Up until the 1980s, medical coders were responsible for manually transcribing every piece of information pertaining to a patient’s visit into an electronic code that would be stored in the hospitals’ patient database for insurance claims and other purposes.

The job of coders has evolved dramatically in the past couple of decades with the arrival of encoders. With encoders, medical coders today have their job greatly simplified since a lot of the coding process has been streamlined, and accuracy in patient records has thus been significantly enhanced.

However, as any healthcare professional would tell you, relying merely on encoders can be a risky proposition. Medical coders continue to play an important role in accurate documentation, owing to their knowledge of medical procedures and terminology. But change is inevitable. As technology continues to disrupt healthcare, there are bound to be changes in the way medical billing and coding is done.

The United States moved to the latest ICD-10-CM codes in 2015, which is now mandatory for all inpatient medical reporting. Variations of this code have been present in other countries, like the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Canada, from as early as the 1990s. The introduction of the new codes was opposed by many small physicians who estimated the cost of the transition to be anywhere between $56,639 to $226,105. Besides, the early days of the implementation also saw a noticeable increase in the number of claims being rejected due to wrong ICD-10 codes.”  Read Mor

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