What does a Medical Coder do?

Medical coding is the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. A medical coder is responsible for assigning the correct code to describe the type of service a patient will receive. They ensure the codes are applied correctly during the medical billing process, which includes removing the information from documentation, assigning the appropriate codes, and creating a claim to be paid by insurance carriers. Medical coders work in hospitals, clinics, and physicians' offices.

A certificate or associate's degree in medical coding or a related field is required for a medical coder position. This is an entry-level position and successful medical coders possess a solid foundation of anatomy and physiology and excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Assign codes to diagnoses and procedures, using ICD (International Classification of Diseases) and CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes
  • Ensure codes are accurate and sequenced correctly in accordance with government and insurance regulations
  • Follow up with the provider on any documentation that is insufficient or unclear
  • Communicate with other clinical staff regarding documentation
  • Search for information in cases where the coding is complex or unusual
  • Receive and review patient charts and documents for accuracy
  • Review the previous day's batch of patient notes for evaluation and coding
  • Ensure that all codes are current and active
  • Associate's Degree in Medical coding or successful completion of a certification program
  • Strong knowledge of anatomy, physiology and medical terminology
  • Excellent typing and 10-key speed and accuracy
  • Commitment to a high level of customer service
  • Superior mathematical skills
  • Familiarity with ICD-9 codes and procedures
  • Solid oral and written communication skills
  • Working knowledge of medical jargon and anatomy preferred
  • Able to work independently

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
32%
2 - 4
46%
5 - 7
3%
8+
19%

Common Skill Sets

CPT Coding
HCPCS
Excellent Organizational
Releases
HIPAA
Excellent Communication
Microsoft Word
Written Communication

Medical Coder Seniority Levels

L2
Medical Coder
$41,634/yr
L4
Medical Coder IV
No Salary Reports
Epic Analyst
9% made the transition
Accounts Receivable Specialist
22% made the transition
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Medical Coder Salaries

Average Base Pay

$41,634 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$28K
Median: $42K
$62K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

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