Coding Support Specialist

What is a Coding Support Specialist?

Coding support specialists work with medical files to ensure that the right medical codes are used when processing them. These codes specify how medical services are billed to insurance companies. Insurance providers then use these codes to determine how they’ll reimburse providers for their care. An incorrect code could lead to improper billing, which can result in the patient receiving a large bill for services that his or her insurance provider was ultimately responsible for.

This career is highly focused on file and data management. Coding support specialists apply the proper codes to key aspects of the patient’s file including their diagnoses, test results, medical treatments, physician recommendations, and more. This information is fed into electronic patient records and billing systems. As most hospitals and physicians’ offices transition from paper files to electronic files, these codes become essential for organizing, categorizing, and evaluating information both on small and large scales.

When proper coding is used, computers can better understand the information in a patient’s file. This can be used to better assess a facility’s success. Utilizing proper coding is key to better data management and healthcare analytics. Coding support specialists have an important role in the healthcare industry, working alongside physicians and other medical professionals to make sure their information is recorded and interpreted properly.

Job Responsibilities

  • Maintaining medical records
  • Assigning codes to medical terminology
  • Working with coding software
  • Keeping up with coding classifications
  • Reviewing changes to medical records
  • Generating medical reports
  • Submitting insurance claims

Coding Support Specialists: Career Outlook

Employment of medical records specialists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 15,000 openings for medical records specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

An increasing share of the population is entering older age groups, which typically require more medical services. In addition, there is a growing prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. As a result, more medical records specialists will be needed to translate patient information and services delivered into standardized codes to be used for insurance reimbursement and other purposes.

What Can I Do With a Medical Reimbursement and Coding Degree?

There are many job titles for coding support specialists. With a medical reimbursement and coding associate degree, you’re likely equipped for a variety of positions in this area. With your knowledge of coding practices, you’ll be able to manage records for health registrars, hospitals, research facilities, and more. As you’re conducting your job search, keep an eye out for careers such as:

  • Clinical documentation integrity specialist
  • Medical coding specialist
  • Billing/coding specialist
  • Charge entry support specialist
  • Risk adjustment coding specialist
  • Certified coding specialist

For more insights into career opportunities with a degree in medical reimbursement and coding, check out the business degrees section of our blog. You’ll find a wealth of information to help you plan your future career.

Additional Training/Requirements

If you’re interested in becoming a coding support specialist, you’ll need some postsecondary education. The medical reimbursement and coding associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College is ideal for a career in this field. This degree program features 60 credit hours that include courses on electronic health records, procedural coding, ICD diagnostic coding, clinical documentation, and more. This program meets the standards of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Some employers require job applicants to carry relevant certification for this job. The Medical Reimbursement and Coding degree prepares students for the AHIMA CCS – P Certification.

Employment Settings

Most coding support specialists work in hospitals and physicians’ offices. Here, these professionals are responsible for inputting information relevant to each visit, submitting claims to insurance companies, and keeping medical records well-organized. Some coding support specialists also work in professional or research facilities. Here, they’re responsible for helping scientists and analysts gather information relevant to specific diseases, medications, symptoms, or demographics.

Coding support specialists typically work at a desk and spend most of their day on a computer. This is especially true in offices that rely entirely on electronic health records. Those in a hospital or physician’s office may have patient contact and assist with making appointments and checking patients in. In a research facility, you’ll find a quieter environment.

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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