This is your chance to find out what it’s really like to be a medical coder. In this course, you’ll learn exactly what medical coders do on a daily basis. You’ll learn to use the CPT manual and the ICD-10-CM to find medical codes for any disease, condition, treatment, or surgical procedure which will give you a leg up on other people who are new to this career. The knowledge you gain here will help you work almost anywhere in the medial field—doctors’ offices, clinics, public health facilities, hospitals, labs, nursing homes, insurance agencies, or even the comfort of your own home.
As you explore a career in medical coding, you’ll also explore each of the main systems of the human body—integumentary (skin), musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and male and female genitourinary—outlining the medical terminology, conditions, diseases, injuries, treatments, and procedures you will see most often in each of these systems.
Along the way, you will see numerous real-world examples and coding exercises to help you begin using your coding tools in conjunction with your analytical skills to come up with just the right choices to describe any medical situation. As you explore a career in medical coding, you’ll get all the hands-on experience and knowledge you need to begin your career with confidence. Check it out, because this might just be a great career choice for you!
Medical Coding Basics
The first lesson explores the history of medical insurance and medical coding. After that, take a few minutes to get familiar with the coding books and tools that medical coders use. This lesson finishes up with an important discussion about patient privacy and confidentiality.
Coding in the Real World
Today’s lesson takes a close look at how medical professionals use medical codes in the real world. Get to know the common form medical coders use and explore the different types of medical codes you will find in your coding books. By the time you finish this lesson, you will understand how the different types of codes come together on a claim and how they tell the insurance company a complete story about any doctor-patient encounter.
Getting to Know Your CPT Manual
In this lesson, take a detailed tour through the CPT manual where you will find medical codes for the procedures and treatments doctors and other medical professionals provide their patients. You will learn all about the CPT symbols, modifiers, and unlisted procedures. By the end of this lesson, you will be looking up your first codes!
Getting to Know Your ICD-10-CM
Similar to the last lesson, you will take a detailed tour through the other coding book used in this course, the ICD-10-CM, which is where you will find the codes for any disease, illness, condition, or symptom that a patient may have. You will learn all about the ICD-10-CM’s symbols, formatting, and other conventions; and you will learn where to find external cause codes and Z-codes. By the end of this lesson, you will begin to practice coding diagnoses.
Coding the Integumentary System
Today begins a series of lessons that take you in depth into just one body system at a time, so you can understand specific medical coding situations for each area of the human body. This lesson explores the integumentary (skin) system. You will review the code categories for the most common skin conditions, infections, injuries, and procedures, and then practice coding cases that involve common skin problems.
Coding the Musculoskeletal System
In this lesson, you will learn all about the musculoskeletal system and study some important musculoskeletal vocabulary. Review the code categories for the most common muscle and bone conditions and injuries and learn how to code the procedures doctors use to treat common problems.
Coding the Respiratory System
This lesson focuses on the respiratory system, and how to code the most common respiratory conditions and injuries. After that, you will practice coding the most common respiratory procedures that doctors use on their patients.
Coding the Cardiovascular System
Explore the cardiovascular system in today’s lesson. You will learn how to code common heart, vein, and artery conditions and diseases, and then you will learn how to code the procedures doctors use most often to treat these common diagnoses. As always, this lesson follows up on cardiovascular diseases and procedures with coding practice.
Coding the Digestive and Endocrine Systems
In this lesson, you will learn all about the digestive system and the endocrine system. Begin by studying some important vocabulary for both systems, and then review the code categories for the most common conditions, diseases, and injuries. After that, explore the procedures doctors perform to fix digestive and endocrine system problems.
Coding the Male and Female Genitourinary Systems
In the last of your system-specific lessons, you will review the male and female genitourinary systems; and learn how to code common conditions, diseases, and procedures for both systems. You will also spend time discussing maternity and childbirth and the special medical coding challenges you will need to consider in those cases.
Evaluation and Management (E/M) Codes
Ready to get to know Evaluation and Management codes? Today, you will learn the three key components of any E/M service, and I’ll provide you with some helpful charts you can use to narrow down an E/M code range to a final E/M code. And as you probably guessed, this lesson ends with plenty of E/M coding practice!
Surgical Packages and Modifiers
In the final lesson, you will find out what’s included in a surgical package and what’s not. You will also learn all about modifiers and find out why medical coders use them to let insurance companies know about special circumstances. Finally, you will put everything you’ve learned throughout the course together by coding some practice scenarios that incorporate all of the different types of codes!
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Applications must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
When can I get started?
Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: You can start this course at any time your schedule permits.
How does it work?
Instructor-Led: Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You have three-month access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period.
How long do I have to complete each lesson?
Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons before your three-month access.
What if I need an extension?
Instructor-Led: The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: Because this course is self-paced, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.
What does a coder do?
Medical Coders are responsible for processing patient data including medical records and related insurance. In this career, you will appropriately code a patient’s diagnosis so medical billers can request payment from the patient’s insurance company. If you decide this career is for you, you’ll play an important role in ensuring that healthcare providers are quickly and accurately paid for the treatment they give patients.
Are medical coders in high demand?
Yes. There is a high demand for qualified medical coding professionals in the healthcare industry today. Demand will continue to increase as the population in the Unites States ages. Jobs for these professionals are on the rise and expected to grow faster than average through 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Where do you work as a medical coder?
Medical coders work in a variety of settings. The most common settings include hospitals, and doctors’ offices. Some medical coding professionals also work for companies that develop medical software, and some work for educational institutions that work to train other medical coders. Government agencies have also been known to employ medial coders including the National Center for Health Statistics and Medicaid offices. You may even have the ability to work for a reputable company from your own home!
What is a day in the life of a medical coder like?
If you decide to pursue a career in medical coding, your day will be a rewarding one. You will be responsible for ensuring that healthcare providers receive appropriate compensation for the care they provide as well as helping patients get the maximum benefit of their insurance. It is a job that requires a high level of attention to detail at all times because codes must be correct to produce appropriate bills for services. Much of your time will be spent in front of a computer. It’s also important to coordinate with other coders to ensure accuracy and adherence to standards.
What is the salary for a medical coder?
According to the AAPC based on its membership, the average Medical Coder without certification earns around $45,000 per year while those with certification earn an average of $51,500. This means that certification can help you earn up to 15 percent more in this field! Other salary websites place the median salary for those just starting out in Medical Coding around $38,500.
What is the cpt manual?
The CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) Manual is the set of medical codes used by medical coders to report medical, surgical, radiology, laboratory, anesthesiology, and diagnostic procedures and services performed on patients to other entities such as doctors and health insurance companies. All healthcare providers, payers and facilities use the same set of CPT codes.
What is ICD-10-CM?
ICD-10-CM stands for International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification. It is a code system used by doctors and other healthcare providers to classify symptoms, procedures, and diagnoses in combination with hospital care. The ICD-10-CM is developed by the World Health Organization and governed by the National Center for Health Statistics to be used throughout the United States.
What is the difference between a medical biller and a medical coder?
Medical billers are mainly responsible for submitting patient records to government agencies and insurance companies for services that have been provided in the care of the patient. Medical coders gather information on patient records and assign the proper codes for patient diagnoses which are then used by medical billers to submit claim forms.
Do medical billers or medical coders make more money?
Due to the more technical nature of the job and increased training required, medical coders tend to make more than medical billers on an annual basis. Both medical billers and medical coders are in high demand and according to AAPC, both receive regular increases in pay.