Four Reasons to Consider the Medical Coding Profession
By Elyse Hartman
The American economy has created a truly diverse workplace. Tall buildings and cubicles are no longer the benchmark, in fact, home offices constructed to provide services via Internet and telecommunication connections are becoming more popular than ever.
This creates a wonderful opportunity for women who are looking for a chance to make a good income and have the option of working from home. An occupation that allows a woman to have both is the medical coding profession, which involves organizing and maintaining medical information.
While weighing her options about what career path to follow, here are four reasons why medical coding should be at the top the list:
1. The jobs are definitely there.
The healthcare industry is growing and some parts are moving faster than others. A quick look at the figures tells the rising story of medical coding. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has rated the job outlook for 2010 – 2020 to be faster than average. There is a possibility of even greater job growth as the graying of America makes the need for accurate medical records even more important.
2. The training doesn’t take years.
Most medical coding training courses take under a year to complete. There is no need for prior work experience in a related job and there are a number of online training programs available, particularly those offered by the AAPC and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This occupation rewards those who obtain Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) status with higher pay and there are opportunities to study for this credential, as well as others in the field, allowing an individual to gradually advance their career.
3. It pays well.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics places the median pay for medical coders at approximately $32,350 per year which could be more depending on where the medical coder lives. This means that a medical coding job, which ordinarily takes less than a year to be trained in, will definitely pay the bills. Those who are willing to follow a path of lifelong learning and continue to gain professional credentials can expect to make even more as the years go by.
4. It’s made for the home-based worker.
Telecommunications and computer technology make medical coding a natural choice for home-based work. Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s important to have a couple years of experience in a hospital or healthcare environment to better understand the field and develop contacts that will eventually turn into paying clients. Credentialing is extremely important because very few people will contract with a non-certified medical coder. There are also some upfront costs such as coding books and software. Nevertheless, an experienced medical coder can setup a home-based business rather quickly and be quite successful in a short period of time.
The importance of medical coding cannot be overlooked. Medical coders are responsible for the categorizing of information so that billing is done on the correct procedures. It is a field growing in importance as the need for accurate records in healthcare become more and more essential. This is also an occupation that is becoming more professionally oriented. In other words, medical coding is not just a clerical job. A woman can easily work as a medical coder from her home while making excellent wages and playing a critical role in the healthcare industry. It is a profession that does not require years of difficult training and is definitely an option worth considering.
This guest post was contributed by Elyse Hartman, who manages an educational website about the medical coding profession.