What Is the Job Description of a Medical Coder?


Quick Answer

Medical coders, or medical records and health information technicians, are tasked with categorizing patient information and using classification systems to code records for reimbursement by insurance companies, notes the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They also code records for registries and databases for the maintenance of patients' records and to archive their treatment histories.

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What Is the Job Description of a Medical Coder?
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Full Answer

A medical coder may track patient outcomes to ensure quality assessment, electronically record data, and maintain and organize data for a variety of purposes in the medical field, notes the BLS. Coders may also use classification software to assign codes for billing and analysis of data.

Typically, medical coders work as a liaison between billing offices and health clinicians and retrieve patient records at the request of medical personnel, reports the BLS. Coders may also review patient information to check for the existence of previously documented conditions. They may document symptoms, medical histories, results of tests, treatments given, examination findings and other notes left by doctors about specific patients. Job duties vary somewhat by setting or facility.

Because of the increasing frequency of electronically stored medical records, the demand for medical coders is expected to rise 22 percent by 2022, which is much faster than average, states the BLS. Median pay for medical coders in 2012 was $34,160 annually or around $16.42 per hour.

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