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Every time you go to the doctor, your information goes through the hands of a coding support specialist. These key professionals are responsible for translating some of those seemingly illegible physician scribbles into critical data that’s used by your medical team, hospital, insurance provider, and more. Collecting, organizing, and translating medical data is important for everything from medical billing to clinical research. Coding support specialists play an important role in evaluating medical data and translating it into the proper codes for various medical and analytics programs.
If you’re interested in the healthcare field but you’d prefer a job behind a desk to one in the exam room, this could be the perfect career for you. You’ll get to dive into clinical data and turn it into organized files. Working closely with patients, physicians, and insurance companies, you’ll have a key role in keeping the healthcare facility running smoothly.
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.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical records and health information technicians are expected to see a 13 percent increase in job opportunities over the 2016 to 2026 decade. This is nearly twice as fast as the national average, which is about (7%) seven percent anticipated growth for all US occupations.
As more facilities adopt medical health records, there will be a growing need for educated coding support specialists who know how to maintain these types of files. The aging baby boomer generation is also expected to increase the job growth in this area. As aging citizens require more healthcare services, there will be an increased need for support specialists to keep their records organized.
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.
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.
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:
Please note that all information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a guarantee of employment opportunities in any field and should be used to gauge general opportunities only.
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.