What is
Medical Coding?

A medical coder translates details from a patient’s medical documents, such as physician’s notes, lab reports, procedures, and diagnoses into universal medical codes to maintain accurate medical records. Healthcare providers and insurance companies use these standardized codes for billing and record-keeping.

This administrative role is an important one within the in-demand healthcare industry.

Medical coding is the process of taking a patient’s health care information like medical procedures, diagnosis, necessary medical equipment, and medical services information from the physician’s notes. A medical coder transforms this information into universal medical alphanumeric codes.


There are three types of universally known medical alphanumeric codes:

International Classification of Diseases (ICD):

The World Health Organization (WHO) created this internationally used code. The classification system is largely used for the purpose of health recording and data collection, among other uses. These codes can classify symptoms, diseases, illnesses, and causes of death.

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT):

CPT codes identify medical, surgical, and diagnostic procedures and services within the US. The American Medical Association (AMA) developed this system, which includes three categories: procedures and contemporary medical practices, clinical labs, and emerging technologies.

Healthcare Common Procedure Coding (HCPCS):

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed this coding system to help with processing insurance claims for Medicare or other providers. Coders use them to note medical procedures, products, supplies, and services.

Medical coding’s primary use is to ensure medical billing and insurance carriers pay and process claims correctly, but the system is also valuable for research purposes and basic medical record-keeping for patients.
Each code tells insurance companies, researchers, and health care providers the exact diagnosis, procedure, and/or medical service provided. In short, these codes act as a universal way to quantify health care visits and make physician’s notes less abstract for insurance carriers and future health providers.

Responsibilities of a medical coder

One of the core responsibilities of a medical coder is to ensure the accuracy of the medical records you transcribe and the codes you use. Other medical coder job requirements include proficiency in a variety of medical codes and adherence to the medical coding code of ethics.

Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of medical coding jobs include:

  • Transcribing patient information into appropriate medical codes
  • Examining medical documents and records for missing information
  • Conducting chart audits
  • Collecting, researching, and filing patient medical information
  • Ensuring all documents are grammatically correct
  • Complying with medical coding guidelines and policies

Why choose a career in medical coding

A Career in Medical Coding Looks Bright

Certified medical coders are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, US Department of Labor states that “Employment of health information technicians (medical coders) is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages”.

So, why not start a new career today and better position yourself for the job market. Train with PhysiCode today to become a certified professional coder (CPC).

Why choose a career in medical coding

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