Unlock the Full Potential of a Medical Coder
A medical coder transforms healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. Those codes are taken from medical record documentation, such as physician’s notes, laboratory and radiologic results, etc., to be paid by insurance carriers and government payers. Medical coders check the medical chart to ensure the codes are correct and clearly reflect the services rendered according to the documentation. There is a direct correlation between code choice and physician reimbursement.
Many hospitals and physician practices require medical coders to obtain certification. Their average pay for a Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) is as high as $52,7441, depending on the number of credentials and experience. They earn 21 percent more than those without certification.
An experienced certified medical coder develops skills and knowledge that are valuable in many healthcare business roles, which may include practice management, medical auditing, compliance, documentation improvement, education, and more.
If you find an area of coding you are especially good at or have expertise in, you can pursue specialty medical coding certification, which solidifies your coding know-how in specialties from obstetrics/gynecology and family practice to vascular and ear, nose, and throat specialties. With specialty certifications, you become an asset to specialty physicians who code their unique services.
Your Coding Knowledge Can Unlock Other Career Doors
Other professional career options that can branch off from having expertise in medical coding:
- Medical Biller – Certified Professional Biller (CPB™). Average pay is $52,037, depending on credentials and years of experience.
- Inpatient Hospital/Facility Coder – Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC™). Average pay is $49,713, depending on credentials and experience.
- Outpatient Ambulatory Coder – Certified Outpatient Coder (COC™). Average pay is $60,806, depending on credentials and experience.
- Risk Adjustment Coder – Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC™). Average pay is $62,310, depending on credentials and experience.
- Medical Record Auditor – Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA®). Average pay is $64,634, depending on credentials and experience.
- Compliance Officer – Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO™). Average pay is $73,726, depending on credentials and experience.
- Practice Manager – Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM®). Average pay is $68,153, depending on credentials and experience.
- Physician, Staff, and Coding Educator – AAPC Certified Professional Coding – Instructor (CPC-I). Average pay is $74,890, depending on credentials and experience.
You also have the potential to work from home or become a consultant who helps physicians improve their revenue cycle, as well as advises on compliance issues. There is also the option to become a subject matter expert (SME), where you become the go-to person for all things coding.
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AAPC's annual salary survey gives a good understanding of the earning potential within the medical coding profession.
See what actually is going on in the healthcare business job market.