A medical coding specialist is an integral part of any medical team, and is responsible for turning doctors' work and diagnoses into real money using a specialized set of codes representing procedures, diagnoses, and other aspects of medical care. Then, they submit what they have coded to either private insurance companies, or Medicare/Medicaid. The medical coding specialist's performance correlates directly with the compensation the doctor receives.
Prior experience with medical coding, including familiarity with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code, is often required for this position. These specialists are expected to stay up-to-date on the new ICD-10 and how it affects coding and should also be skilled in interpretation to translate a doctor's work into coding.
These specialists are employed primarily by: private doctors' offices, where they assist in caring for patients either part-time or full-time during regular business hours; and hospitals, in which they may code for all doctors employed in the hospital and hours and shifts may vary greatly.
Medical Coding Specialist Tasks
- Protect the security of medical records to ensure that confidentiality is maintained.
- Identify, compile and code patient data, using ICD-9-CM and CPT and other standard classification coding systems.
- Enter data, such as history and extent of disease, diagnostic procedures and treatment into computer database.
- Compile, abstract and maintain patient medical records to document condition and treatment.
- Review records for completeness, accuracy and compliance with regulations.