4 Challenges Of Medical Coding And Why It’s Worth The Effort

Nothing worth doing is ever all that easy. Medical coding, which is the system used for medical and billing purposes in healthcare, is no exception. It’s a challenging career path that demands a tremendous amount of attention to detail. You must have a regimented commitment to mastering the craft. However, if you’re willing to go the length, you’ll find a stable and stimulating job waiting for you on the other side. And now, thanks to modern technologies like Hiteks’ ICD-10 compliant ConcurDI Real-Time Medical Documentation Improvement Software, equipped with Case Mix Index Optimization capacities and a Medical Diagnosis Calculator that can automatically calculate the risk adjustment factor score on a case-by-case basis, coding is easier than ever. There’s never been a better time to be a coder. But before you jump into the deep end, here are a few things you need to know about the job.

Distinguishing grey areas:

One of the trickiest aspects of the job is applying a binary mindset to complex scenarios. Rarely is a patient’s condition as simple as it looks on paper. The coder’s job is to take a vague collection of symptoms, medical history and past treatments. The coder then has to translate that into a concrete collection of codes. Then they send that translation to the billing department for processing. These are the kinds of things that require the presence of a trained professional to apply reason where there is nuance.

Learning the codes:

ICD-10, in the United States, has over 70,000 separate codes. That number will likely increase within the next couple months. Hence why training to become a medical coder takes longer than just a single course. Instead, it’s a two year immersion in medical terminology and the adjacent coding that goes with it. It can be fascinating for those interested in medicine, but it is not an endeavor to be taken lightly.

Immaculate attention to detail:

The hardest phase is the beginning, when you’re still familiarizing yourself with the codes and terminology while also having to think critically so that you can organize them accordingly. It’s enjoyable working to solve the puzzle. The process of combining different information drawn from descriptions and doctors’ notes, ultimately arriving at a final code is stimulating. Just keep in mind that it will be a bit tricky in the beginning.

Keeping up on changes:

Understanding an assortment of codes, conditions, anatomy, and other technical terminology is difficult. The fact that it is in constant evolution adds an additional obstacle. ICD-10 codes are regulated and updated practically every year. That creates a wide margin for human error. This is why the assistance of Hiteks’ Real-Time software can make such a significant difference for all parties involved. With our software, coders will be able to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. This will cut out the margin for human error and speed up the process.

Coding is for those who have an interest in working in the medical industry and have a knack for detail. It’s a great line of work and it has never been a more accessible career than in 2016. To learn more about how Hiteks is changing how we think of medical coding, give us a call today at 212-920-0929.

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