Looking for remote medical coding jobs? Here’s what the qualification requirements are for most remote medical coder jobs.
Employers include hospitals, physician’s offices, and corporate providers of coding/billing services. Although most remote jobs are typical employee situations (wherein you’ll receive benefits), some may be freelance (wherein you’ll be an independent contractor). Learn more about the difference between an employee and an independent contractor before applying for any remote job, so that you’ll be well informed.
The Education and Experience You’ll Need
A high school diploma is the minimum education. A minimum of 2 years of ongoing coding experience in ICD-9-CM and CPT/HCPCS coding is typically required, including modifiers and APCs. Some jobs require up to 5 years of coding experience.
Sometimes specialized skills are required, such as pharmacology indications, PPS, and ancillary testing.
Some jobs may require specialized experience such as emergency department, family practice, or urgent care coding.
Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology is essential. As with any medical coder, you must have exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with excellent attention to detail and accuracy. A sense of humor is sometimes advertised as an “appreciated” quality.
You will likely need computer software experience with Word, Excel, and Outlook. Some jobs may require experience with specific medical programs such as Medisoft, AS400, CPSI, and IMACS.
Many remote medical coding jobs provide on-site training for a period of time after starting the job. So, although you will eventually be able to perform the job duties from home, you will need to be able to travel to the training site for a period of time (typically about 6 weeks).
Some medical coding jobs involve billing and collections, as well. Such positions may require experience as a reimbursement analyst, and with state disability and workers compensation filings.
The Certification(s) You’ll Need
The AHIMA credentials of Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), or Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) are typically required. Other required credentials may include CSS.
Some remote jobs do not require certification, though it is preferred. Experience sometimes will substitute for certification.
The Job Duties
Typical job duties as a remote medical coder are very similar to a coder in a hospital or doctor’s office, and can include:
- Performing centralized coding using scanned medical records and abstracts
- Coding outpatient surgical recording
- Assigning appropriate discharge dispositions
- Communicating documentation improvement opportunities and coding issues (such as physician queries and discrepancies) to the appropriate personnel for follow up and resolution
- Maintaining a minimum productivity level and accuracy rate (typically 95% accuracy)
- Attending coding workshops
- Keeping abreast of regulatory changes
- Mentoring/training entry-level coders as needed
Hours may include nights and weekends.
The Equipment You’ll Need
You’ll need a fast, reliable computer, the appropriate coding software, as well as a high-speed Internet connection.
A great resource for finding remote medical coding jobs is Virtual Vocations. This site updates their jobs minute to minute, so you’re always assured of getting the most up-to-date jobs.
Some of the companies that have offered remote coding jobs in the past include:
Mergis Group (Boston, MA area)
McKesson Provider Technologies (Jacksonville, FL area)
PHNS (Flint, MI area)
Aerotek Scientific (Nashville, TN area)
Innovative Healthcare Systems (Oklahoma City, OK area)
Compass Billing (Denver, CO area)
United Audit Systems (nationwide)
Skills gleaned from analyzing a variety of medical coding and billing jobs show that the following skills are sought after:
- Team player
- Detail oriented
- Excellent attention to accuracy
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
- Hard working
- Strong problem-solving and analytical skills
- Able to develop and implement new systems when needed