The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted 37,000 new medical coding jobs between 2020 and 2030.
This means a 9% growth!
This also means hospitals and RCM service providers will be hiring coders for the coming 7 years.
With Medical coding evolving and health tech taking the front foot, Coders are not employees who assign codes.
Sherine Koshy, senior director of health information management at Penn Medicine says “There are so many things that [a] coder has to remember today… And so having technology helps ease some of that, so that we won’t lose revenue. We’re here going to make sure that you are becoming more of an auditor in this job, more than just a coder.”
For instance, 5 years ago, medical coders were not required to be technically sound, but now they are.
Coders need the following skills to excel in 2023.
Attention to detail
Attention to detail is critical to allocating proper alphanumeric codes to diagnostic medical procedures.
Reading the prescription wrong or misinterpreting the chart leads to a huge financial loss for the service provider. Ensuring that each payment detail corresponds to the record fed into the system also requires high accuracy.
Attention to detail reduces error rates, and so the financial losses to the provider and the patient.
The use of AI-based tools and software at every step of the coding process is now becoming a norm.
Patient records are now maintained digitally using EHR (Electronic Health Record) system. EHR automates access to patient information to streamline the hospital’s workflow and provides data to coders to carry out the coding cycle.
Coding tools like Medicodio make it easier for the coder to find the right codes. This saves time in looking for the code corresponding to each procedure.
Here is a 4-point list, medical coders can master themselves:
- Microsoft Office
- ICD-10-CM & CPT navigation tool
- Healthcare systems for billing and coding
- Document management software
A coder’s work does not end with knowing about and staying abreast of all coding updates.
They need to have intermediate knowledge of medical procedures, pharmacology, disease process, and clinical anatomy. This enables them to understand the charts and then apply the right ICD and CPT guidelines and codes.
The bottom line: Coders cannot do their job if they do not understand medical terminology!
Analytical and evaluation skills
Though soft skills, they enable the coder to understand and identify illnesses, symptoms, diagnoses, procedures, and treatments to assign codes. Sometimes, multiple codes can be assigned to a single procedure; it is the coder’s analytical and evaluation capabilities that come into play here.
Coders deal with high-volume of information in the form of medical records, codes, invoices, and insurance details every day. Organization skills help coders manage large amounts of data, process the given charts timely, and assist with troubleshooting as a part of their workday.
Medicodio is an AI-powered coding tool that reduces medical coding costs and improves efficiency by up to 45%. A great fit for RCM companies and hospital billing departments, Codio suggests medical codes (CPT, ICD10, HCPCS, modifiers) by reading patient demographic info from EHR systems and Physician Notes/Chart. After the medical coder makes a selection from the list of suggested codes, CODIO sends your codes to the billing system.