Medical coding as a career option in India: Eligibility, growth and future prospects

Source :SIFY
Last Updated: Thu, Nov 2nd, 2017, 23:32:35hrs
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Medical coding is an upcoming in-demand field in the stream of Healthcare Administration. A medical coder extracts the information from patients’ medical records and converts them to an industry-standard medical code, which is accepted universally. These codes are used to process claims with third party players, collect stats to track information of specific disease, treatment etc.

Narayanan V – SVP & Joint Head of Operations, Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd answers some of the most common questions related to the medical coding industry and its employment & training opportunities in India.

Narayanan brings over 23 years of rich operations experience to Omega and has been instrumental in setting up the Trichy delivery centre almost from scratch. 

What are the skill sets required for a medical coder (education, certification etc)?

To pursue Medical coding, the individual must have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, preferably from life science background.

One must also have the analytical ability to read and analyse medical records and patient details by using the right codes for the billing procedure.

How is the demand for medical coders, in general?

The healthcare industry is a fast-growing industry and the demand for medical coders is increasing exponentially. The demand & supply gap of certified medical coders is approximately 40% and has been increasing over the last two years.

India is the preferred destination for offshoring medical coding and medical billing. Being one of the most demanding sectors, medical coding is undoubtedly creating numerous job opportunities for medical enthusiasts and life sciences students.

What is the scope and growth of medical coding in India?

While every other sector and job is being impacted by technology and automation, medical coding may not face many challenges in terms of human resource. Although healthcare outsourcing represents only 5- 10% of total outsourcing market, the likeliness of growth is relatively high because of the growing demands for quality care.

 According to a research by Market Data Forecast, the healthcare outsourcing industry is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 9.81% and reach USD 280.15 Billion by 2020. Hence there is a lot of scope and demand for medical coding in the coming years.

The need and demand for medical coding will only keep rising since the recent advance of computer assisted coding (CAC) has only helped ease the job of medical coders world over.

It is a tool which helps improve productivity and increase accuracy of the highly critical coding process. Coding being the very first step in revenue cycle management process, automated coding is a step towards processing claims faster as well. It is in fact helping save costs easing the work of coding operations

Is medical coding a suitable job for girls/ ladies?

Medical coding is a very apt job for women. Being a desk job it is a comfortable job for women, with fixed working hours.

As this profession involves organizing and maintaining medical information converting them into predefined codes, this job is well-designed for women as women are believed to be good at managing and organising things.

Omega is under a mission to empower women in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. We take pride in the fact that nearly 60% of our medical coders in Trichy are women.

Is there any course that an individual must study to become a medical coder?

There are no specific courses to study to enter medical coding industry but we have setup Omega Medical Coding Academy (OMCA) to train students on medical coding with the mission to deliver high-caliber medical coders to the healthcare BPO industry.

The academy follows rigorous training standards and world-class syllabus, delivered by AAPC (American Association of Professional Coders) certified trainers. We deliver cost effective medical coding education and make it accessible to thousands. Our OMCA certification and training equips fresh graduates with the necessary skill sets to start working on critical processes immediately.

With centres across Bengaluru, Chennai and Trichy, we have trained and placed nearly 2000+ coders. 

Narayanan is a commerce graduate and has an MBA in Finance from Alagappa University.He has also completed Intermediate ICWA (Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India). 

He is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt professional. He presently leads the Omega healthcare`s operations of this rapidly-growing region, driving all strategic functions. 

Omega Healthcare, founded in 2004 by Gopi Natarajan and Anurag Mehta started its operations in Bengaluru and now has its presence in Chennai, Trichy, Bhimavaram and Hyderabad in India, and Manila and Cebu in the Philippines. 

They currently serve over 100+ US healthcare companies, providing healthcare outsourcing services that include Provider Solutions namely Medical Coding & Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Data Management, Accounts Receivable Management & Patient Interaction Services, Payer Solutions, Analytics and Software Solutions.

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