Category: Health Care

Medical Coding Career & Jobs Opportunities

Medical Coding Career & Jobs Opportunities

Medical coding is a rapidly growing field in the healthcare industry which converts documents from medical records, such as lab and radiologic results and doctor notes, into universal alphanumeric codes that indicate the diagnosis, treatment, operation, service, or equipment.

The field is extremely popular in worldwide marketplaces, and the need for medical coding professionals is gradually expanding around the world. The COVID-19 situation has drastically changed how healthcare is delivered, necessitating effective revenue cycle management. Medical coding has become an increasingly important aspect of the system, demanding the addition of more professionals along the healthcare continuum. Furthermore, the medical coding industry was worth USD 15.2 billion in 2019 which is expected to grow at a 9.6% CAGR between 2020 – 2030 and hence the sector is likely to expand gradually.

Medical coding is a thriving career route for anyone looking to advance their career. With short courses, getting started in medical coding takes less time. Quadra Plus in Dubai prepares candidates at a global level by providing a training program for certifications such as CPC® (Certified Professional Coder) offered by AAPC’s (American Academy of Professional Coders), Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). These certifications are recognized as gold standards in medical coding. This training would be the start of your medical coding profession.

If you’re thinking about a career in medical coding, here’s how you can learn more about the Medical Coding Career Path and the options available.

Role of a Medical Coder

A medical coder is essentially a translator. The medical coder goes over the patient’s file, converting everything to the universal codes required by insurance companies. It is the obligation of the medical coder to guarantee that the correct code is used every time. Moreover, in order to have a better understanding of the human body, medical coders must be familiar with anatomy and physiology. To understand legal concepts such as fraud and confidentiality, medical ethics is a must to study.

Career Benefits as A Medical Coder

Highly Rewarding:

Medical coder holds significant importance in healthcare as their contributions are critical to maintaining patient care continuity, which affects patient outcomes. It’s an excellent career path in terms of job demand and the financial security that an in-demand profession offers. Advancement opportunities as certified auditors, documentation specialists, and compliance officers increase income potential even more.

Rapidly Growing Industry:

The healthcare sector is a fast-paced world that is directly influenced by Research & Development, which increases the advent of innovative technologies and electronic health records (EHRs), promising a profitable career for new graduates and other professionals.

Dynamic Workplace:

Medical coders can work remotely because they have no direct contact with the patient. Moreover, you can work in hospitals, clinics, support centers, testing labs, and other medical establishments comfortably in 9-5 type shifts. As a result, every medical coder enjoys an excellent work-life balance.

Make a Career in a Few Months:

Unlike graduates who must devote significant time to establishing a profession in a field, medical coders can begin their careers in a few of months. A medical degree is not required to work as a medical coder or biller. A medical coding course can be completed in less than a year and is extremely lucrative. After passing the certification exam, you will be able to work in a variety of healthcare settings all around the world.

Independent Career Path:

As a medical coder, you would require little supervision from hospital administrators. You’d work with electronic databases to retrieve codes and tag the documents once you had the patient reports. As a result, the career is self-sufficient and has a realistic learning curve over time. You can even establish your own medical coding business and work with local healthcare providers to handle their reports.

Scope of the Medical Coding Industry

As mentioned above, the demand for medical coders is growing rapidly, with the employment of medical coders expected to increase by 15% by 2024.

Medical coders can work in any sort of healthcare facility, including hospitals, clinics, medical facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and medical laboratories. With the emergence of digital health records, several new opportunities have emerged for medical coders and their employers. New digital tools always help ensure the correctness of medical reports and boost the efficiency of medical coders.

Job opportunities open for a medical coder

  1. Medical Record Coordinator 
  2. Medical Records Technician 
  3. Medical Coding Specialist 
  4. Health Information Specialist 
  5. Medical Billing Manager 
  6. Medical Records Director 

Industries Looking for a Certified Medical Coder: 

  1. Information Technology Services 
  2. Government Agencies 
  3. Professional Liability Agencies 
  4. Insurance Companies 
  5. Healthcare Facilities 
  6. Physician Officers 
  7. Health Systems & Hospitals 
  8. Billing Organisations 
  9. Ambulatory Surgery Centres (ASCs)

Medical coding allows you to be a part of a purposeful workforce. Insurance companies will not reimburse healthcare practitioners unless their reports are correctly coded. As a result, medical coders play an important role in recognizing medical operations, marking them with codes, and processing claims. The specialization indicates promising job prospects. Medical coding training can lead to several opportunities and, as a result, a lifelong career. You can learn the healthcare sector from the ground up and eventually assume key administrative positions.

