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Need For RN Coders

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by pattycake pattycake (Member)

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hi,

i was wondering if anyone here works as a "diagnosis coder" and do you find there is a need for this kind of certification? i currently work in home health and have some limited experience in coding...i like the idea of working from home and working independently...thanks in adv:redbeathe ance for any responses

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

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hi, pattycake. i started doing coding in 2001 after my back died on me. i took a course in coding from a vocational school and was lucky to get a job working for a large group of er physicians. they had 14 coders working for the company and 12 of them worked at home. i chose to work in the office and got to code on the computer. i later found out that the reason i was hired was because i scored very high on the coding test that is given when people applied for the job and because i was an rn. otherwise, i was told, they didn't usually hire coders coming out of vocational programs or who did not have national certification as a coder. live and learn.

there are a lot of rules you have to learn and keep current on to code. every medical insurance company has different billing and payment rules that as a coder you need to learn. where i worked, each coder had a copy of what the facility called the "coding bible". it was a 3-inch thick notebook that included all the various rules we had to know for coding. the pages in it were changing all the time.

yes, there is a big need for coders. coders, especially those who are nationally certified make a lot of money. as i have found, the best way to get training is to go through a community college program which teaches you both icd-9-cm and cpt coding for both ambulatory and inpatient areas. i went back to a community college to retake these classes and found that there was a big difference between what i had learned in the vocational school (approx $7,000) and the college (approx $300). i am preparing to take the ccs (certified coding specialist) exam. with a ccs credential i can work as a hospital coder. there is another certification called ccs-p, certified coding specialist-physician. there is a difference in the coding rules for inpatients and outpatients. there is a large er physicians group where i currently live who only hire rns to code for them. understand that the importance of coding is to help bring in the maximum amount of reimbursement (payment) that a facility or physician provider can get. the u.s. is going to switch to icd-10-cm coding very shortly and it is going to be a big change in diagnosis coding.

you can find information about coding on the ahima (american health information management association) website. they are the national organization for coders and medical records professionals which is the blanket under which coders are organized. http://www.ahima.org/ they are the ones who administrate the various certifications and you will find information about the different credentials and careers on their website. pm me if you want to know more.

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As the previous poster wrote, there is a great need for coders, especially experienced ones. AHIMA is not the only group that have certifications. The AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) and the BMSC (Board of Medical Specialty Coding) also offers various coding credentials. You can check the websites out: http://www.aapc.com/ and http://www.medicalspecialtycoding.com/.

The board is the one that offers a coding credential specific to home health. AHIMA is the oldest association for what is known as health information management.

Coding focuses on accuracy with data intake and management. Coding just doesn't encompass the act of coding itself but takes into account reimbursement and analysis. Coding is also not only important for reimbursement purposes but for morbidity and mortality statistics. I definitely recommend that you pursue some type of coding credential to increase your knowledge and marketability. You may want to pursue a general coding certification like the CCS (AHIMA) or CPC-H (AAPC) over the HCS-D which is the home care coding credential.

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oneLoneNurse has 25 years experience and specializes in Psych, Informatics, Biostatistics.

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Thinking about taking this class, this winter:

Course Description: An intensive coding course, based on the International Classification of Disease classification system, as modified for use in the United States. The Medicare inpatient prospective payment system and the determination of diagnostic related groups (DRGs) for hospital reimbursement purposes will also be addressed. Lab exercises are designed to provide opportunities to practice coding skills and to apply coding principles to inpatient hospitalization case studies

My question: what do you have to have to become certified in this profession? I don't feel like completing a Bachelor's program in Health Information Management. However, if I would be eligible to become certified and seek employment after one or two courses that would be great!

Thoughts?

Thanks.

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1,301 Posts; 11,096 Profile Views

Thinking about taking this class, this winter:

Course Description: An intensive coding course, based on the International Classification of Disease classification system, as modified for use in the United States. The Medicare inpatient prospective payment system and the determination of diagnostic related groups (DRGs) for hospital reimbursement purposes will also be addressed. Lab exercises are designed to provide opportunities to practice coding skills and to apply coding principles to inpatient hospitalization case studies

My question: what do you have to have to become certified in this profession? I don't feel like completing a Bachelor's program in Health Information Management. However, if I would be eligible to become certified and seek employment after one or two courses that would be great!

Thoughts?

Thanks.

You don't have to go to school to become a coder. Even though it's more challenging, you can do intensive study and take a national exam for coding. I would recommend that you join an organization that offers coding credentials, however. That way you can have access to a network of people and resources.

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