Sunday, 12 February 2017

What is a Medical Coder?

Medical Coding's Code-Pendency With Medical Billing

Medical coding

A medical coder is not a medical biller, but medical coders need basic medical billing knowledge to competently and efficiently do their job, since both disciplines are so closely related and code-pendent (pun!)

There are over 819,000 physicians and surgeons; 2.4 million registered nurses, 77,000 occupational therapists, 182,000 physical therapists, 94,000 respiratory therapists and a plethora of other allied health professionals in the USA alone. 

Naturally they ALL want to get paid for their medical services and supplies provided to the public. This is where the medical coder comes into play! The medical coder gets the ball rolling by initiating the reimbursement process. The process begins by abstracting coded information from the patient's medical record into the financial system for billing.

Correct medical coding is just as crucial as correct medical billing in getting paid for services provided, otherwise, when ever a claim is not properly coded, filed, submitted, and processed it leads to denials, and this means losses for the provider. Naturally a professional business cannot prosper on losses. 

When medical coding firms or doctors outsource their medical coding and billing it is critical to assure the chosen individual or company is well versed in the latest coding standards and follows AHA, UHDDS, HCFA and HCHS coding guidelines, latest medical billing criteria, and uses clearinghouses to get the job done in an efficient manner.

Medical coders and well as medical billers must have the ability to read and understand handwritten physician notes and documentation and a working knowledge of at least one patient management system, along with familiarity with electronic medical records and ability to discuss and resolve claims issues with clinic staff and patients.

The close relationship between medical coding and billing is undeniable and inescapable! While they are well respected and highly regarded they often face adversities from insurance companies, such as inappropriate denials, poor payments and other obstacles and disservices to the doctors and patients that the must resolve working hand in hand with each other to coordinate their efforts. 

Their mutual goal is to meet patient and health insurance billing needs of doctors, clinics, hospitals, home health care service agencies, and similar businesses in the health care network. Although regarded as two different disciplines, medical coding and billing professionals work hand-in-hand to assure health care providers get paid for all procedures and materials rendered.

Education and Training Programs for Older Adults

Senior citizen medical assistant

Many jobs are open to citizens ages 50 and older in teaching, nursing, and medical office environments. 

Free Education and Training Programs for Senior Adults

What you might find is surprising is that there are many education and training programs available to the older population. Nearly 60 percent of accredited colleges or universities are granting tuition waivers for older adults. 

For example; there’s a Senior Adults Scholarship Program in Alabama that provides free tuition for mature citizens ages 60 and over, who are admitted into a public two-year college or university. 

The state of Tennessee offers tuition waivers and discounts for senior citizens. Many schools in Michigan offer tuition waivers for seniors. Bottom line is you have to check or research your particular state.

If you are a military veteran with a service connected disability, you may qualify for the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Program. 

This program allows veterans with a service connected disability of 10% of more to attend college. Tuition, fees and books are fully covered by the US Government.  

There’s also a monthly subsistence allowance paid; amount varies on number of dependents; however some veteran programs have limitations on taking online courses. 

There are many public employment and training service programs available like the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP), website: 

This program enables individuals to participate in temporary training assignments where they gain valuable on-the-job work experience and training needed to gain employment in the private sector. Again this program may vary from state to state.

If you are really looking to get back to work or retrain. Whether you want to work full-time, or part-time, one the best careers fields to enter into is the healthcare industry. 

Many citizens 50 and older find working as a medical office receptionist, administrative medical assistant, medical billing clerk and/or in the medical coding department of a smaller medical practice, or hospital very a rewarding job that they can keep pace with. 

For those who are looking to supplement their social security income, you must check with your SSI office to find out what or if there are any limitations on income you can receive. You might be limited to working 20 hours or less a week. 

Medical Billing and Coding - Medical Billing Part 1

Medical billing is gaining ever increasing interest among new job seekers either shortly after graduating from high school to begin their career path or people who desire a meaningful career change or job rehab to reenter the workforce. 

The medical billing career has a pull on those who desire to work in the healthcare industry without providing direct patient care, such as nursing staff or medical assistants. You can learn more at

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