Press Esc to close

Opportunities galore in medical coding

Guruvayurappan P V, Nov 15 2017, 20:05 IST
Medical coding is one of the fastest growing career options for graduates whose strength lies in skills and training.

Medical coding is one of the fastest growing career options for graduates whose strength lies in skills and training.

The healthcare industry is undergoing a technological growth worldwide. The major reason behind the growth is adoption of newer technologies to meet the rising demand of the patients for accessible and affordable care. According to a report, the size of the healthcare industry is predicted to reach USD 280 billion by the year 2020. It is also one of the top 10 growing industries in the world. As a
result, this sector sees a huge potential for further growth.

This growth has opened up a variety of career opportunities for students, one of which is medical coding. Medical coding is one of the fastest growing career options for fresh graduates whose strength lies in skills and training. In tier II and tier III cities where the professionals would want to have a white collar jobs without having to migrate to metro cities, coding is helping shape their future.

What is medical coding? It is the process of converting healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into the universally accepted, industry standard codes. Medical transcriptions from hospitals and clinics are converted to universally accepted codes in diagnosis, procedure and drugs. The codes are then referred to medical billing and insurance purposes. The codes also help countries in maintaining health records and statistics to study the disease burden and thus give a path for authorities to draft health policies.

It is easy to start a career in medical coding since this field doesn't compulsorily require a clinical or healthcare degree. However, a basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology will help one get a better understanding.

Medical coding is done based on codes set by International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and The Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) which help coders document medical procedures for the patient. There are many medical coding courses available at affordable costs. Some of the skills required to enter the field are:

Analytical ability: A coder should be capable to read and analyse medical records and patient details, use the right codes for the billing procedure and forward the claims to insurance companies.

Coding software: A coder needs to have a basic knowledge of the coding software, in addition to database management and Microsoft Office.

Accuracy: This is an important aspect in medical coding. The coder has to understand every detail of the patient's medical history. Even if there's an error, he or she should have an eye for detail to fix it.

Positive growth

The healthcare services outsourcing industry is evergreen. There is an increasing demand for medical professionals across the globe which means there is good job stability and security. India is emerging as the hub for healthcare outsourcing where coding is the most preferred option by professionals. In fact, 80% of US companies outsource to India. With exposure to both IT and healthcare, the coders find a new avenue to polish their careers. Professionals are able to work in a secured environment with plenty of growth opportunities.

The industry has created abundant job opportunities, particularly for Life Science students. It will continue to see positive growth in terms of job opportunities. The industry is growing at over 18% year-on-year and it is currently the fastest in the IT or ITeS space. The demand and supply gap of certified medical coders is approximately 40% and has been increasing over the last two years. This will mean faster career growth for people who have the right skills.

Basic communication skills backed by a certification in coding will help students be part of one the leading industries. With a growing influence of Information Technology in the field of healthcare and with a need to have alternate career options, in next five years, India would perhaps see a growth of about 30-35% in number of professionals who would want to explore their career in medical coding.

(The author is with Omega Healthcare Management Services, Bengaluru)

Go to Top

More from this section
Photo Gallery
A child disguised as PM Narendra Modi flashes victory sign after BJP's success in the state...

A child disguised as PM Narendra Modi flashes victory sign after BJP's success in the state...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes victory sign after BJPs success in Himachal and Gujarat...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes victory sign after BJPs success in Himachal and Gujarat...

Newly elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrives for the winter session of Parliament, in...

Newly elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrives for the winter session of Parliament, in...

BJP President Amit Shah gestures while being welcomed on his arrival at the party headquarters in...

BJP President Amit Shah gestures while being welcomed on his arrival at the party headquarters in...

Karnataka BJP BS Yeddyurappa flashes victory sign along with the party members to celebrate the...

Karnataka BJP BS Yeddyurappa flashes victory sign along with the party members to celebrate the...

Army personnel paying tributes to the mortal remains of Sepoy Koushal Singh during his last...

Army personnel paying tributes to the mortal remains of Sepoy Koushal Singh during his last...

Policemen and rescue workers inspect the debris at a damaged site after a fire broke out...

Policemen and rescue workers inspect the debris at a damaged site after a fire broke out...

Actors Arbaaz Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Tiger Shroff at the launch of Super Fight League...

Actors Arbaaz Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Tiger Shroff at the launch of Super Fight League...

Karnataka cricketer Karun Nair celebrates his century in the Ranji Trophy semi-final match...

Karnataka cricketer Karun Nair celebrates his century in the Ranji Trophy semi-final match...

Female giant panda cub Xiang Xiang sits on a tree during a press preview at the Ueno Zoological...

Female giant panda cub Xiang Xiang sits on a tree during a press preview at the Ueno Zoological...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.