Meet Alyce Rambo – Inpatient Coder
What an Inpatient Coder Does
I review the electronic medical records for patients who were hospitalized and determine a code for any diagnosis or procedure that is clinically evaluated or treated during their hospital stay and is documented in the chart. As I identify diagnoses in the chart, I enter them into a coding and software system to generate codes for the diagnoses.
Once I enter the codes into the system, the information is sent to the billing department where bills are generated for the patients and insurance companies. This is why it is important to ensure everything in the chart is coded correctly.
Typical Work Day
First thing in the morning, I receive a list of medical records that need to be coded. From there, I review the charts and start coding. An updated version of coding is coming out soon, so I also spend time studying and learning about the new rules.
Why I Chose This Career
After graduating from college, I accepted a job in the medical records file room and stumbled upon the need for medical coding from there. I started at the bottom of the totem pole and worked my way up.
The Most Rewarding Part of My Job
I am able to work remotely and have a flexible schedule, which is a nice benefit. Since you have to maintain a high attention to detail in this job, I like having my own space so I can get my work done. If you are someone who wants to be moving around and interact directly with people, this job is not a good fit.
Education Background/Prior Experience
I received my degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I went back to school six years ago and received a degree in Health Information Technology. Once I had that degree, I took the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam and also recently became a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS).
School Subjects to Focus On
Medical terminology is important to help better understand what you are coding. I recommend taking anatomy and physiology to help you understand how the body works. Computer classes would also be helpful because you have to be computer savvy since everything in this job, from communication to completing your tasks, is done on the computer.