The healthcare field is always in demand for new workers. In fact, by the year 2026, 4 million jobs will be added to the healthcare market.
However, if you’re interested in the medical field but not the clinical aspect, where can you turn? Are there any jobs that don’t involve dealing directly with patients or needles?
A career in medical coding could be the answer you’re looking for. There are many perks of having a medical coding career. Let’s explore those benefits and see if this could be a route for you.
What Do Medical Coders Do?
When a patient sees a doctor, the doctor records the diagnosis and treatments given on the patient’s chart. The medical biller and coder then analyzes the chart and uses a set of ‘code’ to submit the information to the insurance company and other healthcare professionals
The medical coder and biller reference the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD, to help them break the chart down into code. This work is fairly straightforward and is the same in almost any capacity or setting.
Benefits of Medical Coding
Intrigued by medical coding and billing? Read on to find out all that medical coding has to offer as a career.
Length of Training is Short
You could spend up to four years in school completing a bachelor’s degree in coding and billing, but you don’t have to. In most cases, a certificate of completion or a degree can be acquired in as little as months or a year.
This is perfect for those that are eager to get into the workforce or even want a career change. You can begin working soon after getting your medical billing coder certification. Online courses provide flexible scheduling so you can finish the course at your own pace.
Potential to Work From Home
Freelancing is a popular choice for medical coders and billers. Though working in a traditional office is perfectly acceptable, many coders can choose to work from home, either on their own as a freelancer or through their employer.
Working from home may not be an option immediately after graduation and landing a job. Some companies require you to have experience or have a long-term relationship with the company first. This is beneficial because you’ll know more about the field and be able to network to help you gain credibility.
If you don’t want to work from home, that’s OK! Many coders work in offices, hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies.
One of the reasons why medical coding and billing is the perfect job for stay-at-home parents is because of the flexible hours. Once you’ve established a work-at-home career, most companies allow you to set your own hours. This allows you to work around children’s schedules, doctor’s appointments, sick days and so on.
While most people think working from home is lounging around in comfy pants all day, there is a certain aspect of discipline that’s needed. Your work must be completed as expected. Regardless of where you work, you’ll still have to abide by HIPPA laws and regulations.
Earn a Healthy Salary
For the short time spent gaining education on medical coding and billing, a salary can be surprisingly high. Your salary will fluctuate depending on experience, company, and education.
The median salary for a career in medical coding in 2017 was $39,180. Location and place of employment can make a big difference, too. Increasing your education can have a drastic impact on your salary, as coders who are certified often earned more.
The Work Is Important
Even though you’re not on the front lines of healthcare, treating patients, or doing clinical work, the job of a medical coder is important. You are the connection between insurance companies and medical professionals.
Patient’s bills need to be taken care of correctly without errors and that how medical coders help. Every part of the healthcare industry needs to run smoothly and medical coders and billers play a vital part.
Start Your Own Business
After you’ve gained experience in an office or working from home, you could branch out and start your own business or company. With a relatively low start-up cost (including the cost of software), if you’ve networked well, you can have a healthy amount of clients.
Because medical coding is flexible work, you could take courses to learn how to operate and run your own business.
Medical coders are in demand. The demand is expected to grow by 13% and the healthcare industry 18% by the year 2026, which is the highest percentage for every job. You’ll probably never have to worry about finding work.
You don’t have to stop your education at coding and billing. The field offers areas of advancement to gain more skill and expertise, and in turn, more money. Coding and billing is a career where you’re always learning.
Some other skills coders learn are the ins and outs of medical practice, auditing, documentation and more. You can even continue your education by taking more classes if you desire.
How Do I Become a Medical Coder?
The path to becoming a medical coder is pretty straightforward, but don’t be fooled. It does require study and hard work to complete your degree.
Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take:
1. Acquire a high school diploma or equivalent. Some schools also require a background check.
2. Find a medical coding program that works with your schedule and goals. Want to finish quickly? Need flexible scheduling because you work full time? Take these into consideration as you research schools.
3. Finish your program, graduate, and get certified. Certification isn’t necessary, but it puts you a step ahead of the rest.
4. Apply for jobs. Decide which environment you’d prefer to work in and start applying!
Medical Coding And Billing: A Great Career Choice
Medical coding is a wonderful career opportunity for those who desire to work in the medical field without clinical experience. The quick completion time can get you started to work soon after graduation so you can be on your way to a rewarding career.
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