In providing health services, doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners need accurate and complete information on a particular condition. Medical coding professionals allow this to happen.
Through medical classification or coding, diagnoses as well as the prescribed procedures for the conditions can be transformed into universal medical code numbers. References for the coding process include results from the laboratory, doctors’ notes, and other sources. The coding process allows health care providers to sum up the condition of each patient conveniently, leading to the timely and precise delivery of treatment.
Outside the clinical care setting, medical coding also finds a wide range of applications. Government health agencies as well as research centers can use the codes to classify diseases into chronic, or contagious, and other categories. Medical insurance providers can also refer to such codes when they analyze the reimbursements or benefits that are due their clients. Furthermore, they are useful when conducting statistical analysis of diseases and the corresponding treatments, or monitoring of epidemic outbreaks.
Health institutions can also benefit from the service of coding professionals within the organization to develop better strategies in case management, marketing and clinical studies.
Medical coding as a career has since grown in popularity over the past years, and has become in-demand in hospitals, physicians’ offices, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, and home health care services jobs. Among the advantages of being a medical coder are the great opportunities, job security and financial stability – the median annual earnings of health information technicians in 2006 is posted at over $28,000.