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  /  Education   /  What is Medical Coding? How to Become a Medical Coder in Healthcare Industry?
medical coding

What is Medical Coding? How to Become a Medical Coder in Healthcare Industry?

Medical coding is a key component of the health care industry for revenue cycle management and billing processes. It is like the translation of medical reports, prescriptions, procedures, equipment, and services into universal medical alphanumeric codes. It needs to be done accurately and efficiently to help healthcare facilities to get paid properly for their services. It is important in medical claims too, as the universal medical codes are required by insurance companies to process any claim.

In a medical coding process, a qualified medical coder takes the medical records such as transcription of physician’s notes, diagnosis reports, laboratory and radiologic results, and reports regarding the usage of medical supplies to transform them into a set of universal codes for the future use. A medical coder also ensures that these codes are applied correctly during the medical claims and billing processes for the proper reimbursement. A medical coding professional uses three sets of code to transform medical records:

  • International Classification of Diseases (ICD): It is classified as a diagnostic code to create a uniform vocabulary describing the causes of illness, injury, and death.
  • Current Procedure Terminology (CPT): CPT codes are created from the medical records to describe medical procedures performed during the treatment.
  • Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS): It covers and describes services, procedures, and equipment that are not covered in CPT codes.

When we talk about codes here, it has nothing to do with the programming of writing codes. A medical coder only translates the parts of different medical records into a uniform vocabulary to use in the insurance claims and medical billing. One should also note that medical coding and medical billing are two different professions. A medical biller only processes and follows the medical bills and claims, and he has nothing to do with what codes are used in the billing process. However, anyone can perform both the duties by going through the proper training and certification.

How to become a medical coder?

It is quite clear that medical coding is an essential process in the healthcare business in revenue and billing cycles. Medical coding is an important professional to start a career in the healthcare industry. But, to become a medical coder, need to have certain skills and knowledge to understand the medical coding procedures and types. A medical coding professional should be a techno-savvy individual with strong analytical skills, ethics, and communication skill. A handful of technical skills are essential to become a successful medical coder.

Top technical skills for a medical coder:

  • ICD-10
  • Customer billing
  • CPT coding
  • Inpatient coding
  • Outpatient coding
  • ICD-9
  • Anatomy
  • HCPCS coding
  • Clinical documentation

To become a certified medical coder in Dubai, you can join a medical coding training institute in Dubai to prepare and pass the American Academy of Professional Coders. According to the Health Authority of UAE (HAAD), a medical coder should have specialized training and proper certification to perform their duties. This profession requires a high level of ethics and an understanding of medical billing and insurance claims. For this, one needs to go through a medical coding training program to get the certification.

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