream Job Once you begin applying for jobs, you’ll likely go through interviews at a few agencies. Stay positive and keep your mind focused on your goals. Don’t let it get you down if you don’t get the first job you apply or interview for. Be persistent and you’ll eventually land the job of your dreams.  

This article was published on: 04/23/14 9:39 AM

What SCI Students Are Saying

“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”


Denise S.
Medical Assistant

“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”


Raquel S.

“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”


Annette D.
Business Accounting

“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”


Bonnie M
Medical Assistant

“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”


Sidney B
Medical Assistant

“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”


Andrea Garcia

“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”


Olga C.

“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”


Valerie D.

“I am very happy with where I am and where I’m going. Through high school, I struggled with math. When I came to SCI, I enrolled in the Business Accounting Specialist program to see if I could do it. SCI provided me with the accounting skills I needed to help me find a career. Now, I have an amazing career and room to grow in the company.”


Crystal H.
Business Accounting

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