August 6, 2019

Coding Degrees can Open the Door to Many Career Options

By B&SC Blog Team

Coding Degrees can Open the Door to Many Career Options

The career of medical coding is so much more than simply punching in numbers.

Those who code provide the communication between the doctor, the hospital and the insurance company. Every detail needs to be correct.

“This really is one of the most important jobs in the hospital,” said Tammy Weaver who teaches in Bryant & Stratton College’s coding and reimbursement program.

Coding is also one of the most lucrative careers in a hospital that does not require graduation from a medical school.

“People don’t realize what we do. They think it’s just putting in numbers but it’s not,” she said. “This is comparable to being a specialized nurse.

“I would hire any student that goes through the Bryant & Stratton program. This program is very intense and when you graduate you are ready to become a Certified Coding Associate.”

The two-year program includes courses in anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. Coding specialists also quickly become acquainted with a wide range of diseases and medical issues.

When these specialists assign a code to a case they rely on the doctor’s notes as well as the International Classification of Diseases to assign the correct number to the patients’ files for both diagnosis and procedures. An incorrect code can result in the insurance company denying the claim.

Weaver said the job requires tenacity and a love of research.

“There is a lot of reading and researching that goes into this each day while you are on the job. You learn so much about medical procedures you almost feel like you are a nurse,” Weaver said. “If I’m watching a medical drama on tv I can usually come up with the diagnosis before the tv doctors do.”

Many students, she said, find they flourish in the field. Coders who can process more charts than their employer’s daily quota often earn pay incentives, she said. As an additional benefit, a coding background can lead to other careers in the health industry.

Weaver said coding specialists can move on to become auditors, coordinators or instructors. Many hospitals allow their coding staff to work from home after a specific number of months of successful employment.

“It’s a big career,” Weaver said. “There are lots of opportunities. It’s not just sitting down and coding.”

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