September 15, 2022

A Day in the Life of a Medical Coder

By Janine Mothershed

What does a day in the life of a Medical Coder entail? If you are interested in a career in Medical Coding, you may be wondering what a typical day includes. In this article, you will learn the job description, skills needed and education required for this type of work. In addition, we will discuss the work environment. Discover more about the duties, salary, and career outlook of a Medical Coding professional.

A Day in the Life of a Medical Coder may involve a variety of tasks. Some of these tasks include working with patients, coding medical procedures, keeping patient data records and meeting with insurance companies. It may require you to take extra care when dealing with patient data. As a CPC, you can earn as much as $65K per year in the US. Read on to find out more about this rewarding career. Medical Coding is an essential part of health care. You can apply today to become a Medical Coder at no cost.

Daily Tasks and Duties

The typical workday for a Medical Coder begins with logging into the computer and immediately opening cases and programs. The day includes reading patient documentation and abstracting information such as date of procedure, physician names and other details. CPCs spend a large portion of the day on the computer, where you will enter data into the billing system. A majority of the day would be working with medical records; reviewing them, taking notes and searching for information. Some medical coders spend their day reviewing medical charts to determine which codes are appropriate for the different diagnoses. Converting paper-based files into an electronic health record (EHR) and transferring them onto re-writable discs may be part of the tasks. Verifying dates of surgery, patient information and being responsible for releasing patient information under HIPAA laws will happen frequently. One may develop and modify client systems and protocols to meet compliance standards. The coder ensures that these systems are compliant and follow all legal requirements.

The duties of a medical coder also include assigning the use of three types of codes: ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS. The ICD-10 coding system is a global standard for coding medical procedures. It is used by healthcare providers worldwide in various formats. These codes are assigned in accordance with regulatory guidelines and are checked for validity. These professionals triple-check each code to ensure accuracy and that it is in compliance with insurance regulations. A Medical Coders duties include presenting codes to insurance companies, Medicare, and other healthcare providers. In addition to their responsibilities, Medical Coders must advise physicians on proper Medical Coding and train their staff. The majority of the duties are performed digitally, so it is easy to work from anywhere. While most cases are simple to code, some notes are more difficult to decipher and may require additional investigation.

Skills Needed

A Medical Coders job requires good analytical skills, computer proficiency and exceptional communication skills. It also requires a high level of confidentiality and must be well-organized. One should also have integrity and possess strong communication skills. They will often be required to coordinate with physicians, speak with insurance companies and patients. Excellent customer service skills are needed to do so. Medical coders must also keep accurate patient records. Incorrect coding can cost medical providers a great deal of lost revenue. Strong computer proficiency and skills, along with the ability to work with an electronic health record are a must. Medical Coders need to be very good with numbers and pay attention to detail. They must be self-motivated, dependable and accurate with a positive job outlook. They also have to adhere to strict ethical standards. This job is a great choice for those who have a strong work ethic, a high level of focus and a thorough knowledge of coding procedures and medical terminology and codes. Don’t worry, you will learn everything when you attend Coding Clarified. Finally, Medical Coders should be able to learn new technologies and be flexible. New technology development could make the job obsolete if the coder is not up to date.

Job description

While the job description varies by company, a Medical Coder is a professional who provides coding services to healthcare providers, reviews the medical records of patients and converts the information into codes to describe various medical procedures. These codes are entered into an online program. The ICD-10 coding system is used when assigning codes to medical records to ensure proper billing.

Education required

Medical Coding professionals must be well-educated and achieve certification by completing an industry-recognized training program and passing a certification test. A certification program like Coding Clarified is essential for success to become a Medical Coder. Be sure that the school that you choose is AAPC recognized. Getting certified typically takes 4-24 months. Once you pass the exam, you will need extra experience to take your education to the next level. An internship is essential to become a full CPC. We offer internships to all students to help them get the experience needed. Medical Coders are required to take continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with new codes. Schools are often available online. To become a Medical Coder, you will need specialized training and education. It is not a career that just anyone can do; you must be a high school graduate and have completed a Medical Coding program to get into the industry and succeed. This is not a dull job, it requires continuous learning and experience.

