Q: What exactly is medical coding?

A: Every service (test, office visit, injection, surgical procedure, etc.) in the provision of medical care has a numeric code associated with it (ICD and CPT codes) designed to provide some commonality of terms in order that the companies who pay the claims (health insurance companies, HMOs, government, etc.) can identify the patient?s problem, and the service provided sufficient to allow them to pay on a predetermined basis under the care and coverage limits of an insurance plan. The codes are also used for statistical data. The CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes exist for an office call, an injection, an x-ray, right on to the most detailed brain surgery. International Disease Codes (ICD) are the number systems assigned for diagnoses, even patient complaints (headache, upset stomach, etc.). The combination of using these codes, ICD and CPT, tell the payer what was wrong with the patient and what service was performed. Both coding systems are taught in the ICD-10-Training.Com Course course.

Q: What kind of training does coding require?

A: The first requirement to learn to be a medical coder is medical terminology training (or a good background in medicine, such as nursing). Formerly, it took two to four year college programs to learn medical coding, however, currently training is available through Internet sources such as ICD-10 Training. Practice is important and that’s why this Coding Training Course has over 600 patient records to code, equivalent to 6 months experience on the job.

Q: Do coding jobs require certification?

A: Providers who employ coders prefer some assurance of the coder’s background and capability. ICD-10 Training.Com provides the training and certification testing is done by several certifiers, Med-Certification.Com, AAPC, AHIMA, etc.

Q: How much money can I make?

A: According to the industry standards, starting salary is about $40,000 per year, higher in some areas of the country, and as much as $90,000 in administrative applications.  Coders often become the “gatekeepers” for the preauthorization process for employers and insurance companies. This occupation is often filled by nurses who take the coding training. The “How To” is in the HomeBiz-MedBook is available as an option with the course.

Q: What kinds of employers, or companies, require coders?

A: Virtually every provider, individual doctor, clinic, hospital involved in patient care requires coders. The profession has enormous potential. One hospital alone may have as many as 50 or more coders on staff. Don’t forget standalone clinics, urgent and semi-urgent care and surgical, mental health centers and nursing homes. In addition, insurance companies, contract care providers, governmental agencies, law firms, third party administrators, billing and practice management companies, need coders. And the shortage of coders continues. As ICD-10 codes become a reality in 2014, the need for coders will increase substantially.

Q: How far can you go with this expertise?

Statistically, Health Information Management (HIM), of which coding is a part, is a rapidly growing field and is expected to outpace average job growth rates in other fields through the year 2018. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook produced by Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, health information technicians are projected to be one of the 20 fastest growing occupations. The Health Insurance Specialist Training Course we offer is included in the Coding Course. More and more you will see help wanted advertisements looking for “Health Insurance Specialists.” They are expected to know all about insurance companies, government plans, their requirements for preauthorization and submission of claims, the ability to calculate patient responsibility based on insurance payment criteria, all about HIPAA (privacy act management), and often have administrative roles. The Health Insurance Module is included in this training (Coding Complete Course).

Once you become proficient in coding, many opportunities exist. Just as one example, code profiling may be offered to private practices and clinics. The how-to is explained in the HomeBiz-MedBook. Consulting is an excellent business for coding experts, either independently, or for a consulting firm. Coders often undertake auditing functions. Independent fraud analysts are also in demand and often are paid a percentage of what they save insurance companies. One of the most common uses for fraud analysis is in state sponsored Worker’s Compensation Funds, where fraud is rampant, accounting for a burgeoning percentage of America’s health care costs. Many consultants and fraud analysts set up their own businesses and work at home. Consulting is a great field for nurses looking for a change in career.

Q: Can coding be done at home?

A: Formerly, it was a little cumbersome since one needed various forms and even patient charts; however, with the advent of all the new technology (online access to medical records, computerized faxes, scanners, transfer of information back and forth through the Internet), it is now possible and acceptable to do the coding at home either as a contractor or an employee for a hospital or doctor?s office. National companies fill a niche too and subcontract the work to home-based contractors. You will find a number of them using the Web.

Q: What does medical coding have to do with billing?

A: When a care provider performs a service, s/he will dictate a report or check off a superbill noting the services provided. That textual document becomes a part of the primary record, and the coder reviews it in order to abstract and codify what was done. The codes are then printed on statements and insurance claims forms as an abbreviated way to define problem/s and service/s. Offering the combined service of coding and billing is an excellent approach to a private practice provider. Since coding drives the entire billing process, it is imperative that both skills are included in a career path planning process. Consider purchasing the Coding-Billing Combo Course at: Coding Billing Combo Course $1289.

Q: Is there coding software?

Most large clinical providers and virtually all hospitals use coding software (and it’s easy to learn to use). For private and clinical practice, has used such software extensively and recommends the Alpha II software. You may purchase the AlphaII software here on the website. Remember that this software is an additional tool and doesn’t eliminate the need to learn basic coding. You may purchase the AlphaII along with your Medical Coding Course, or order it separately at any time. Alpha II Software $1295.

Q: Is there anything else I should know?

A: If you can think of anything, just ask us! It’s a great career – just do it!!

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$989 for the Complete Coding Course ICD-9 and 10

$349 for the standalone ICD-10 Medical Coding Training

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