Job Title: Coding Analyst
Education: Certification in medical coding
Previous Experience: I worked in a medical practice for 18 years doing medical coding for insurance claims.
Job Tasks: We are a company that provides a medicare advantage (replacement) policy. I review medical charts daily to assure proper diagnostic coding is submitted to our company for claims.
I travel throughout Iowa for about 6 months of the year, the rest of the time, I work via the internet. This is what I do for 40 hours or more every week. Any paperwork, appointment making, etc. is done by a "specialist" in the company. I travel throughout the state of Iowa and often into other adjoining states, going to practices to review records on site. This does mean that I live out of a suitcase at times, but it's not that bad. A lot of my trips are "daytrips".
I do fit into the schedule an occasional 1-2 hour conference call to keep my continuing education credits up to date, and do attend a weekly meeting for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour via a conference call.
We wear company issue shirts and slacks so wardrobe is not a big part of your budget. I am responsible for reviewing a minimum of 400 charts a week. Sounds like alot, but it's only 80 a day.
My direct supervisor(s) are not in the office I work out of, so much communication is done through e-mails and phone calls. A weekly check-in call to my supervisor is required at the end of each working day. The pay is salaried, but 40 hours of work is required. After years in a medical practice, this is a breath of fresh air!
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Traveling in the winter is the worst part, second to traveling in serious rainstorms. The best part is that I work on my own, with little supervision for the most part. I have quotas to meet weekly which if not met creates a lack of trust, so you meet them!
1. Get experience by starting out in a physicians office. It helps to know the works of a practice.
2. After about a year in a practice, get your certification in coding. Often times the practice will pay for this if you agree to stay another year.
3. Don't be afraid to venture into the insurance field, the rewards, (including the pay) are much better than at a physician's office.
Additional Thoughts: This is a relatively new field within insurance companies. You are not an auditor, but a reviewer. The need is great in the midwest, especially southwestern Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas.
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