The certified coding specialist (CCS) takes information from doctors, internists, and other medical professionals; they then apply medical coding for billing procedures applying to private and government-based insurers. Accurate and precise coding of procedures and treatments may help shorten reimbursement times for their employer and clients.
The CCS typically receives records pertaining to diagnostic procedures, treatments, and prescriptions; they then use these various reports to determine the proper category for the work that was done. This must then be accurately keyed into a computer-based records database to generate invoices for patients and their insurers. The CCS needs to be able to extract information from records quickly and efficiently, and they must be able to enter coding from a variety of phases of patient care, such as referrals, specialist services, ongoing treatment, and recurring admissions. The CCS also must work within a patient's existing insurance plan to code only work that will be covered, as refusals create delays in reimbursement and may cause frustration for patients.
To work as a certified coding specialist, an individual's education typically includes an associate's degree or vocational training in coding or medical records administration. The CCS must also receive American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) certification. A coding specialist typically works in a hospital or clinical environment full time in an office setting. They need to have a strong understanding of the billing and records software used by their employer.
Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) Tasks
Compile, abstract and maintain patient medical records to document condition and treatment.
Review records for completeness, accuracy and compliance with regulations.
Release information to persons and agencies according to regulations.
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.