4 Reasons Why Medical Coding Is A Promising Career

4 Reasons Why Medical Coding Is A Promising Career

1. Vital Service yet with Lower Stress

Health care sector like any other sector has undergone drastic changes. Surge of healthcare customers on one hand and increased expectation of quality and efficient healthcare service on other hand, has made the medical coding and billing occupation crucial.

Medical coders and biller by assigning appropriate codes to medical procedures ensure that the healthcare providers receives appropriate compensation, while helping the patient to receive the right benefit from the insurance companies.

Without this profession, healthcare providers may not be reimbursed or incur hefty fines  or face competitive disadvantage due to insufficient patient care.

Moreover if you want to work in medical field without getting into the dire business of dealing with blood, medical coding and billing is definitely a wise choice.  As a medical coder or biller you are away from clinical visits or direct contact with patients, yet provide them this essential service while dealing with medical professionals and enjoy a rewarding career in healthcare. Most of the time of medical coder and biller will be spent in computers, assigning codes, organizing and reviewing statements and bills , ensuring accuracy and quality.

2. Quick Turnaround yet with Lucrative Salary

Most medical professions usually require numerous years of education that requires high investment. To become a medical coder, it does not takes years and years of study. Most of the medical coding training programs are only for 3-6 months. In less than a year, one can become a certified medical coder. Medical Coding courses in Dubai  are on the rise , that one can sign up to kick start their medical coding career.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median medical billing and coding salary in the United States is $44,090. According to Economic Research Institute The average salary range for a Medical Coder is between in UAE ranges between  AED 100,671 and AED 165,250 per annum.

Post Pandemic trend for medical coding and billing profession is positive. New Medical Coding and Medical Billing vacancies are added almost every day in UAE and the opportunities are bright particularly for certified coders.

However certified professionals with experience earn more.

According to the 2020 Healthcare Salary Survey:

  • Coders with one certification earn an average of $57,646 per year
  • Those with two certifications earn an average of $63,085 per year
  • Those with three or more credentials earn an average of $68,589 per year

3. Advancing Career yet with Stable Tenure

The field of medical coding is increasing at a faster rate, which is expected to grow up to 15 % in 2024.Besides there are many paths one can take in the medical coding career.

One can take entry level position like physician coder, Insurance claims specialist, collection specialist, risk adjustment coder, medical records clerk.

After gaining few years of experience in entry level position, one can opt intermediate level positions such as Coding supervisor, specialty coder, coding educator, coding auditor, Quality controller.

Professionals can further advance their career in management and leadership positions.

In the middle management level , one can grow to become Coding Manager, Compliance Auditor, Revenue Cycle Manager, Fraud Investigator . Further at a senior leadership level, one can assume bigger roles such as Coding Director, HIM Director, Operations Director. Hence medical coding with its diversified opportunities is a stable and a long term career.

Certified Medical coders with one or more generic certifications such AAPC’s CPC ( Certified Professional Coder), AHIMA’s CCS ( Certified Coding Specialist)  and specialty certifications such as medical coding for cardiology, Ambulatory surgical center, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Urology etc., are more in demand. The demand and supply gap for certified medical coders is approximately 40% and has increased significantly over the last year.

Many institutes offer medical coding courses in Dubai that facilitates both the novice and experienced medical coders to climb the next level in the profession

You could also work as a medical biller and coder and use your knowledge of medical terminology and the healthcare system to help as you return to school to earn a degree in data management, nursing, and even pre-med and beyond.

Also increased automation in medical coding or billing is not a threat but an opportunity. Human intervention like definitely required as interpretations are required in the grey areas, as every interaction between a provider and patient is unique. Demand for specialty coders is on the rise

It has also opened new positions software developers for medical coding , project managers with medical coding knowledge, trainers, consultants etc.,

Healthcare is one of the sectors that has always been immune to economic downturn. This applies to medical coding and billing as well , as it is key to the smooth functioning of the revenue cycle in the healthcare sector

Many countries , particularly the economically advanced countries viz., US, Japan, China, UK see rising aging population. An aging population will mean more claims need to be submitted for reimbursement from insurance companies as more medical care is provided. Hence the demand for medical coders & billers is not expected to slow down in the near future.

