Technicians who specialize in coding are called health information coders, medical record coders, coder/abstractors, or coding specialists.
A medical coder uses a classification system to assign code numbers and letters to each symptom, diagnosis, disease, procedure, and operation that appears in the patient’s chart. These codes are used for insurance reimbursement, research, health planning analysis, and to make clinical decisions.
Medical coders usually work in hospitals.
Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages.
A two year associate degree with a curriculum that includes medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology is recommended. Basic coding courses offered by vocational schools may last up to 12 weeks. A home-study course is available through the American Health Information Management Association. It is a self-paced course and usually takes 24-36 months to complete. Some on-the-job training is also offered.
Licensure is not required in the state of Connecticut.
American Health Information Management Association
233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-5809