Medical Coding use to be just that. It used to be coding medical records based on what was documented by the provider. In recent years since the inception of EMR (electronic medical records) and ICD-10, the duties of a coder have changed and will continue to do so.
“Medical Coders are billers. Billers are Medical Coders.” Regardless of your job title or what you think you should be doing. The truth of the matter is Billers have to add modifiers, rebill claims with correct codes and sometimes review documentation to meet medical necessity. At the same time, Coders have to know what Codes to use with different Payers for example G Codes with Medicare.
Medical Coders have to know more about Compliance now more than ever. Medical Coders are responsible for knowing everything that is related to the Specialty they code. Coders cannot use Ignorance as an excuse to escape fraud or abuse allegations.
Medical Coders should have a basic understanding of denials and the appeals process. Medical Coders should be very familiar with Anatomy and Physiology as well as Medical Terminology in order to educate providers as needed as well as when to query him or her for clarification.
Medical Coders must be willing to thoroughly search the medical documentation in order to code to the highest level of specificity. Medical Coders have always had to be detail oriented but now more so because of words that are spelled similar possibly with only a one letter difference.
Medical Coders in a lot of ways play an Auditing role since most Physicians code their own records if they use an EMR. Medical Coders must be able to verify the code the Provider used, add modifiers and anything else that might have been missed.
As Medical Coders responsibilities continue to evolve, Coders must remain flexible and educated on what is happening in the health care industry. It is a necessity to read every credible source on your specialty.