What is medical coding?
By definition, it’s the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. In simpler terms, a medical coder translates your medical records into standardized codes that insurance companies use to determine how much they reimburse a doctor’s office or hospital.
Why choose a career in medical coding?
- Demand is very high: Coders are crucial to their healthcare employer’s bottom line. A federally mandated upgrade to the coding system to ICD-10 has led to a shortage in medical coders. Towson University’s Certified Medical Coding course teaches the new standard ICD-10. After completing the course and successfully passing the exam, you’ll be prepared to handle all the new measurements.
- Job growth: This is a big one! Over the next 5 years, medical coding jobs are expected to increase by 22%. This is much faster than average with 30,000 more new jobs added for the ten year period 2014–2024.
- Earning potential: Maryland ranks as one of the top paying states for medical coders with an hourly wage of $21.96 and an annual wage of $45,670. In Greater Baltimore, the average salary grows to $22.49 an hour. Moreover, the Baltimore/Towson area ranks among the highest employment levels in metropolitan areas in the US.
- Flexible work schedule: A growing number of health care providers are choosing to outsource their medical coding workload. For fully trained medical coders, this allows opportunity to build thriving, at-home businesses. It also allows stay-at-home parents to earn extra income while working a schedule based on family needs and priorities. This allows medical coders to set their own hours. Depending on the client and the project, individuals can determine which tasks must be done during regular business hours.
- Cost effective education/training: No degree is required! Medical coders should take a professional course like the one offered by Towson University Center for Professional Studies and take the certification exam to be certified by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the governing body of medical coders. Additionally, medical coders should become a member of AAPC.
- Job listings: There are dozens of job boards that aggregate listings for healthcare jobs. Several are dedicated to medical billers and coders who have obtained their credentials. These online resources, such as AAPC, AHIMA, and AHCC can help you find roles that match your professional needs.
If your goal is to become a nationally certified medical coder, then Towson University’s Certified Medical Coding course will get you there. As a result, at the completion of this 92 hour course, students can sit for the AAPC certification examination right here at Towson University.