4. Flexibility yet with Predictable Work Hours

Most healthcare jobs require the professionals to work long hours work during weekends or holidays. But in case of medical coding or billing, it  generally requires you to work only stipulated time like 8 to 9 hours a day. Besides hospitals, Medical coders and Billers are employed by government agencies, insurance agencies, educational institutions. Some medical coding professionals work in software companies to aid medical software development projects. These diversified professions increasingly employ medical coders and billers to work remotely from home. In such cases you are allowed to work on flexible timings yet with predictable schedule as long as the deadlines are met.

Recently there is a surge in remotely working medical coders and billers, as pandemic have led to the development in communication technology that gives more controllability and manageability over virtual workers.

Moreover the concept of telemedicine have led to increased access to health care, which in turn have opened new doors to medical coders or billers. Virtual Medicare or Telemedicine is transforming the health care environment. With change come challenges as well and to accommodate these changes, medical coding has undergone numerous updates in codes, reimbursement policies etc.,

These changes have increased the demand for expert medical coders who identify different denials, consultants who train the coding and billing team members, clinicians and who document at the point of service on the new updates. These professionals generally provides their services remotely.

FAQs on Medical Coding

FAQs on Medical Coding

1. What Is Medical Coding and What does Medical Coders do ?

Medical coding is the process of  translating important medical information into simple alphanumeric codes for the purpose of documenting medical records and medical billing accurately.

A medical coder is, in essence, a translator. Medical coders are responsible for carefully reviewing the patient’s file and translates everything from diagnosis to treatment from that file into universal alphanumerical codes required by insurance companies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes medical coders under “Medical Records and Health Information Technicians.”

2. Why Medical Coding service is required ?

When a medical service provider examines and treats a patient, the insurance company or the government provider requires to comprehend what were the medical procedures done in order to process the bill. Common language is not adequate to give the insurance company the accurate details it requires , therefore a set of specific codes has been established.

It’s the role of the medical coder to delve deep into patient data, diagnoses, medications, procedures, treatments, and transforms every bit of information into alphanumeric codes.

3.What kind of knowledge and skills are required to become a Medical Coder ?

  1. Knowledge on Medical Terminologies and Clinical Anatomy : A medical coder assign codes to represent different aspects in health care such as diagnoses, conditions and illnesses , medical procedures medications and equipment used. Hence sound knowledge in the above said elements are required understand the clinical documentation in order to apply right ICD and CPT Guidelines.
  2. Computer Skills : Organizations use various software applications and therefore it is essential for medical coders to be proficient in navigating these tools starting from generic applications like Microsoft office to specific medical coding applications like Epic, Centricity, AdvancedMD, Flash Code, Eclipse etc.,  It is also essential to have good typing speed .
  3. Meticulous and Organized :Attentive to details is a critical skill required for medical coders as error rate. Assignment of inapt alphanumeric codes can cause significant problems. Inaccurate assignment may lead to rejection of claims from the insurers or too little repayment. Medical coders will also juggle between various documents and reports during their work, therefore organization skills also play a key role
  4. Knowledge on Ethical standards :Medical coding professional will have access to patient’s private information. A Medical coder should adhere to policies and legal requirements regarding privacy, confidentiality, disclosure and security  of patient information. Hence its essential for the medical coder to have a good knowledge about local and international code of ethical standards and professional conduct ( e.g., Code of Ethics stated by AHIMA, AAPC, DHA etc.,)

4. How Medical coding is different from Medical billing ?

Although these two roles require many overlapping skillsets ,there are stark differences between these two professions. Following table elucidated the differences in their roles and responsibilities.

Medical Coding Medical Billing
Medical coding focuses more specifically on patient medical records, categorize the services and medications  and accurately  code


Involved in calculating, processing and submitting patients’ medical claims to insurance companies and government agencies for services rendered to the patient.
Applying CPT, ICD-10 CM, HCPCS standardized codes to patient records.Developing payment plan , prepare invoice ,follow up with patients, healthcare professionals, insurance companies and ensure the claims are paid accurately and quickly.
Perform medical chart audits when a claim is rejectedInvestigating rejected claims, verifying accuracy of standard healthcare codes applied by medical coders

5. Can a Non-Medical student or Non-Life Science student pursue Medical Coding career ?

Of course. Medical coding job is everyone as long as, one is well versed with the terminologies, standard and the process. Hence enrolling for a medical coding training and earning a certification will help one to kick start their career.

