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What Do Medical Coders Do?

Of all occupations, medical coding professionals enjoy one of the cleanest and most comfortable work environments.

They are typically employed in a clinical setting, where lighting is good and work surfaces are organized. As an added bonus, coding professionals have little to no contact with patients, making their job more predictable, and even more relaxing, than most medical professionals.

Job Responsibilities

Coding professionals primarily have the task of organizing, compiling and translating the medical treatment information recorded by doctors. This could include information about:

  • Symptoms
  • Observations
  • Treatment procedures
  • Treatment outcomes
  • Medical history

They do this primarily by coding, or translating descriptions of medical diagnoses and procedures into medical code numbers in such a way that they are accurate and can be understood universally, whether in another department of the hospital, in another hospital entirely or in an insurance office across the country.

For each symptom, treatment or medical detail recorded by a doctor, a standardized number code is assigned. The code has the same meaning in every medical office, so information can be transferred and interpreted cleanly, with little chance of error. Medical coding is the language by which the health care industry operates, and specializing in this language makes coding professionals some of the most indispensable employees in the industry.

In addition to the codes used for billing, medical coders also use separate coding systems for other purposes, such as ambulatory settings, physicians’ offices and long-term care. Because of the level of skill required of medical coding professionals, this means being certified and properly trained is the most important step you can take. Generally speaking, the more training you have, the better your chances are of landing the position you want.