Work environment

Medical coders typically work in a medical office or from the comfort of their own homes. The work environment can vary greatly depending on the size of the facility, specialty, physician and whether it is a remote position.

Working at a hospital or doctor’s office is typically very fast-paced with many patients walking through the doors on a daily basis. Medical Coders may work alone or on a team. In larger facilities, they may focus on a specific specialty, while in smaller practices, Medical Coders may be responsible for a wide range of patients. Most work at a desk or cubicle, sharing a desk with one or more others.

Working from home can be much more flexible and easier for some. One must be very dedicated and stay on task when choosing to work remotely. A quiet home office is imperative. Remote Medical Coders may also need to be well versed in the medical field and possess a proven ability to handle sensitive information in order to be able to work from home.

While traditional jobs in hospitals and doctor’s offices are the most common, Medical Coding jobs are available in government facilities and at insurance companies. These organizations need Medical Coders to process insurance claims and review the accuracy of applications. Some may be employed by law firms that handle medical cases too. Being a revenue specialist in a proactive audit of medical records is another potential option.

Keeping Track of Patient Data

In addition to having advanced knowledge of clinical terminology, Medical Coders need to review data and make sure the codes are correct. They are responsible for maintaining the integrity of medical records. Medical Coders work with client systems and maintain high levels of confidentiality. Keeping track of patient data is a key part of being a Medical Coder. Whether they are using a computer program or paper-based records, they need to be sure that the work is saved. Computer programs should be logged out and any paper-based records are filed away. This is important because patient privacy laws make it illegal for others access to health information. In addition, large healthcare facilities may require the clearing of the desk for the next shift.

Understanding how to organize a patient’s records and deciding which codes are most appropriate for this is important. Learning how to read handwritten materials and medical records to accurately code is a must. When it comes to patient data, Medical Coders need to be detail-oriented, have strong decision-making skills and have high ethical standards. Keeping track of patient data is an essential part of the job, and one needs to be patient-oriented and a team player to be successful in this field. Improperly coded medical records can lead to inaccurate billing, denied claims and frustrated patients.

Getting Hired and Job Opportunities

A Medical Coding Certification is highly recommended in the job market, as it can lead to a higher salary and it is easier to get hired. It shows employers that the potential coder has the right skills to do a high-quality job. There are many different ways to get started in this field. To get hired as a Medical Coder, they will need to be knowledgeable about the healthcare system and its requirements. Getting an internship and gaining work experience will help one land better Medical Coding jobs. Become a Certified Professional Coder, rather than a CPC-A.

This profession can be part-time or full-time, depending on availability and preference. Most Medical Coders work 40 hours per week and they often set their own schedules. As experience is gained, one may be able to adjust their schedule to accommodate their lifestyle.

Successful Medical Coders may consider teaching in post-secondary coding programs. While most teaching jobs do not require formal education, they do require a few years of on-the-job experience. Teaching positions are also ideal for experienced Medical Coders who want a change of pace. A career as a Medical Coder can lead to other careers in the healthcare industry, such as compliance and management. If one is a go-getter, they can even own their own Medical Coding company.


Working as a Medical Coder can be a great way to earn money and make a difference in a healthcare facility. A career in the field is rewarding and the wages are competitive. The salary of a Medical Coder is based on the level of education, experience and job location. Salaries may vary from state to state. Medical Coders who hold the basic credential can stack their certifications to become a CPC rather than a CPC-A to increase their salary. While the salary can vary greatly, the field is booming and there are many potential job opportunities. It always offers job security. The medical field is rapidly expanding, and more jobs are available every year. The need for Medical Coders is rising as the world becomes more digital. Health care systems offer the highest salaries.

Get Started

Medical Coders are an essential part of the healthcare industry. They ensure that hospitals and doctors get paid and patients are covered. If you have the education and training to become a Medical Coder, you may be the perfect candidate for the role! Start a lucrative career as a Medical Coder and earn a living from home. Apply today for a FREE scholarship.

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