Online Degrees

Online Medical Coding Classes: Increase Your Demand

Online DegreesAugust 13, 2015

By taking online medical coding classes, your skills will be in demand within one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health information and medical records field is projected to increase employment by 21 percent through 2020. With this expected growth, now is the time to plan to make a difference by enrolling in medical coding courses online.

What is Medical Coding?

Medical coding involves the translation of health records into industry accepted codes for billing and public health statistics. Online medical coding classes will teach you the skills necessary to abstract information from the physician's documentation, attach the appropriate codes and produce the payable claim. In online medical courses, you will learn about the three types of medical codes: CPT, HCPCS and ICD-9/10.

Three Types of Medical Codes

  • CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) refers to the set of codes used to report medical services and procedures to health insurance companies, practitioners and other organizations. During the electronic billing process, CPT is used with ICD-9 and ICD-10. The CPT is broken down into three categories. Category One includes vaccines, Category Two includes performance measurement and Category Three includes emerging services, technologies and procedures.
  • HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) is the system used to organize and simplify the large number of medical claims in the United States. The HCPCS is broken down into two categories. Level One is composed of the CPT codes, and Level 2 includes codes for all the services, procedures and supplies not included in the CPT coding system.
  • ICD-9 refers to the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision. The ICD codes are used to analyze different population groups for health trends and other information, including disease prevalence and incidence, classification of diseases, national morbidity statistics and several other vital statistics. The ICD codes are also used for reimbursement and for making public health decisions. However, the ICD-9 is set to be replaced by the new and more inclusive ICD-10.

What is the ICD-10?

ICD-10 is the new diagnostic coding system created by the World Heath Organization to effectively replace ICD-9. On October 1, 2014, all health care providers will be required to use the new ICD-10 set of codes to comply with HIPAA requirements. One way you can take advantage of the new growing trend in health care is to take medical coding courses online that will prepare you for this monumental change.

Why is ICD-9 Being Replaced?

For over 30 years, the ICD-9 code set has been the standard for medical coding. However, all the medical changes, advancements and new diagnosis have overwhelmed the ICD-9 code set and made it outdated. More importantly, the ICD-9 is limited in its expand ability, which isn't conducive to today's environment of rapid change. On the other hand, the ICD-10 was formatted to accommodate today's medical advancements and medical terminology. Additionally, this code set is formatted to expand, which means it can grow and house much more detail. As a result, it will provide more vital information about a patient's diagnosis and offer more compatibility with today's new technologies. Although the change is expected to be disruptive, an online medical coding education will effectively ease this transition for professionals. Photo Source: Flickr [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf]

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