Medical coding is a critical part of any healthcare industry. But we also have to accept that medical coders are crucial role players in coding the claims of patients and hospitals. However, their role is misunderstood as coding only, this is so untrue. The role of medical coders is not just limited to coding. The job of a medical coder can vary and increase as per the requirement or based on the size of the facility. The healthcare industry cannot function without them; they are the real stars in the healthcare industry.
Here are some of the non-coding activities that are done by medical coders:
Medical coders are the best person that can teach or help people in the healthcare industry and insurance industry about medical coding standards and guidelines. Even doctors and admin executives are also mentored and coached by medical coders to gain insightful information about claims and coding.
Medical coding does not mean that the coder is in a beneficial position. It does not mean that the coder’s job is easy and they are on cloud seven. Instead, they have to learn new codes and periodic coding tables again and again. This is because coding guidelines always get changed in a certain span of time. Learning new codes, and surplus guidelines and teaching or training the same in different healthcare industries is one of the most important jobs of a medical coder. Inappropriate medical coding means claims denial which is not appreciated by medical facilities and practitioners.
Managing denials and underpaid claims are again one of the most critical responsibilities of a medical coder. They are instructed to handle denials along with the billing team. Senior coders are a part of the denial management team as well. If any claim is getting rejected repeatedly even after multiple checks of codes, the role of the medical coder is to check with insurance about if the codes are correct.
Now when the coder is appreciated with good coding skills, managing denials, and sound insurance knowledge, they are more applauded. They are ready to gain other learning like state and federal laws, HIPAA rules, policies, and other standards to avoid errors in operations.
We often appreciate and applaud pharmacists for understanding the medicines that doctors prescribe. They very well understand what doctors write. However, medical coders should not be forgotten. The coders should be appreciated for understanding what the doctor has prescribed, be it tests or any procedure.
Apart from these, the coders have the burden of remembering case studies, procedures, treatments, surgeries, and codes. Coders are from a science background and are an important part of the healthcare industry. Coders should not be misunderstood in that they do not need any training and know everything, they can also discuss some topics. With numerous responsibilities and roles, coders are the real superheroes of the healthcare industry.