5 Skills to Look for in a Medical Coder

Medical coders play an important role in a healthcare business as they are involved in revenue cycle management. Specifically, they are tasked to translate patients’ medical reports that are utilized by insurance companies to reimburse the provider. With a role as crucial as this, it is a must to hire medical coders possessing the adequate credentials to do their jobs effectively.

The Edge of Skills and Certifications

Education and certification are among the first things you should look for in an applicant. But nowadays, a college diploma or anything of the same regard may not be enough. They should also have at least six-month training experience or even better, a certification from accredited organizations like the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

When it comes to skills, on the other hand, the following are what your applicants should possess to ensure they can perform well on the job:

5 Top Skills of a Medical Coder

  1. Attention to detail

Since they will be working mainly in assigning alphanumeric codes to different medical procedures, diagnoses, and medications, having a strong attention to detail is a valuable skill a medical coder should have. A coder who is detail-oriented can easily identify the smallest differences between codes and will not be mixing them up, which if happens, is very dangerous to the patient.

Coders should also be able to handle various paperworks and documents without sacrificing quality.

  1. Knowledge and understanding of medical terminologies

Medical coding is not just a clerical job. It also requires coders to have extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, disease processes, pharmacology, the different classification systems, and more to be able to properly assign diagnostic and procedural codes to terminologies.

At the same time, they need to have expertise in various code sets for diseases and other medical ailments like the ICD-10. Each disease has its own unique ICD-10 code, and the codes are updated from time to time. As a result, medical coders need to keep abreast of the large number of current codes, and they need to be aware of any changes made.

  1. Computer literacy

To make coding more accurate and faster, medical coders now use coding software programs like Epic, Centricity, AdvancedMD, Homecare, Homebase, DrChrono, Nextivity and others to input correct procedure and diagnosis codes. Most healthcare facilities nowadays also have digital databases that medical coders should know how to navigate.

Not only do medical coders need to be familiarized with these programs, they must also be excellent in typing, preferably with 10-key speed and accuracy.

  1. Good communication and interpersonal skills

Since medical coders don’t often interact with other healthcare staff face-to-face, they need to have effective english communication skills and interpersonal skills to be able to communicate well with doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals, and discuss patient records effectively even through other channels.

This is important to assure that vital information doesn’t get lost in translation, may it be verbal,  written or computer-mediated.

  1. Ability to work independently

The nature of the job for medical coders does not require them to be always under close supervision of a manager. This is why they need to have the focus and drive to finish tasks on schedule even with the presence of distractions in the environment. Even without constant external feedback, they should maintain productivity and good performance during work hours.

By outsourcing this function with the right partner you’ll be able to build the right team of medical coders that can work with minimal supervision.

Building a Great Team

Not all medical coders are the same so it’s very important to carefully select those who have the right credentials and skills for the job. By doing this, you are assured of accurate reimbursements and documentation of patient care history. Incorrect coding can not only harm your business but patients’ lives as well.

Medical coding is a high priced job in most markets. In fact, according to data from the American Academy of Professional Coders, the average salary in the US of a medical coder is $54,890, 2019. 

But the right outsourcing partner with an excellent recruitment team will have access to world-class talents, increasing your chances of building a great medical coding team.

A trusted healthcare outsourcing partner can help you build a dedicated RCM team that can assure you of minimal denial and turnaround time for your claims while optimizing reimbursement. When it comes to healthcare, finding the right outsourcing partner can assist you whether they be growth, better productivity or simply bottom-line cost savings of up to 70%. ISO-certified, HIPAA- and GDPR-compliant are also crucial things to consider for a great partnership to secure your company and patient’s data.

Partnership with Infinit-O

Infinit-O’s mission is to create endless opportunities for your company to realize your full potential.

Infinit-O Key Benefits:

Below are some of the experts we can gather for the unique RCM and healthcare needs:

  • Medical Coders
  • Medical Billers
  • Clinical Abstractors
  • Patient Concierge
  • Medical Review Specialists
  • Care Navigators
  • Outbound/Inbound Collections
  • Other RCM Teams
  • Other Healthcare Support

Let’s work together to build a great, high-performing RCM Team

Start small. Exceed expectations. Think infinitely. Think Infinit-O.

