How to Get Started in Healthcare Part 2
Healthcare Career Options for ICD-10: Medical Coding and Medical Billing
ICD (International Classification of Diseases) guidelines are changing, making healthcare professionals with ICD-10 expertise increasingly in demand now, and, in the future. Why does a change in ICD matter? ICD is the code set that medical professionals use to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures. It’s how medical providers, payers, vendors, and others in the medical marketplace communicate with each other. All of these entities need to speak the same language and use the same set of codes in order for information to be processed and disseminated appropriately. Healthcare students taking college courses today, as well as medical billers and coders taking courses to learn the latest ICD-10 codes and procedures, are at an advantage in the medical records marketplace.
What is ICD-10?
ICD-10 is a complete overhaul of the previous medical codes sets known as ICD-9. On October 1, 2014, all ICD-9 code sets will be replaced by ICD-10 code sets. ICD-9 has been used in healthcare diagnostics for 30 years2, but now provides only limited data about a patient’s medical condition and inpatient procedures. ICD-9 uses outdated terms and is inconsistent with current healthcare options. ICD-10 makes changes to keep codes current with the healthcare field as practiced today.
If you are considering a career in healthcare, you may be new to the field – but you’ll still be on a level playing field when it comes to developing an expertise in ICD-10 codes. This means there may be no better time to consider a career in medical records and health information technology (such as ICD-10 medical coding or medical billing) than now. In fact, this profession is expected to grow 21% from 2010 to 2020. In 2010, the median pay for a medical records and health information technician was $32,250. Education required is generally an associate degree or professional certification.3
Having a speciality in health information means having a career that is in demand. Here’s a list of organizations that hire medical coders and billers:
- A variety of organizations that provide health services to women in transition and other populations in need
- Chiropractors, massage therapists and other specialized care providers
- Correctional facilities
- Dialysis centers
- Immediate care centers
- Independent physicians
- Insurance companies
- Medical practice groups
- MRI and other testing centers
- Schools that need instructors to teach medical billing and coding
- Short-term-stay surgical centers
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers
2CMS ICD-10, The ICD-10 Transition: An Introduction, p.1
3Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, p.1