Medical Coding Abstractors analyze and organize coded medical reports, and then summarize their findings by making a short statement about the important points in the report.
Medical Coding Abstractors who work for health insurance providers are charged with the task of ensuring that resources aren’t spent dealing with claims that ultimately won’t be paid when the procedure can’t be verified as covered under the insured party’s policy. As a means of making sure the correct codes are utilized in the right context, the medical coder plays an important role in healthcare administration.
In some cases, medical abstractors perform some of the same duties as a medical coder in a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic. A medical abstractor reviews a patient’s exam overview, assigns codes to the procedures the patient underwent, and compares the services rendered to the coverage that the patient receives from the insurance company.
An Abstractor may have to read and review a report many times to be certain his or her analysis is sufficient and that the essential concepts in the article have been addressed. Also, a medical coding abstractor must be able to write a clear and easy-to-understand summary that clearly communicates to readers the key points of the claim. Keeping this in mind, the following skills are necessary if you want a career as a medical abstractor.
• Problem solving abilities
• Analytical skill
• Communication skills
• Eye for Detail
To become a medical abstractor, you may have to begin with a career in medical coding, and slowly work your way into the abstracting side of the business to gain experience. Many companies prefer that you have a degree in medical billing and coding, with research and abstracting experience.
Education & Training
In most cases, companies require the following education and training for a potential abstractor:
• RHIA, RHIT, or CCA Certification
• Experience with ICD-9-CM and CPT coding principles
• Understanding of medical terminology
• Educational background with a focus on anatomy, physiology, and disease process
• Computer skills
• Typing skills
• Knowledge of HIPAA, federal, and state regulations
Medical Abstractors are in demand, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The unique skill set possessed by Medical Abstractors makes this a much needed career. With the healthcare industry forecasted to grow 22% by 2018, this career is stronger than ever.
Learn more about Medical Billing and related careers.