The Importance of Hiring a Licensed Medical Contract Coder in Healthcare Organization

Health & Fitness

  • Author Robert West
  • Published October 4, 2019
  • Word count 698

The American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) is America’s largest medical coding training and credentialing organization for healthcare contract coders.

Today, we’re explaining the importance of hiring a licensed medical contract coder for your organization.

Affordable Coding Without Compromising on Quality

Sometimes, outsourcing a job to a remote worker leads to issues with quality or security.

Medical organizations, of course, cannot afford to compromise on quality or security.

That’s why good licensing is crucial. Good licensing ensures your outsourced medical contract coders meet a certain minimum set of requirements for quality and security.

At the same time, these outsourced specialists cost significantly less than in-house employees. Your organization is saving money with no discernable drop-off in quality. That’s a net win for any organization.

Multiple Licensing Specializations Are Available

Some licensing requirements are too broad to be genuinely effective. The AAPC, however, provides multiple types of certification to address multiple aspects of the healthcare industry.

Types of AAPC certification available today include:

• Medical coding certification

• Medical billing certification

• Medical auditing certification

• Medical documentation

• Medical compliance certification

• Practice manager certification

• Specialty medical coding certification

Healthcare has become increasingly complex. Specialized AAPC certifications help licensed medical contract coders stay on top of the latest changes.

Instead of hiring a generalist to do a specialized job, it’s now easier than ever to hire a specialist to perform a specialized job.

Demand for Medical Coders is Rising, and Licensing is More Important Than Ever

Medical coding is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. Job growth for medical records and health information technicians, which includes medical coders, is projected to grow 13% by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. That’s significantly higher than the average growth rate among all other applications.

Of course, this high growth rate is a double-edged sword.

The high projected growth rate for medical coders will force organizations to compete for high-end medical contract coding talent. As demand rises, there could be an influx of inexperienced, unlicensed medical coders into the marketplace. Organizations desperate for medical coders may take a risk by hiring unlicensed coders – only to face serious consequences in the future.

Improved HIPAA Compliancy

Medical contract coders may work for your organization remotely, but they still have to abide by HIPAA requirements.

When you hire an unlicensed medical contract coder, you’re increasing the possibility of a HIPAA violation. Most licensing courses, including AAPC licensing courses, cover HIPAA in-depth to ensure licensed medical contract coders remain compliant.

Ongoing Education is Required

As with many licensing organizations, the AAPC offers ongoing licensing opportunities to help medical coders stay relevant.

The organization allows medical coders to subscribe to lectures throughout the year, for example, and access ongoing continuing education courses.

Certified Coders Are Simply Better at Their Jobs

Put simply, a certified medical coder is a more efficient medical coder. Certified and licensed coders can ensure:

• Coding accuracy and specificity that translates to more efficient processes at every stage of the organization

• Ongoing internal audits to identify high-risk areas and areas of improvement

• Compliancy and security from top to bottom

Other Things to Know About Licensed Medical Contract Coders

Other things employers need to know about licensed medical contract coders include:

Understanding Different Medical Coding Licensing Systems

When searching for a licensed coder, look for the following designations:

CCS-P: Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based

CPC: Certified Professional Coder

COC: Certified Outpatient Coder

CRC: Certified Risk Adjustment Coder

CPPM: Certified Physician Practice Manager

CPCO: Certified Professional Compliance Officer

CDEO: Certified Documentation Expert – Outpatient

CPMA: Certified Professional Medical Auditor

The AAPC is the World’s Largest Medical Contract Coding Credentialing Organization

In some industries, there are multiple licensing organizations and it can create confusion among employers. Fortunately, medical coding has one clear licensing organization: the AAPC.

The AAPC is the world’s largest training and credentialing organization for the business of healthcare. It has more than 190,000 members worldwide.

The next time you need to hire a medical contract coder, make sure the coder is licensed by the AAPC. Otherwise, you’re exposing your organization to significant risk – and missing out on all the benefits listed above.

Robert R West Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer in HMI Corporation, has more than thirty years of executive management experience in Health Care.

Contact HMI Corp today to discover how our licensed medical contract coders can optimize your healthcare organization.

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