There is a false impression that medical coders sit in their pajamas all day while entering codes consisting of letters and numbers.
Here is what a coder’s job truly consists of!
Medical coders are the superheros of the HIM industry!
- Yes. We do enter codes into various systems after reading charts in various EMR's. We have to learn these different systems which may be the same system for different providers, but with several small differences.
- We are the educators of the billing staff, of the clinicians, of other coders, of the doctors, and of the administrators as their job does not consist of knowing all of the coding guidelines. That is our job.
- We work coding denials. We are trained to understand and "read" these denials.
- We are auditors - of documentation, of the coders and of the charges on the accounts.
- We are detectives. We decipher everything from the most difficult of handwriting to the most complex cases.
- We are life long students because the coding world is constantly changing and there is always something new to learn.
- We read everything - LCD's, NCD's, NCCI Policy Manual, OIG, CMS IOMs, Federal Register, PFS RVU's, Payer Policies. The majority of this is done on our own time.
- We are not physicians, but we are expected to be able to discuss cases, surgeries, and codes as if we are - because we should be knowledgeable about what it is out employers do.
Coders do take tests because no two coding specialties are alike. Though we work hard to have several certifications after our name from AHIMA or APPC such as the CCS, CPC, or CPC-A among others that does not mean we can feasibly know every specialty that exists. That is the beauty of the HIM industry; there is always the relentless pursuit of knowledge and learning something new no matter how long we’ve been doing it!
So you want to stay in your pajamas all day and work from home?
It takes an immense amount of strict self-discipline and focus. You have to put away your cell phone and log off your personal computer. The laundry has to sit till later. You must say reject invites from others that confuse your career of working from home from doing nothing. You have to network and get the jobs that propel your career forward. Most companies require you to have a minimum of 2 years of coding experience before considering you for a remote job.
Coders PARTNER with the:
- Billing teams
- IT teams
- Medical coders
We work together to insure codes are correct in the system, that documentation is accurate, we ensure proper education of team members so we are all on the same page, and we collaborate to better ourselves in our jobs. Even when working remotely, our team orientated mentality is only further emphasized!
It is so much about the money, but more so the love we have for our job and the people we impact on a day to day basis.
This post was inspired off a post from an unknown writer on the Jobs for American Medical Coder's Facebook group.
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