The coding specialist reviews medical documentation provided by physicians and other health care providers and translates this into numeric codes. The coding specialist assigns and sequences diagnostic and procedural codes using universally recognized coding systems.
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The coding specialist is a key member of the health care team. Reimbursement to the health care provider is often dependent on the diagnostic and procedural codes assigned. Knowledge of both the medical and business sides of health care make this an interesting profession. Medical coding specialists should possess the ability to be precise and detail-oriented and the ability to adhere to standards and guidelines.
Coding specialists work in health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics, physician practice groups, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, and home health care agencies. Coding specialists are also employed by consulting firms, coding and billing services, insurance companies, governmental agencies and computer software companies. Medical coding specialists work in an office environment using medical records and computers. Full- and part-time employment opportunities are available.
High school students should study health, biology and computer courses. A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Formal programs are offered at vocational/technical schools. Course work may include medical terminology, body structure and function, pathophysiology, and medical coding. Individuals may become certified by passing examinations offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
Blackhawk Technical College
Bryant-Stratton College - Bayshore
Bryant-Stratton College - Wauwatosa
Fox Valley Technical College
Herzing University - Brookfield
Herzing University - Kenosha
Herzing University - Madison
Lakeshore Technical College
Madison Area Technical College
Mid-State Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Moraine Park Technical College - Fond du Lac
Northcentral Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Rasmussen College - Appleton Campus
Rasmussen College - Green Bay Campus
Rasmussen College - Wausau Campus
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
University of Wisconsin - Marshfield
Waukesha County Technical College
Western Technical College
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - Ashland
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - New Richmond
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - Rice Lake
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College - Superior
American Academy of Professional Coders
2233 S Presidents Dr., Suite F
Salt Lake City, UT, 84120
800/626-2633 (CODE) or 801/236-2200
American Health Information Management Association
233 N. Michigan Ave., 21st Floor
Chicago, IL, 60601-5809
312/233-1100 or 800/335-5535
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