The practice of medical record coding is an essential component of any well run medical facility. From the local doctor's office to the largest medical center, coding helps to keep vital information in a format that is complete, current, and available to authorized personnel when the data is needed to treat a patient. For this reason, the quality of the coding is very important to you.
What is Medical Record Coding
Perhaps the best way to get an understanding of what medical record coding can mean is to imagine that you have just been in a terrible accident and are in need of immediate medical care. You are taken to the local medical center, where you are admitted.
As part of that entry process, data is collected to open a medical record for you at the facility, or to open a pre-existing record if you have been in the hospital before.
This new instance is matched up with previous treatments and also connected with the information provided by your primary care physician and any specialists who may be involved. The result is a complete record that takes note of any pre-existing conditions, past treatments, and current medications you are taking. All this data is vital to evaluating your current situation and engaging in the most effective treatments for your condition.
Even after you are better and released from the hospital, medical record coding continues to work for you.
Medical Record Coding and Billing
In addition to creating and maintaining a record of your health treatments, the coding will also make sure that payments made by you or received from your insurance provider are properly applied to any charges for services rendered. This will mean that at any given time you can have a snapshot of any outstanding balance associated with your stay in the hospital.
Access to medical record coding data can be helpful when filing tax returns, as you will have a record of all out of pocket expenses you incurred for the period covered.