What is Medical Coding?

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“Medical coding is the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes using ICD 10 CM, CPT, and HCPCS books. The diagnoses and procedure codes are taken from medical record documentation, such as transcription of physician’s notes, laboratory and radiologic results, etc.” American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

Woman at a desk

This means that each time you see your doctor, the service is assigned a medical code which translates into dollars when billed to the insurance. For example, do you need a cut stitched close? That closure has a specific medical code. Do you need an xray of your arm? That also is a specific medical code. Will you spend the night at the hospital? Again, that is a specific medical code. In order for physicians and hospitals to be paid correctly, the medical coding must be accurate.

Do you remember the last time you were at your doctor’s office or hospital? Do you remember how many people were in the waiting room? You can imagine that they needed services just like you. Each day services are provided which are billed to insurances for payment. These charges must be verified for accuracy and compliance before sending. Who ensures the charges are accurate? Medical coders!


Published by Sofia Colón

With my stories and those of inspiring Latinas, I share how to balance our family, community and career lives while maintaining our self-identity. I hope to help you become more active in these areas while maintaining your well-being.

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