Medical Coding Automation
Automation is, to many workers, a looming threat to various industries. There is a fear that many workers will lose their jobs to technology which can do it in their place—in some cases, regrettably, even better. A good example is the threat to their livelihood that truck drivers are facing in the wake of a new era of self-driving cars. These cars are safer, able to commute longer without succumbing to fatigue and cost less to keep in operation.
Medical coding is a category of work that many workers have felt the creep of technology on. If the work requires precision, detail and systematizing, it surely is a prime candidate for automation. Luckily—like with many jobs regarding automation, this is not the case. Yes, while basic functions can be sourced to machines to do the heavy lifting, there will be an even greater need for highly skilled work that cannot be entrusted to machines or requires more complex discretion. In other words, human judgment is still far more adaptable than AI technology is when knowing how to be flexible on a case by case basis. AI shines best when jobs can be reduced to simple cases that have predictable alternatives.
Computerized systems, even to this day, do not run without supervision. Skilled medical coders who can audit what the machine inputs into the software will be even more necessary going forward. Additionally, consider that despite the fact that health documentation can be inputted into software through automation, this does not change the fact that the source material comes from humans, who do make errors. If the documentation by a doctor is incomplete or has an error, then the information that is being automated is already being done so with a mistake as its foundation.
Becoming a Medical Coder
If you are interested in a position within the medical industry but not working directly with the patient’s medical needs, you might be interested in medical billing. Medical billers and coders are tasked with processing the health insurance claims that they receive from various medical practices—such as doctor’s offices, hospitals or outpatient clinics. Medical coders have a day to day responsibility to use a coding system, such as CPT codes to label what services were rendered to a patient so that they can be adequately billed for in a precise manner.
These codes are entered into patient’s electronic health records (EHR) or in offices that have yet to adopt EHR, they are kept as paperwork. Insurance claims are entered into specialized billing software and then claims are reviewed to ensure accuracy. Additionally, medical coders may need to follow up with insurers to address any issues regarding late payments. Interacting with patients and answering any questions they may have regarding insurance will also be a responsibility.
How Long Does Medical Coding Certification Take?
Many medical coding/billing certificate programs can be undertaken and completed in under a year, some certifications online can take as little as 4 months or. On the contrary, you can obtain a 2 or 4-year degree which more broadly covers medical administration.
The type of position you can get depends on which certification you choose, some certifications can prepare you for roles specific to a certain discipline—such as a physicians office. Many certification programs are actually courses that are more akin to prep work to pass the certification exam. The AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) offers highly respected certifications. Of the medical coding certs that are offered, the most popular ones are as follows:
- CPC: Certified Professional Coder
- CPC-H: Certified Professional Coder-Hospital Outpatient
- CPC-P: Certified Professional Coder-Payer
- CIRCC: Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder
Professional Medical Billing Services
The Psych Biller has years of medical billing/coding experience. Our professional remote billing will streamline your office’s medical administration duties so that you can give your time to the most pressing matters at hand. Our team is comprised of highly qualified medical coders who have undergone the necessary education to provide prompt and accurate service. Visit our contact page or give us a call at (800)-955-3461 to get in touch with our team of experts!