As the U.S. population ages, demand for health services grows. In turn, so does the business of health care. One of the most essential jobs—medical coding—is expected to increase by 15% in the coming years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Anytime a patient visits a doctor’s office or hospital, the diagnoses, procedures, and services must be tracked for record keeping and insurance billing purposes. A medical coder records the visit using a set of standardized codes known as International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).
Medical coding ensures proper recording of patient medical conditions, verification of physician services and appropriate reimbursement by insurers for those services. Because the ICD-10 codes are standard, the data can be used to monitor trends in public health, track provider performance, and understand patient medical history.
So, why is there a shortage?
In short, ICD-10. In 2015, the national coding system transitioned from ICD-9 to ICD-10. This was the most significant coding change in 30 years. ICD-10 uses more than 140,000 codes, compared to 17,000 codes used in ICD-9.
This change has led to a decrease in productivity for medical coders struggling to learn ICD-10 and has opened up doors for anyone interested in starting a new career path.
What’s the good news?
You don’t need a four-year college degree! Knowledge of the medical industry and a certification are all that’s needed to begin a career in medical coding. Towson University offers a Certified Medical Coding course that allows students to get certified and begin a career in medical coding in as little as seven months.
Related post: Top Reasons to Pursue a Career in Medical Coding
Why Towson University?
- Instructors: Our instructors work in the medical coding field, are passionate about their work, and, most importantly, know ICD-10.
- Certification Exam: The cost of the class includes sitting for the Certified Professional Coder exam.
Our next instructor-led Certified Medical Coding course begins soon.