A Career in ICD-10 Medical Coding: What You Should Know

A course in medical coding can expand your career opportunities in the medical industry.

But it’s essential to know what you’re learning and why. The ICD-10 coding system is the tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. Created by the World Health Organization, the system consists of two parts:

  • ICD-10-CM – used in all U.S. health care settings to establish a diagnosis code that describes the patients medical condition
  • ICD-10-PCS – used in U.S. hospitals to define inpatient procedures

These codes form the basis for defining patient information in health records, medical claims and outcomes reporting.

Before you take a course in medical coding, it might be helpful to get a better understanding of ICD-10 and what it can mean for your career. Here are some general ideas to help you grow your career in medical coding.

Build a resource library.

While online coding apps and technology are a great resource, having a physical library with codebooks and coding guidelines helps immensely.

Experts suggest that coders should not become reliant on technology and that building your own resource library will provide credible sourced information at your fingertips. Knowledge on how to use coding resources will help you recognize incorrect codes. And current coding manuals are required for taking coding certification exams; electronic resources are not allowed in the exam rooms.

Start in entry-level opportunities.

Taking your first job in an entry-level position will help you build necessary experience to advance your career. Not only will you learn ICD-10 on the job, but you will build skills that will make you more marketable in the future.

You’ll also be able to learn how the system works. By training with experienced individuals, you will be able to develop habits that will help you throughout your career.

Work with your management.

Medical coding is a process-oriented career. There will be frequent audits to ensure the company or facility is compliant with current regulations and the ICD-10 codes. Building a positive professional relationship with management will be crucial to your development.

As you continue to climb the ladder throughout your career, having a good working relationship with supervisors and audit managers will help you. Collaborate with them to ensure your work is at the necessary level for their requirements.

Seek out a mentor to help grow.

Another helpful idea when you’re entering the medical coding industry is to work with a mentor. Seek someone out in your community who does a job you want to do. Talk with them about their career path and learn from their experiences with ICD-10, and even their mistakes.

They can also become a sounding board to help you work through difficult situations. If you’re concerned, confused, or frustrated with something at your new job, get their perspective to help you solve the issue without burning bridges.

Are you looking for a career where medical coding would benefit you? Kick off your future with a course in ICD-10 coding.

Making the Most of Your Online Course

Whether you want to learn a new skill or enhance your current professional experience, online classes can help you advance your education without interrupting your day-to-day life.

But how do you ensure that you are getting the most out of your online education? Here are some ways to make the process more productive and ensure that your time and money is well spent.

Establish deadlines. When you’re juggling online classes with work and family obligations, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks or get lost in the shuffle. This is especially true when the class is self-paced.

While being able to work at your own speed is an advantage, it can also become a burden if you’re not able to stay on track. Establish deadlines early on to help you reach milestones along the way.

Track your own performance. In an online class you will typically receive feedback and even grades for the work you’ve done. But it’s also helpful for you to chart your own progress with your learning.

Setting deadlines to reach educational milestones is only helpful if you understand what each of those milestones represents for your long term goals. Using an online calendar system to track important dates in the class can give you an idea of where you are in your understanding of the subject.

Associate subjects with real life. When you learn a new concept, apply it to your life or your work for better understanding. Using new knowledge and skills is essential for retention. By connecting your education to the things you do every day, it will improve your motivation and curiosity to continue learning.

Another way you can retain more information is to teach it to someone else. This will help by creating associations between online learning and real life.

Develop a routine. A routine that will help you stay focused on your online classes will also help you maintain normalcy throughout your daily activities. Develop a routine that you can adhere to from the time to wake up to the time you go to bed.

This will help you see how you can fit all of your tasks into the day and not feel overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do for your family, your job, and your online classes.

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4 Study Tips to Learn Medical Terminology

Medical Terminology is a key skill for a variety of jobs within the industry. Whether you are interested in medical transcription, billing and coding, medical administration, or clinical roles, knowing the terms will be essential for your success.

