Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

From Transcription to Coding-- A Natural Journey

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Med-Line Medical CodingAre you medical transcriptionists seeking to expand your career options? Are you thinking about becoming a medical coder, but are concerned with the transitioning process? Well, you do not have to be concerned any longer. The transition from medical transcriptionist to medical coder will be simpler for you because you already possess the basic skills needed to succeed in this field. Developing both skill sets can open new and exciting career opportunities in this ever-changing industry.

Current Skills

As a medical transcriptionist, here are some of the skills you currently possess that will make transitioning to a medical coder almost effortless:

  • Accurate typing skills
  • Effective reading and listening skills
  • Ability to work alone with no supervision
  • Efficient computer skills, including basic computer programs
  • An understanding of medical language and terminology
  • Skills needed to understand medical reports

What is Medical Coding?

Medical coders translate patients’ medical records into the proper medical billing language. Their job is to apply this language, or medical coding, to procedures and services provided by doctors, hospitals and clinics so that the universal billing systems can understand it. These coded files are then electronically transmitted to healthcare insurance companies for billing purposes. Without medical coders, no one in the chain of healthcare providers would ever get paid.

Two Advantages of Transitioning from Transcriptionist to Coder

1)      Salary Advantages

According to a report by The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, which can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition:

Starting Pay

Medical Coders start out at about $14 per hour.

Experienced Pay

The US Department of Labor May 2008 Report on labor statistics breaks down the expected earnings of experienced medical coders into categories based on the types of facilities they choose to work for:

  • Federal executive offices – $42,760
  • General hospitals – $32,600
  • Nursing care facilities – $30,660
  • Outpatient care providers – $29,160
  • Doctors’ offices – $26,210

2)      Cross Training Advantages

Being certified as a medical transcriptionist, as well as a medical coder gives you more career options. By cross training to be skilled in both professions, you will be qualified to accept job offers and contracts in both fields. Here are some of the advantages of cross training:

  • Find a good paying job in either or both fields.
  • Obtain independent contracts in either or both fields.
  • Obtain independent contracts that allow you to provide both services, thus doubling your pay per project.

How to Become a Medical Coder

Medical coders must complete required training courses to become certified. Medical coding certification gives your employers and clients the guarantee that you are skilled and highly qualified in this field. A premium medical coding program will educate you on the skills you need to flourish in your new career as a medical coder.

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Topics: Medical Coding Training