Medical Coding Specialist/Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Medical Coding Specialists review medical documents provided by Physicians and other healthcare providers and translates this into numeric codes. The Coding Specialist assigns codes to procedures and diagnosis using a universally recognized coding system.
  • The reimbursement to the healthcare provider is dependent on the diagnostic and procedural codes assigned. Knowledge of both the medical and business sides of healthcare make this an interesting profession.
  • These entry-level Medical Coding Specialists work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, Physician practice groups, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, and home healthcare agencies.
  • They are also employed by consulting firms, coding and billing services, insurance companies, governmental agencies and computer software companies.
  • They work in office environments using medical records and computer.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Some would like more patient contact.
  • There is sometimes frustration with expectations of speed and accuracy.

Getting Started

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High School Courses

  • High school students should study Health, biology and computer courses.
  • Volunteer/paid healthcare experiences would help with entry employment.

Education and Training

Method of Entry

  • A high school diploma or equivalent is required.
  • Medical Coding Specialists complete a technical diploma program usually at a technical college.
  • Individuals may become Certified by passing examinations offered by the American Health Professional Coders (AAPC)or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Professional Organizations

American Academy of Professional Coders
2233 S Presidents Dr., Suite F
Salt Lake City, UT, 84120
800/626-2633 (CODE) or 801/236-2200
www.aapc.com/

American Health Information Management Association
233 N. Michigan Ave., 21st Floor
Chicago, IL, 60601-5809
312/233-1100 or 800/335-5535
www.ahima.org

Medical Billing & Coding
281/846-3081
www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/

Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists
218 E. Bearss Ave. #354
Tampa, FL, 33613
888/708-4707
www.pahcs.org/

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 5,220
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 188,600
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 217,600
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 15%
Expected Annual Openings: 7,120
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $36,990

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.

  • Medical Coding Specialists work a 40- hour week.
  • Part-time employment can be an available option.
  • This is an entry-level exposure that can lead a person to pursue many other areas of healthcare.
  • Potential occupations with this training: Medical Coding Specialist, Coding Specialist, Coder, Claims Analyst, or Outpatient Coder.
  • Without further education, advancement opportunity is limited.