Remote Medical Coding Jobs

If you have an interest in or passion for healthcare, but don’t think you have the calmness to be in an exam room or the guts to hold surgical scissors, becoming a medical coder might be the right career choice for you. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to become certified and knowledgeable in the profession. What’s more? There is currently a high demand for those who can do the job and many health clinics and hospitals are seeking to hire such people remotely.

What is medical coding?

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) defines medical coding as “the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes.” These codes are taken from medical record documentation, such as the transcription of a doctor’s notes or laboratory and radiologic results. It is the job of medical coders to make sure that the codes are correctly applied during the medical billing process.

While medical coders and medical billers often work together to create a smooth process and ensure that claims are paid quickly, they should not be thought of as being the same. The job responsibilities of each are unique and different.

According to Holly Dalby of Centura College, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that medical coders make on average an annual salary of $34,160, being paid $16.42 an hour. While pay may vary based on location, the top ten percent of earners made over $56,000 a year while the bottom ten percent of earners made over $22,000.

What skills and training do you need to become a medical coder?

In order to be successful at the job, it is important that you take the time to receive the appropriate education and get the necessary training. In most cases, this takes less than a year. First, you must have a good understanding of anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. Second, you must study the coding systems of the codebook resources CPT, HCPCS Level II, and ICD-10-CM. Third, you must become certified by obtaining the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential.

The CPC credential can be obtained by enrolling in a certificate training program either online or in class through a community college or technical school. After finishing the program, you will then have to take a certificate exam which is administered by an accredited organization. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will be ready to apply for jobs. When applying, keep in mind that opportunities for the job may also be under such titles as Coding Specialist, Medical Records Coder, Physician Auditor, and Record Retrieval Specialist.

Several organizations and colleges currently offer certification. The top two professional organizations which do are the AAPC and the AHIMA. The AAPC offers five core certification options – Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Outpatient Coding (COC), Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC), Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC), and Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P). The AHIMA also offers several certifications, including Certified Coding Assistant (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), and Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based (CCS-P). DeVry University, Brightwood College, and Ashworth College are just a few of the colleges that offer certification.

While it is not required, having a college degree can definitely increase your chance of being hired. And since most of the job is largely done on the computer, being proficient in computer skills, being able to navigate around software programs, and knowing how to solve common computer problems is a plus. If you are not very familiar with computers, it might be a good idea to receive in depth computer training before taking the certificate program. Those in this field must also be detail oriented, good with numbers, and efficient in administrative work. Additionally, when working remotely, you must have the discipline to complete tasks independently and must be able to communicate well with doctors and other medical professionals.

What companies are hiring remote medical coders?

Many healthcare companies, clinics and hospitals are currently hiring remotely in this profession. Below are just a few of them:

Altegra Health

Using technology-driven solutions, Altegra Health enables healthcare providers to generate and submit needed data to ensure appropriate reimbursement is rendered for care that is given. Altegra Health has several remote coding positions open, most of which require certification through AHIMA or AAPC and at least one-two years of experience. If interested in applying with Altegra Health, you should submit a note of interest and your resume to certifiedcoders@altegrahealth.com or register for an account and fill out an application online.

Aviacode

Aviacode has created several applications – ProCoder, ProAuditor, Practicode and ICD-Advisor – which allows those who use them to consistently create reliable and predictable coding for hospitals. Aviacode offers many remote jobs. A few years of experience, AAPC or AHIMA certification, and being proficient in utilizing technology are just some of the qualifications that are required for nearly all remote medical coding positions.

Conifer Health Solutions

With more than 30 years in the health industry, Conifer Health not only provides accurate coding services, but also helps health systems enhance consumer engagement, drive clinical alignment, and improve financial performance. Experience is required and current RHIA, RHIT, CCS, etc., credentials are preferred. When searching for remote positions with Conifer Health Solutions, use the keyword “telecommuting”.

Humana

By focusing on innovation and service, among other things, Humana not only offers health insurance plans to millions of people. It also seeks to make a difference and leave a positive mark on the health insurance industry. Although Humana offers a variety of remote positions, many of them have geographic requirements and you may have to initially travel to Louisville, Kentucky, where the company is headquartered.

The Coding Network

Established in 1995, The Coding Network understands that accurate coding is pivotal to improving reimbursement and is an essential component of compliance. It aims to be the most respected medical coding company in the nation, as well as in the world. To work for The Coding Network, you must: (1) must have a minimum of three years specialty specific experience to apply for a coder position and five years specialty specific experience to apply for an auditor position; (2) live and work in the United States; and (3) have an active coding certification CPC, CCS, RHIA, RHIT, RCC, etc. The Coding Network does not accept CPC-A certifications.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records and health information technicians, which includes medical coders, is expected to grow 13% between 2016 and 2026. So, now is a good time to get involved with remote medical coding if you’re looking for an industry that will have good prospects and good pay well into the future.