December 7, 2012 by Holly Cassano
Is Medical Coding a Risky Job?
Medical coding is not a risky profession overall. There are no actual patient interventions that would involve exposure to bodily fluids and the only physical exertion involves reviewing medical records, which if not done at a proper office setting either at practice or home office can bring about a few potential concerns, such as eye strain, carpal tunnel, or neck/back strain. You can prevent eye strain by adding an anti-glare screen protector to your computer screen, or use a padded mouse pad to rest your wrists on to avoid carpal tunnel and lastly, use an ergonomically correct chair to lessen neck/back strain.
The only other potential for risk is if a medical biller/coder doesn’t adhere to correct coding guidelines and payer-specific rules. Coders and billers who code services at higher levels than warranted or who report services that weren’t performed for providers will be at the same risk a provider will be in the event of an audit and can be prosecuted under the law, as this is considered fraud.
The AAPC and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) both subscribe to their own specific code of ethics, but have the same meaning, which is to follow compliance guidelines and never compromise your moral compass.
Overall, medical billing and coding is a great field and offers plenty of opportunities and growth for many years to come.