Working from home has become much more common since the Covid-19 pandemic. During the many lockdowns imposed by governments around the world, there were strict rules on social distancing, which meant that companies had to find another way to work. It led to a rise in the home office and people working remotely.
But while this was ideal for some industries, it was totally unsuitable for others. For example, it was a much simpler process for administrative staff to make the move to home working than it was for those in other industries. As you can imagine, it is not feasible for manufacturing employees to stop going to their place of work.
Even with lockdowns lifted and the Covid-19 pandemic pretty much under control, the whole way in which many of us work has changed. Countless companies saw the benefits of having staff working from their own homes as it reduced their energy bills and by and large, most employees were more productive at home. These days, it is not uncommon for many companies to have a hybrid working system where staff spend some of the week working from home and the rest in the office.
This is great news for lots of people. Nevertheless, if you are interested in a career in medical coding or billing, you might be wondering if working from home could apply to you.
What do Medical Coders and Billers do?
Medical coders take patient files and translate the information contained in them into coding. These codes include ICD 10 and ICD 11 diagnosis codes and CPT codes. Every piece of information must be changed to code before the biller can raise a claim with the relevant payer (insurance provider, Medicare, or Medicaid for example). With online databases such as those at Find-A-Code (https://www.findacode.com/), searching for the correct code is quicker and easier.
Although this sounds quite straightforward, it can be a challenging job. Particularly so if the patient file contains hard-to-read information or when information is missing. The coder will also need an understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology in order to ensure the correct codes are used.
To do the job of medical coding, it will be necessary to liaise with other individuals from time to time. For example, the coder may have to speak to the physician that added information to a patient file to find out what was meant or what the missing information was.
Can Coders Work Remotely?
The job of translating patient information into code is one that can be done from home provided one has the proper setup. You will need high-speed internet access and you must also be able to access the information via a secure connection to ensure that you are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant.
It is important to be aware that most reputable companies that allow their coders and billers to work from home will expect them to have a professional qualification and at least two years’ experience (sometimes more).
Benefits of Working from Home
As with all remote jobs, working from home as a medical coder has its benefits. For starters, the daily commute is eliminated, giving you more freedom and helping to create a better work/life balance. Furthermore, you can usually work from anywhere, provided you have the secure connection and high-speed internet. And don’t forget, you will be saving money when you do not have to pay for gas or public transport.
To conclude, medical coding is a job that can be done from home, as long as you have the qualifications, relevant experience, and can be HIPAA compliant.