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.