What is a Medical Coder?

A medical coder is a health care professional whose main duties are to analyze clinical statements and assign standard codes using a classification system. The data produced are an integral part of health information management, and are used by local and national governments, private healthcare organizations and international agencies for various purposes, including medical and health services research, epidemiological studies, health resource allocation, case mix management, public health programming, medical billing, and public education.

A medical coder therefore requires a good knowledge of medical terminology, clinical documentation, legal aspects of health information, health data standards, classification conventions, and computer- or paper-based data management, usually as obtained through formal education and/or on-the-job training.


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