The Coding Specialist Program prepares you for a career as a medical coder. Coders classify diagnoses and procedures into ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM/PCS, CPT and HCPCS Level II codes used for reimbursement, data quality and medical research.
Coders work in physicians' offices, billing companies, insurance companies, ambulatory care centers and hospitals. Moraine Valley's 31-credit-hour Coding Specialist Program can prepare you to become a medical coding specialist. You will gain a working knowledge of ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM/PCS, CPT and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS Level II) classification systems, as well as basic health information management, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, insurance reimbursement and computer applications skills.
Upon completion of the Coding Specialist Program, you will have the skills needed for entry-level coding positions and be eligible to sit for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam. After some years of coding experience, graduates may choose to take the Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-Based (CCS-P) exam or the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam given by the American Health Information Management Association.
If you decide to continue your education, all coding courses apply toward Moraine Valley's Associate in Applied Science degree in Health Information Technology.
Nature of Work—Coders are employed in clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, insurance companies, hospitals and other settings where diagnostic and procedural data are reported in ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM/PCS, CPT, and HCPCS Level II coded format for reimbursement purposes.
Job Related Titles—Coder, biller, patient accounts representative, reimbursement specialist.
Employment Outlook—There is a future for medical coding specialists because of the increased scrutiny over medical records by the government and insurance companies. In an effort to control costs, complete and accurate records are becoming a necessity in order for hospitals and clinics to receive money from Medicare and Medicaid. As a coding specialist, you possess skills that open career opportunities in ambulatory care, managed care, physician practices and hospitals.
Job openings for persons seeking work as coding specialists are expected to be numerous through the year 2018. There are many demands for accurately coded data from the medical record. In addition to their use on claims for reimbursement, codes are included on data sets used to evaluate the processes and outcomes of healthcare. Coded data are also used internally by institutions for quality management activities, case-mix management, planning, marketing, and other administrative and research activities.
Median annual earnings
were $30,610 in 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,290 and $39,490.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,440, and the highest 10 percent
earned more than $50,060. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the
largest numbers of medical records and health information technicians in 2008
were as follows:
However, earnings vary considerably dependent upon the size of the organization in which one is employed. Resources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010- 2011
For job and internship
listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center, S202, (708)