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The primary purpose of the study is to evaluate the occupation of a health care specialist that belongs to the Health Information System. For this study, Medical Coding Specialist is chosen as the occupation whose job description, employment and certification are provided in this context. The list of professional certification and educational requirement of this occupation will be provided in this paper. The employment status, including the job availability, advancement opportunities as well as its salary at entry-level, will also be further briefly discussed in this paper. Moreover, the professional activities in terms of national, state and local organizations will also be demonstrated in this study.                  

Job description 

A medical coding specialist provides coding in healthcare claims to deliver thorough knowledge of medical terminology ad anatomy in both government healthcare companies as well as the health insurance companies, respectively (Gawande, 2016). The specialist professionally works in the billing department of medical records by providing medical coding in difficult healthcare problem such as cancer treatment. The primary role of a medical coding specialist is to assign a code for both diagnoses as well as treatment. The coding system construct by the medical coding specialist generally track the patient treatment and diagnosis prospect and then assign them to a specific DRC (Diagnosis-Related Group) (Kimiafar, Hemmati, Yazdipour & Sarbaz, 2018). 

The coding of this medical coding specialist is also used to reimburse health insurance programs and Medicare to the hospitals. Besides this, a medical coding specialist responsibility is to code and interpret the patient medical transcriptions, records, test results and other documentation that uncover difficult information regarding the patient health condition. A medical coding specialist must have a registration that abides by the standard protocols of medical coding (Roberts et al., 2018). The professional certification required for this occupation of the health information system is certification standard of billing, documentation, practice management, compliance and auditing. Along with this certifications, they must have the registered license of treating and diagnosis that help them to make appropriate coding for treating the patient fruitfully. Hence these certification and registration are required for being a medical coding specialist in a healthcare organization.                                    

Education and certification 

Medical coding specialist must hold an associate degree program of two years in both billing and medical coding (Hardin, Kilian & Murphy, 2017). The courses that have to be followed by this occupation are health data standards, quality improvement standards methods, aspects of health information, abstraction and coding of data and medical terminology. Besides this, the educational requirement needed for being a medical coding specialist is provided below:

The student must have a high school diploma

Knowledge in computer application including both basic and advanced skill 

Bachelor’s degree in health information systems and business

Knowledge in administrative medical information management

Ability to work on several software applications systems  

Master degree in health information or business administration 

Knowledge of using the Xifin system (medical billing)     

The educational institutions that offer the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate Program are the UNC Charlotte’s Continuing Education Centre, University of Alaska, Phoenix College Fresno City College Keiser University, Indiana University and all the community colleges of United States. The length of time required for completing the education is dependent on several factors such as online classes or actual classroom learning period, certification degree and the training period include in both facility-based coding and physician-based coding (Resslar, Ivanitskaya, Perez III & Zikos, 2019).  For completing the associate degree, a time frame of two years is needed whereas for completing the bachelor degree four years is required. The length of a certification program ends in 15 months, and thus the approximate time frame required for completing the education is about seven years and three months. The approximate cost of education for completing this course is USD 1500 in every four months that constitute a single semester. 

The certifications that should be earned for becoming a medical coding specialist is the Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) and Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder (CIRCC). All these certificates are credential by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Another certification that should be required for medical coding specialist is the International Classification of Diseases Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) respectively (Schuetz, Rosenbaum, Foran & Cepa, 2016). However, many healthcare professionals believe that for this role, a person who has a certified degree by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is suitable for job responsibility. In order to get the certificate from AHIMA, the student has to pass in a two-part test course where coding knowledge and skills of them are appropriately examined.  Hence these are the certifications earned for becoming a medical coding specialist of a healthcare centre.           


The primary responsibility of a medical coding specialist is to analyze and review the medical coding, and billing for processing and therefore, a high rate of job availabilities are present for this occupation. A projected growth rate of this job occupation has increased by 15% from 2014 to 2024 (Faux, Wardle, Thompson-Butel & Adams, 2018). The growth trend is projected by the health information technicians of the nation. Besides this, for a medical coding specialist, the jobs are advertised in several sources such as the Sunday Herald and other sources. Many of the company prefers experience medical coding specialist so that they can maintain their healthcare coding system properly. Due to this reason, the salary rate of this professional depends on their experience in this field. The annual salary of this professional ranging from USD 37,110 to USD 62,740 and this depends on their experience level (May, Walker, McGrail & Rolley, 2018). Apart from this, if the student has certified in both AAPC and AHIMA, then it increases their salary level by 2% from the general certified medical coding specialist. If the professional is certified in both these certifications, then their starting salary range from USD 40,350 and enhancement of experience increases its salary level.                             

Professional activities 

The cost of joining as a student in a National Professional Organizations is USD 170 (Martsolf et al., 2018). By this amount, the student of a medical coding specialist gets a membership card which allows them to continue their professional course fruitfully. If the student addresses the professional journals, then a total cost of USD 90 is required for the student card whereas if they address webinar subscription, then a cost of USD 215 is required and for Professional Development Course Library USD 125 is necessary (El-Haddad, Damodaran, McNeil & Hu, 2017). As per the National Professional Organization if a student is doing this professional course, then they can easily continue their education without facing any difficulty. Hence, for this reason, a single continuing education unit (CEUs) is needed, which is certified by the organization as well as the education centre where the student is continuing the studies. The certification is taken at the time of admission in the professional firm.                    


After reviewing all the features of being a medical coding specialist of the health information system, it is analysed that proper education qualification and certification are necessary for me to being in this selected profession. In doing exploration in this healthcare field, I will discover the valid coding related to medical services and billing procedure. It thus helps me to provide appropriate treatment to the patient suffering from severe health problems. It is meaningful as it provides me proper knowledge in coding and billing system, and it is significant for developing my skills and techniques that use for becoming a medical coding specialist of the health information management system. 

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