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5 Skills to Look for in a Medical Coder

Medical coders play an important role in a healthcare business as they are involved in revenue cycle management. Specifically, they are tasked to translate patients’ medical reports that are utilized by insurance companies to reimburse the provider. With a role as crucial as this, it is a must to hire medical coders possessing the adequate credentials to do their jobs effectively.

The Edge of Skills and Certifications

Education and certification are among the first things you should look for in an applicant. But nowadays, a college diploma or anything of the same regard may not be enough. They should also have at least six-month training experience or even better, a certification from accredited organizations like the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

When it comes to skills, on the other hand, the following are what your applicants should possess to ensure they can perform well on the job:

5 Top Skills of a Medical Coder

  1. Attention to detail

Since they will be working mainly in assigning alphanumeric codes to different medical procedures, diagnoses, and medications, having a strong attention to detail is a valuable skill a medical coder should have. A coder who is detail-oriented can easily identify the smallest differences between codes and will not be mixing them up, which if happens, is very dangerous to the patient.

Coders should also be able to handle various paperworks and documents without sacrificing quality.

  1. Knowledge and understanding of medical terminologies

Medical coding is not just a clerical job. It also requires coders to have extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, disease processes, pharmacology, the different classification systems, and more to be able to properly assign diagnostic and procedural codes to terminologies.

At the same time, they need to have expertise in various code sets for diseases and other medical ailments like the ICD-10. Each disease has its own unique ICD-10 code, and the codes are updated from time to time. As a result, medical coders need to keep abreast of the large number of current codes, and they need to be aware of any changes made.

  1. Computer literacy

To make coding more accurate and faster, medical coders now use coding software programs like Epic, Centricity, AdvancedMD, Homecare, Homebase, DrChrono, Nextivity and others to input correct procedure and diagnosis codes. Most healthcare facilities nowadays also have digital databases that medical coders should know how to navigate.

Not only do medical coders need to be familiarized with these programs, they must also be excellent in typing, preferably with 10-key speed and accuracy.

  1. Good communication and interpersonal skills

Since medical coders don’t often interact with other healthcare staff face-to-face, they need to have effective english communication skills and interpersonal skills to be able to communicate well with doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals, and discuss patient records effectively even through other channels.

This is important to assure that vital information doesn’t get lost in translation, may it be verbal,  written or computer-mediated.

  1. Ability to work independently

The nature of the job for medical coders does not require them to be always under close supervision of a manager. This is why they need to have the focus and drive to finish tasks on schedule even with the presence of distractions in the environment. Even without constant external feedback, they should maintain productivity and good performance during work hours.

By outsourcing this function with the right partner you’ll be able to build the right team of medical coders that can work with minimal supervision.

Building a Great Team

Not all medical coders are the same so it’s very important to carefully select those who have the right credentials and skills for the job. By doing this, you are assured of accurate reimbursements and documentation of patient care history. Incorrect coding can not only harm your business but patients’ lives as well.

Medical coding is a high priced job in most markets. In fact, according to data from the American Academy of Professional Coders, the average salary in the US of a medical coder is $54,890, 2019. 

But the right outsourcing partner with an excellent recruitment team will have access to world-class talents, increasing your chances of building a great medical coding team.

A trusted healthcare outsourcing partner can help you build a dedicated RCM team that can assure you of minimal denial and turnaround time for your claims while optimizing reimbursement. When it comes to healthcare, finding the right outsourcing partner can assist you whether they be growth, better productivity or simply bottom-line cost savings of up to 70%. ISO-certified, HIPAA- and GDPR-compliant are also crucial things to consider for a great partnership to secure your company and patient’s data.

Partnership with Infinit-O

Infinit-O’s mission is to create endless opportunities for your company to realize your full potential.

Infinit-O Key Benefits:

Below are some of the experts we can gather for the unique RCM and healthcare needs:

  • Medical Coders
  • Medical Billers
  • Clinical Abstractors
  • Patient Concierge
  • Medical Review Specialists
  • Care Navigators
  • Outbound/Inbound Collections
  • Other RCM Teams
  • Other Healthcare Support

Let’s work together to build a great, high-performing RCM Team

Start small. Exceed expectations. Think infinitely. Think Infinit-O.

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