For what seems like a lifetime ago when medical practices still had paper charts and were just getting ready to implement an EMR program to their practice Medical coders were solely responsible for inputting codes and getting proper reimbursement for the medical practice.
Fast forward to present day, the daily work load of coders has changed as they knew it. Coders are now not responsible for inputting codes but rather spot checking the codes that their provider has already assigned. Yes, you read that right, Physicians are submitting their own codes!
Many feel that physicians are not responsible for the business side of medicine, that is what coders went to school and took certification tests for! I, myself agree with that statement but also I feel it is important to keep physicians in charge of their own coding.
Inside the encounter, the physician is the only one who knows what happened exactly and should then be the one to assign codes for the encounter. Something has to be done to help them though because more time is being spent on data entry, documentation, and coding than direct patient care, this is a problem.
With all of that being said, there is still a big need for certified coders, just know that what was once a job to just assign codes has now changed to more of a charge entry biller coder. Once the provider enters a code the code is not submitted to the insurance company until it goes to you the coder, your responsibility is to check the provider code is it right, is it too high or is it too low? You will have the chance to edit the code selection and then you will submit the code to the insurance company to be billed.
Providers need to be involved in the medical coding process, because of this statement providers need to be educated on documentation and how to assign codes. There are many educators out there, make sure before recommending an educator to your provider that you check credentials of the educator.
You will want to look for someone who has an instructor certification through the AAPC (CPC-I) an auditing credential(CPMA) and specialty credentials
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