A medical coder’s job is to bill insurance companies and track the submitted claims. Medical coders are responsible for reviewing the medical records of patients and then assigning codes to their diagnoses and procedures so that the relevant insurance company, other third-party payers, or the patient can be billed for those claims. A hospital coder is a medical coder specific to a hospital, as opposed to a doctor's office or other medical facility.
A hospital coder’s job is important, as they help doctors understand which treatment will work best for their patients based on prior therapies. They also help by looking through patient files to find preexisting conditions. As patients receive care, the coder keeps track of their medical records and documents the improvement or deterioration of the relevant condition. When the patients are ready to go home, the coder will process the discharge paperwork. It is also the job of the coder to make sure that the provider meets recordkeeping guidelines. They need to keep medical histories private while making sure that patient records contain the information and treatment care details that the law requires. In order to do that, they need to know the laws concerning the release of that information as well.
The minimum requirements for this position are a high school diploma or equivalent, good math skills, bookkeeping knowledge, and experience with customer relationship management programs that are used in the health care industry. You will also need to have knowledge of billing codes and good communication skills. A college degree is normally not necessary, but a certificate from a credited school is always an added bonus.
Hospital Coder Tasks
Review and research appropriate codes for insurance purposes.
Code each patient record.
Review patient medical records to judge appropriate diagnosis, procedures, and reimbursement.