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How to Become a Medical Coding Specialist

medical coding specialist

A medical coding specialist supplies a vital service to a medical business. While the health care providers seeing patients may start the billing process with the electronic medical records (EMRs) they generate, these only record the kind of care patients receive. They don’t automatically generate bills. It’s up to the medical coding specialist to translate that record of care into the codes that can bill health insurance companies and generate reimbursement for the services. Health insurance companies pay certain rates for certain types of care in specific cases. A coding specialist ensure that the physician, patient and insurance company all receive what they’re entitled to.

Becoming a medical coding specialist is challenging; however, with the right aptitude and willingness to learn, one can work as a health coding specialist.

Medical coding specialist educational prerequisites

The law doesn’t require any specific medical coding specialist education. Most companies recruiting applicants for medical coding specialist openings do not require education past a high school diploma, but it’s helpful. Most people do not know the myriad of codes and procedures involved with medical billing and on-the-job education isn’t as commonplace anymore. Anyone seeking employment as a coding specialist should pursue education in medical coding.

Medical coding specialist licensure prerequisites

As with education, there’s no legal requirement for coding specialists to maintain some kind of license or certification. But passing the Insurance and Coding exam offered by the National Center for Competency has become a national standard for a medical coding specialist. Most medical employers require that their employees working as a medical coding specialist has passed the exam. Completing an education in a medical coding specialist program can greatly increase the chances that a medical coding specialist-to-be can pass the exam.

Medical coding specialist experience prerequisites

Many people who work as medical coding specialists have worked in some facet of health care, such as a home health aide or certified nursing assistant. It’s not uncommon to find even a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse in an office as a medical coding specialist if the physical rigors of nursing have become too difficult. Their knowledge of anatomy, medical care and medical codes is very helpful. But previous experience in nursing is not required for those who want to work as a medical coding specialist.

In a similar sense, working in an office, particularly as clerks in data entry, accounting, or employee benefits may also help a medical coding specialist succeed, but that’s not required, either. Applicants to medical coding specialist positions should have basic computer knowledge and proficiency in data entry.

Medical coding specialists often resolve issues over the phone and via email with patients, physicians and insurance company personnel; however, customer service experience isn’t mandatory.

For many health care organizations, experience of any sort is not required for working as a medical coding specialist; however, it certainly helps. That’s why Harris School of Business provides real-world opportunities before graduation so medical coding specialist program students can know they possess the ability to do the job right. Gaining experience also helps boost their resumes so potential employers can hire with confidence.

Let us show you how Harris can help you succeed as a medical coding specialist.