This section covers commonly asked and expert level Medical Coding Interview questions and answers. The types of questions covered are general, conceptual, technical, behavioral, situational, and experience based. You can also find interesting examples and sample answers with each question.
Who are these Medical Coding Interview Questions useful for?
These interview questions will be very useful for all candidates appearing for the role of Medical Coder, Clinical Coder, Clinical Coding Officer, Diagnostic Coder, Nosologist or Medical records technician
Both entry level freshers and experienced candidates will be benefited by these questions and answers.
Video : Medical Coding Interview Questions and Answers
1. What is Medical Coding?
Medical Coding also referred to as Clinical Coding,is the profession of analyzing the clinical statements of the patients and assigning them standard codes as specified by the classification system.
The data produced is used by government, private healthcare organizations and international agencies for various kind of studies and researches. The statement is also used by health insurance companies to process and clear the reimbursement claims of their clients.
2. What are the main competencies a medical coder must possess?
The main competencies that a medical coder must possess are:
i. Good knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology coupled with a relevant education background.
ii. Good knowledge of various diseases, injuries and clinical procedures performed to treat them.
iii. Ability to read understand the medical or surgical reports and patient charts
iv. Attention to details with an ability to juggle between various documents without compromising on the quality of work.
v. Well versed with classification and coding conventions like ICD-9, ICD-10, CPT, HCPCS etc.
vi. Ability to work with computer or paper based data management system
vii. Good written and oral communication skills to communicate with doctors, surgeons etc.
viii. High moral integrity as medical coder’s are privy to crucial information about the health condition of various patients and other sensitive data
ix. Drive to work independently and stay focused as many medical coders operate from home or work on their own even when at office.
3. What are the different phases of Clinical Coding?
There are three main phases of Clinical Coding:
i) Abstraction - In this phase the professional reads the complete record of patient to ascertain,What conditions the patient had? What caused it? How was it treated?
To find all this information, the medical coder uses clinical notes, laboratory and radiology reports, operation notes etc.
ii) Assignment - In this phase a coder would find the appropriate code for each procedure and enter into the system.
iii) Review - This is a very important phase during which the medical coder checks if the assigned code set clearly explains what happened to the patient and how were they treated.
A good code would ensure that everything required is coded but doesn’t go overboard.
4. What do you know about ICD Codes?
ICD codes or International Statistical Classification of Diseases is a system of codes specific to describing the diagnosis, symptoms, causes of death and other reasons for a health encounter.
These are alphanumeric codes of 3-7 characters & the code begins with an alpha character.
There are two components of ICD -10 code:
i) ICD-10 CM i.e. Clinical Modification codes for diagnostic coding.
ii) ICD-10-PCS i.e. Procedure Coding System for inpatient procedures performed in the hospital.
The ICD coding convention is maintained by WHO and is followed internationally with minor modifications.
5. What are HCPCS codes?
HCPCS stands for Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System. There are three levels to them.
i) Level I - Comprises CPT Codes that identify the medical services and procedures ordered by the physicians or licensed medical professionals. These are 5 digit numbers maintained by American Medical Association.
ii) Level II - These are 5 character alphanumeric codes with one alphabet and four numbers in them. These codes identify products, supplies, pharmacy and services that were not included in CPT.
iii) Level III Codes - These are local 5 character alphanumeric codes that begin with W, X, Y or Z and are used when there are no Level I and Level II codes available to specify a particular activity or diagnosis.