What is a Medical Coder – 2020 Guide

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Medical coders are a key piece of the healthcare system that ensures that every person treating a specific patient is on the same page when it comes to their healthcare. Most people don’t know anything about medical coders, or about how important coders are for the healthcare system. In this article, we’ll help you understand more about the role of a medical coder.

What is a Medical Coder?

At its core, a medical code expert is a sort of translator. Rather than translating languages, however, coders translate patient files into codes that are universally understandable to insurance companies. It’s the coder that ensures that insurance companies are billed properly and that everyone from doctors to your insurance knows exactly what procedure you’re having.

This is because everything that is relevant to a patient is recorded and coded, including all that healthcare workers need to know (from what supplies were used to what the diagnosis is, to anything possibly unusual that happened during the visit). Common language isn’t exact enough to treat a patient properly and give the insurance company the exact process, which is why the codes are used.

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What is a Medical Coder?

Medical coders are different from medical billers. A medical biller will work to process insurance claims and follow up on them. They don’t determine codes; they just record them. A medical coder works to translate information from diagnoses, procedures, and equipment usage into codes that are used universally.

What don’t coders do?

Coders translate procedures and equipment into universal codes. They don’t, however, write code associated with computer programming, nor do they handle the technological aspects of record keeping. They don’t maintain medical records or have anything to do with ensuring the protection of patient records.

Where do coders work?

Coders work in hospitals, of course, but they can also work in any other place that provides medical services. That means that they can be seen in clinics, nursing care facilities, nursing homes, treatment centers, and anywhere else that might require healthcare. Insurance companies may even employ a medical coder to ensure that patient claims are handled properly. This ensures that all incoming claims are accurate and that there are no potential instances of fraud.

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Certifications

To be a medical coder, everyone goes through the same type of education. This is because the job duties of a coder are the same regardless of where they work. Even so, coders can choose to pursue a specific concentration. For example, there is the intro level certification that certifies all medical coders. There are then specific certifications that might be useful depending on where the coder wants to work.

What makes a good coder?

Anyone can be a good medical coder, which is part of the reason why this is such a desired job. Still, it helps if coders have a strong sense of ethics since they are dealing with patient data that is highly confidential. An eye for detail will help too, since even small mistakes can be problematic if an incorrect code is input. A medical coder has to stay focused, since sometimes the repetitive work can start to feel a bit too draining and mechanical.

Coding Skills

What skills do coders need to be good at their job? Medical coders may not be working directly with patients, but they do need to have a knowledge of anatomy and need to be aware of how to perform clinical documentation and outpatient coding. A medical coder requires good attention to detail, good time management skills, and organization. Working adults and people with family obligations will find that coding is a great job for its flexibility.

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Medical Coding in Court

Whether you’re a plaintiff who was injured or a medical professional or institution, a expert witness will be required to verify your medical coding in court. The experts at EvolvMD, Inc. can examine the facts of your case like medical records or be a witness that testifies. EvolvMD, Inc. can also prepare written statements, create models, and prepare other visual aids that help your case in court.

Depending on the jurisdiction, a medical expert may be based on personal experience that they have worked on in the field. Their academic studies may also be a factor along with their medical publications. Your medical expert should be able to analyze the technical language and terminology.

Therefore, someone without any medical training won’t be able to understand the main issues of your case. Your medical expert witness needs to be able to express their opinions with “reasonable medical certainty” that way their opinion will be considered “expert”. An expert medical witness will also need to aid the judge or jury to reach a more valid decision about the facts of the case than they would with the opinion of an expert medical witness. Therefore, the opinion of an expert medical witness can be extremely useful in numerous ways in the court system.

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Medical Malpractice Claims

The list of professionals that can serve as a medical expert witness is endless. Any expert who has extensive knowledge in the medical field can be relevant to your case and will be able to bolster the credibility of your argument in court. Although, a case may require a medical expert witness who has experience in a specific department such as hospital administrator, department chief, medical school professor, physician assistant, nurse, or hospice. Depending on the case, you may have to hire multiple experts who belong to different departments.

Nonetheless, when you need a medical expert witness visit EvolvMd, Inc. Such professionals have expertise in various fields throughout the medical industry.

Conclusion

Medical coding is a key skill that ensures that every person receives the medical care they need and that everyone involved is billed for the proper amount. A medical code expert can be qualified within 9 months, and can be a part of the process of translating everything from treatments to diagnoses for insurance companies to help with patient care.

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