The four major steps to success as a medical coder working from home are as follows.
Education, certification, experience, and a career in home-based medical coding The difference between those who actually do work from home and others who only dream about it is these steps. Although the steps can appear straightforward, each one is crucial, and neglecting any one of them might significantly alter your outcome. And someone without prior medical knowledge can develop a lucrative home-based coding business by dedicating the necessary time and effort to each stage.
Starting with the right education, one can work from home as a medical coder. Prior to medical coder certification in San Antonio, businesses do require a certain degree even though the field itself does not. One of two distinct certifications must be achieved in order to be considered for a position in medical coding. The main goal of education should be to get students ready for these certification tests.
While many educational institutions provide a wide range of coding and billing courses, degrees, and certificates, many either need an excessive number of unnecessary educational courses or only fully prepare people.
Consider the following before enrolling in a course of study:
- Only a tiny amount of medical billing should be covered in education; the main emphasis should be on medical coding.
- The training should make it clear that it prepares students for either CCS certification through AHIMA or CPC certification through the AAPC (any other certification will not be recognized in the medical coding community)
- Courses should be roughly 80 contact hours long, with 80% of the time spent in class covering the CPT medical coding book and the remaining 20% covering the ICD-9-CM and HCPCS books.
- Basic medical terminology and anatomy should either be taught in the course or be a requirement to enroll (these should be the only pre-requisites however)
Remember that while they are not required, courses leading to an associate’s degree that require a two-year commitment can be very helpful. By enrolling in the proper six-month coding school, it is undoubtedly possible to earn a coding certification and land a lucrative home-based medical coding career.
Students who take the right education program will be fully prepared to take any of the two medical coding certification exams. Although there are more than two different qualifications, only the CPC and CCS certifications are accepted by and desired by businesses across the country.
The American Academy of Professional Coders offers the CPC credential, which stands for Certified Professional Coder (AAPC). The CCS, or Certified Coding Specialist, credential is the second kind. The American Health Information Management Association provides this accreditation (AHIMA).
Each certification requires candidates to take and pass a time-consuming exam (5 – 6 hours). These tests are expensive, and if you are not well prepared, they can be very overwhelming. Finding a course that particularly prepares students for these tests is crucial.
It’s crucial to base your choice on both education and experience when deciding which of the two credentials to pursue.
For those with little or no expertise in medical coding, the CPC offered by the AAPC is the best place to start. This test is a little simpler and gives test-takers two chances for the price of one. Additionally, by giving “apprentices” (those without experience) job chances and externships, it caters more to them.
The CCS certification from AHIMA was initially developed for people who have at least two years of expertise in medical coding. While some people with no prior coding experience have succeeded in passing this particular exam on their first try, many people fail. The cost of this exam is a little higher, and there is only one opportunity for success.
People who are just starting out in the medical coding industry are highly advised to first earn their CPC certification through the AAPC, work in the industry for a while, and then, if they want dual certification, try taking the CCS certification exam through AHIMA.
Finding a job in medical coding is the next step after obtaining a recognizable medical coding certification (such as the CPC or CCS).
Like in other professions, those who have worked in the field of coding before will find this stage simpler than those who have not, but it is still possible to complete.
It’s critical not to move on to step four at this point either. Experience is necessary to work as a medical coder from home for a variety of reasons. Applying right soon for such positions can only result in disappointment.
Because most coders are compensated per chart coded, being efficient and accurate are what make home-based medical coding employment attractive. It is preferable to acquire accuracy and speed while being paid hourly at a doctor’s office while you are slow and full of questions, and then transition when you are ready.
Finding your first coding job might be challenging because many firms need several years of experience. Make sure you are willing to accept entry-level positions and try not to get discouraged.
The majority of medical coders get their initial years of experience by working as an extern, taking a part-time job, or accepting front desk, secretarial, or medical record positions before transitioning into a medical coding or billing function.
Attending local AAPC chapter meetings is a terrific opportunity to network with other programmers in your area, find out about job openings, and perhaps even land an internship.
You will always be studying because there is so much to learn about medical billing and coding. Never pass up the chance to provide guidance or ask inquiries. When you are a medical coder working alone from home, this kind of experience will be immensely helpful.
Medical Coding Career from Home
The majority of home-based medical coders have between two and three years of experience. People who work from home must be self-disciplined, motivated, and fully aware of coding and billing procedures because they are operating alone and without other coworkers.