Medical Coders

Medical coders are among the critical occupations for Western Massachusetts employers because their work is directly tied to receiving the correct financial reimbursements for services from health insurers. They manage patient health information and use electronic medical records (EMR) systems technology to input, store, update, and retrieve information.

Medical coders use a diagnosis coding language in their day-to-day work, revisions in the coding language (from ICD-9 to ICD-10) will continue through 2015, this will impact the training that new and current workers need.

Medical coders:

  • Keep patient health information accurate and secure by reviewing records for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with rules and privacy regulations

Employment opportunities can be found in:

  • Hospitals
  • Companies specializing in medical coding or billing services

Education and Training:

Becoming a medical coder requires a high school diploma or GED and either a certificate or associate’s degree.  Many coders become certified as a Certified Coding Apprentice (CCA) or Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). Some employers require certification to qualify for available positions. View the health information career map for more information on careers in medical technology.

Medical coders are also expected to have:

                        • An accurate and up-to-date knowledge of codes for services and diagnoses, as well as the rules and interpretations of these codes
                        • A solid understanding of medical terminology, including anatomy
                        • Understanding of and compliance with security rules and procedures, especially HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
                        • Good communication skills to interact with physicians, nurses, patients and their families

Western MA Fast Facts for Medical Coders and Billers

  • Workers in Pioneer Valley: 380
  • Education Requirements: High School or GED (HS) + Certificate
  • Entry Level Wage: $15/hour
  • Experienced Wage: $23/hour
  • Learn more at VCN.org