Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Information Innovators: Preparing for a Career in Medical Coding and Transcription

Posted by Marcia Gordon on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Med-diet-may-counteract-genetic-stroke-risk-say-researchers_wrbm_small.jpgIn business, knowledge is power, and the medical industry is no exception. As hospitals scramble to respond to benefit cuts, rising healthcare costs, increasing numbers of patients, and other challenges, the demand for medical coding and transcription workers is growing rapidly. Med-Line School's healthcare documentation specialist programs are designed to meet that demand. Armed with the latest healthcare information and technology, Med-Line is well equipped to prepare you for a career as a:

Medical Coder

Usually employed in hospitals or doctor's offices, a medical coder is a healthcare documentation specialist who focuses on coding and classifying medical information. Coders are in charge of reviewing payment data, communicating with patients and insurance companies who have not paid, and resolving disputes over whose responsibility it is to pay. They also track patient illnesses and outcomes, organize hospital and clinical databases, and record, store, and retrieve data. Medical coders must understand advanced medical facts and terminology, stay up to date with changes in medical software, and communicate regularly with physicians, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. Given the growing emphasis on diabetes and other chronic illnesses, many coders focus on tracking patients with preexisting conditions.

The job market for medical coders is expected to grow by 22% over the next ten years, making it one of the fastest-growing professions in the country. Most medical coders work full-time, and many have to work evening, weekend, and overnight shifts. The median pay for a coder in 2012 was $34,160 a year, but well-trained coders with experience in other fields could make as much as $56,250 a year. To become a coder, you must attend post-secondary health registration classes and receive certification as a Registered Health Information Technician.

Medical Transcriptionist

As a medical transcriptionist, your job will be to type out and store transmit reports from doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Typically, you will receive an audio recording of the medical report and will have to transcribe the audio. When the practitioner uses shorthand or abbreviations, your job will be to translate that into its long-form equivalent. You will then enter that information into the records system or send it to the intended recipient. To be a transcriptionist, you must have a detailed knowledge of medical terminology and procedures, pharmacology, and treatment technology.

In many modern hospitals, doctors and nurses now use computer programs to transcribe their speech, but this has not made transcriptionists unnecessary. Here, the transcriptionist's job is to read through the software's transcription, identify errors or omissions, and make the necessary corrections.

The job market for medical transcriptionists will grow by 8% over the next decade. Transcriptionists can work either full- or part-time and have considerable flexibility in their scheduling. Transcriptionists can be paid by hour or by word; the median annual wage for a transcriptionist in 2012 was $34,020. To become a transcriptionist, you must complete a 1-year postsecondary training program. Many employers will also require you to be certified as a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist or as a Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist.

The Med-Line Difference

Besides being promising careers in their own right, medical coding and transcription training provide a valuable stepping stone into other professions. A healthcare documentation specialist trained in both transcription and coding will be in high demand, allowing them to command the highest wages in either field. Training in either field will also prepare prospective nurses for their careers and will help current nurses expand their job opportunities.

Don't pass up the chance to earn a living while making a difference in the world. For more information on a career in healthcare documentation, visit our website today.