There are a variety of ways to learn this skill, but taking online courses can give you many added benefits, including the ability to learn in your own way and at your own pace. But how do you ensure that you retain this information? Here are some tips on studying medical terminology.

  1. Make flashcards. It’s true, this old-fashioned elementary school method really works. Why? Because the human brain learns by visual cues, looking at the word to recall the definition can help train your brain for memorization. You can purchase medical terminology flashcards, but making them yourself will also help you imprint the words and definitions. Writing them down on the front and back of index cards will aid in your retention.
  1. Record yourself.Simply hearing medical terminology out loud can also help you learn. One simple trick is to record yourself saying them. Using audio clues, beyond reading the words on the page, can allow you to build better recall skills. The act of recording them will create aural flashcards to help you remember the words and hear them in your head when you come across them in your reading.
  1. Gamify it. Medical educators are learning about the inherent benefits of gamification or the use of video game technology to aid in learning difficult concepts. Video games offer a new way to engage the brain with task oriented learning and a scoring system to keep track of advancement. There are several apps for smart phones that can gamify medical terminology to keep you engaged with the learning process. One such app is Med Term Scramble that combines medical terminology with word games to help you learn.
  1. Memorize root words. Most medical terminology is based on Latin and Greek root words. So understanding the parts of the words will help you understand them as a whole. For instance, knowing that “bronch” is the root word for things relating to the respiratory system, you’ll know that “bronchial” or “bronchitis” is also related to the lungs or breathing.

Have you considered learning medical terminology to advance your career?

We provide a fully accredited, self-paced online medical terminology course that includes interactive study experiences. Contact us today to learn more.

Study Tips to Ace Anatomy and Physiology Classes Online

Knowledge of anatomy and physiology is essential for jobs in the medical industry. All the Latin and Greek phrases, with complex prefixes and suffixes, can be challenging even for someone with an incredible memory.

But memorization isn’t the only strategy that works for learning and remembering anatomy and physiology. Here are some tried and true methods that can help you succeed.

  • Break the word down. The most important thing to know about these Latin and Greek words is that each part has a meaning. Learning the meaning of the prefix at the beginning of the word or a suffix at the end will help you better understand the word as a whole. For example, learning that the suffix “angio” relates to blood vessels will help you recognize several words.
  • Record yourself. Hearing anatomical words out loud will also help you better memorize and understand them. A great trick is to record yourself saying them. Audio clues, beyond simply reading these words on a page, will give you better recall. The initial exercise of recording them will aid in memorization as well.
  • Use mnemonic devices. Do you remember the old memory tools you used in elementary school? Like ROYGBIV for colors of the rainbow. Memory tools can help with anatomy and physiology as well.

Connecting the part of the body or the function with the word itself is a great way to understand each part and how they work together. For example, this mnemonic device for the four abdominal muscles:

  • T for transversus abdominis
  • I for internal abdominal oblique
  • R for rectus abdominis
  • E for external abdominal oblique
  • Rewrite definitions. The words and definitions in anatomy and physiology can be complicated and overly technical. But they don’t have to be. Another tool to learn concepts is to rewrite the definitions in your own words.

This layperson’s language will give you a better grasp on what is being discussed so you can follow along in your own way without getting caught up in the words used.

  • Focus on concepts. When learning any new skill, it is always best to focus on the concepts rather than each specific component. For example, if you want to learn how to speak a language, just learning the nouns won’t help you put together sentences. You learn grammar, which is a concept that allows you to speak to someone else.

The same is true for anatomy and physiology. Learn the concepts that will help you understand the whole. For example, physiology is filled with what scientists call “causal mechanisms.” Learning the core ideas behind how the body works can apply to a variety of biological systems.

  • Reach out to a study partner. Lastly, even though you may be training entirely online, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a tried and true study method, the study group.

Learning with others is a great way to help facilitate your experience. Reach out to a mentor or someone in the medical profession. Ask them to help you study regularly or when you are faced with a difficult concept to learn.

Are you thinking about expanding your professional experience by learning anatomy and physiology? Contact Corexcel today to learn about our online programs!