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Gore Medical coders usually work in hospitals or doctors offices; however, some may have their own business. They work in clean, well-lighted surroundings. Usually they work 40-hour weeks but some overtime may be required. In hospitals, they may work day, evening, or night shifts if the billing department operates 24 hours per day. There is little to no contact with patients. Salary and Job Outlook The salary range for a medical coder ranges from a high of $58,488 to a low of $33,777 with $43,995 being the average. The job outlook is expected to be better than average through 2016 with faster than average growth at a projected increase of 18 percent. Government regulations regarding health information and billing will ensure that there are plenty of job opportunities available. There will also be the need to replace workers leaving the work force due to retirement. Medical Coding Programs and Colleges Certified medical coders are trained in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. They must understand the etiology, pathology, signs, symptoms, and disease processes.
Specialists get about $60 for giving phone advice while family doctors who make the calls requesting advice get $40. While the total cost for phone interaction between doctors is $100, cost savings are achieved because in-office patient visits to specialists cost up to $200 per visit. (Figures for what each emergency department visit costs are hard to ascertain because theres so many variables and overhead costs to take into account. But Im told that$200 is a starting point for each ED visit. And that includes some costs such as nursing but not physician billing or extended stays in emergency, nor tests that take place.) Said Lear: Its really a customer service type of program. The goal is for a 100 Dr. Scott Lear. Photo credit: Heart and Stroke Foundation per cent response time within two hours but whats most desirable is to have calls returned in real time, when the patient is still in theoffice. Margot Wilson, who helped create the program, and remains involved as director of the chronic Disease Management Strategy at Providence, said earlier this summer, a website was launched (www.RACEconnect.ca) along with other marketing to ensure all doctors are aware of the program. Shes unaware how many doctors are using the service but since June 2010, 7,000 calls have been made and 120 medical specialists have responded to calls from family doctors. Wilsonconcedes some doctors wont participate in the service if they already have established, preferred referral networks. Were not interested in disrupting patterns of practice that are working well. This is for other doctors who maybe dont have the access they need and want to specialists. Its working so well that we now have doctors throughout the Vancouver and Fraser Health regions, in 17 different specialties. Were still looking for some in neurology and infectious diseases though. The RACE program was selected by Accredittion Canada as a Leading Practice for 2013.