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Becoming A Coder - Essay Example

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In medicine, coding refers to the application of codes to represent clinical information. In simple terms, it is the changing of narrative description of injuries, diseases and medical procedures into alphabetical or numeric designations…
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Becoming A Coder
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Download file to see previous pages Coding providers give coding that can be used to describe diagnostic information that is in line with the patient’s condition, services offered and procedures followed. These codes are so detailed that they can provide an accurate description of the medical diagnoses and medical procedures performed. They can also correct diagnoses made. The profession of medical coding does not involve the practice of medicine. Instead, it is a simply the application of coding rules to a set of medical or clinical facts. Coder Credential Organizations One of the key necessities in the coding profession is credentialing. This is because the government recommends that only those coders who have the necessary credentials should be allowed to provide coding for Medicare patients. At the same time, credentialing validates the knowledge and skills of the coders to the world. In the US, two national organizations certify persons as having medical coding expertise. The two coder credential organizations are, the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). AAPC targets experienced coders and as such offers specialist credentials that enable medical coders to portray very high levels of expertise in their various specialty disciplines. Their 20 specialty credentials are independent or stand-alone certifications that do not have requirements for holding of the CPC credential. AAPC allows coders to validate the knowledge they have gained in a specialty with compliance challenges, unique coding and reimbursement (AAPC, 2005). AHIMA is a professional organization that deals with the management of medical records. The organization gives professionals dealing with medical records educational resources and programs. AHIMA certification distinguishes a person as knowledgeable, competent and committed to quality healthcare through quality information. As compared to AAPC, a specialist credential offered through AHIMA focuses more on facility coding. Facility coding refers to the kind of medical coding done for hospitals in in-patient settings (Michelle and Jo, 2004). Credential requirements and exams. Examples of credentials offered by AHIMA include RHIA, RHIT, CCS, CCA, CCS-P and CHPS (AHIMAa, 2010). A Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) functions as a critical link between patients, care providers and payers. Professionals holding RHIA are experts in managing patient medical records and health information, collecting and analyzing patient information and administering computer information systems. One of the initial requirements for RHIA is a degree from a CAHIIM-accredited program. The pattern of its examination changes annually in response to organization demand or market trends. On the other hand, a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) is a health information technician who ensures that medical records are of good quality by verifying their accuracy, completeness and correct entry into computer systems. They often specialize in coding procedures and diagnoses in patient records for purposes of reimbursement and research. Just like the RHIA, a degree from a CAHIIM-accredited program is one of the initial requirements for an RHIT. In addition, one must pass an AHIMA-administered written examination. According to AHIMAa (2010), 30% of RHIT exam tests on the knowledgeability in the management of health data. Thirteen percent of it tests on biomedical research, health statistics and quality management. Twenty five percent of this exam tests on information technology and systems. According to AHIMAb (2010), professionals with a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) certification credential are skilled in classifying medical data from the medical records of the patient in a hospital ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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