Back to Basics: What Is Medical Coding?
Every now and then, it’s helpful to go back to the basics. After all, as Benjamin Franklin once said, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Have you considered making an investment in your medical coding and medical billing knowledge? Whether you’re new to the industry or you simply need a fresh reminder on what medical coding is all about, this blog post is for you.
In honor of fresh starts, let’s take a look at what medical coding is, what medical coding education options are out there.
What Is Medical Coding?
Often, Wikipedia is the best source for basic descriptions and in this case, it’s no different. Here’s how the site describes medical coding:
“A (medical) coder – also known as clinical coding officer, diagnostic coder, medical coder, nosologist or medical records technician – is a health information professional whose main duties are to analyse clinical statements and assign standard codes using a classification system. The data produced are an integral part of health information management, and are used by local and national governments, private healthcare organizations and international agencies for various purposes, including medical and health services research, epidemiological studies, health resource allocation, case mix management, public health programming, medical billing and public education.”
Now that you know what medical coding is, let’s take a look at education options.
Medical Coding Education Options
There are three main options for getting a medical coding or medical billing education:
- College/university: An 18-week course that prepares you for the medical coding certification exam. Located on-site at the college or university.
- 3-day course: A three-day course that prepares you for the medical coding certification exam. Usually on-site in Dallas or another U.S. location.
- Online course: An online course that lets you take anywhere from four to six months to complete the classes and prepare for the medical coding exam.
The first option requires more time and is more expensive, while the latter two are quicker and more convenient. Which you choose is up to you.