6. How is the demand and earnings for Medical Coder or Medical Biller in UAE ?

The medical coding market was valued at USD 15,259.67 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 28,363.63 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 10.93%, during the forecast period (Source: Medical Coding Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts 2022 – 2027 )

Post Pandemic trend for medical coding and billing profession is positive. New Medical Coding and Medical Billing vacancies are added almost every day in UAE and the opportunities are bright particularly for certified coders. A person working as a Medical Coder in United Arab Emirates typically earns around 13,500 AED per month. Salaries range from 6,330 AED (lowest) to 21,300 AED (highest).

7. What kind of organizations hire Medical Coders and What are their career choices?

  1. Hospitals, Specialty Clinics, Doctor’s offices require medical coders to document patient information and assign codes to process billing and insurance claims.
  2. Health care Consulting Services requires medical coding professionals in variety of roles such as , to extract data from clinical documentation to assign codes, to conduct audits to prevent coding errors, troubleshooting or improving systems, contribute to IT projects to create healthcare software products etc.,
  3. Insurance agencies recruit medical coders to review the accuracy of the incoming claims and catch errors.
  4. Law firms often hire healthcare information specialists with a good medical coding knowledge to find coding discrepancies to determine whether the discrepancies have led to billing fraud.
  5. Opportunities for Medical coders to work as independent contractors are also on rise in the recent days.
  6. Educational institutions requires medical coding professional to train the next generation medical coders.

8. Can a medical coder work from home ?

Yes. A Medical coder can work from home as many organizations outsource their work or enables the professionals to work as independent contractors. According to the Health Information Management (HIM) Professional Census 2020, more than 50% of coders are fully remote now, and only 17% are entirely on-site. Presumably, the remaining 33% have a hybrid arrangement with their employer. Training and International certification in Medical coding assures credibility in the market and gains you more reputable clients.

9. Is it possible to get a Medical coding job without experience ?

Large Healthcare consulting service providers often Coders at various levels right from entry levels. Many Smaller organizations require entry level assistants for experienced Medical coders. To become a Medical coder with no experience, it is essential to acquire formal education like an associate degree or diploma in medical coding  or short-term training in medical coding and transcription. Attaining Medical coding certifications is a shorter route and   will help you get ahead of the competition. Certifications are well recognized  particularly in UAE.

10. What are the certifications in demand for Medical Coding ?

Global certifications in Medical coding offers many benefits like greater employability, higher pay, remote work opportunities, professional connections etc., Following are the Best  3 certifications in terms of global recognition.

  1. CPC – The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) accredited by the American Academy of Professional Coders.
  2. CCS – The Certified Coding Specialist accredited by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA),
  3. CBCS – Certified Billing and Coding Specialist accredited by the National Health career Association (NHA)

Most of the certifications requires renewal by continued education, thus guarantees the employer that the holder is updated in the field.
According to the 2020 Healthcare Salary Survey:

  1. Coders with one certification earn an average of $57,646 per year
  2. Those with two certifications earn an average of $63,085 per year
  3. Those with three or more credentials earn an average of $68,589 per year

11. How to prepare for the Medical Coding Certifications ?

  1. Choose your certification: Based on the recognition for that certification locally and your current level of experience ( Many certifications do not require experience ) and interest choose the certification. Starters can go for generic ones rather than specialized ones.
  2. Take a Formal Training: Many Certification requires a good knowledge on the Medical Terminologies, Procedures and Medications and the assignment of ICD, CPT and HCPCS Codes. Hence it is essential to go for a formal training on Medical coding. Choose a training program that covers the certification exam content.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice : Passing a Certification ( like CPC, CCS) are not very easy. It requires thorough knowledge, speed and great level of practicing the scenarios. For this reason, certification holders are preferred over degree holders.
  4. Schedule and Pass the Exam:Many learners fail to sit for the exam due to lack of confidence and fear of failure. Work towards an end date for your preparation. With a good preparation and support, you can clear the exam. One last word, pursue the second attempt, if you fail in the first attempt. After all success is a result of hard work and perseverance.
  5. Earn More than one certification : If you are experienced medical coder , expand your domain by earning more than one certification for example in advanced or specialty coding ( dental coding, Neurology coding etc.,)

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