If you are new to medical coding or just entering the field, there is not really a whole lot you can do to negotiate a higher medical coding salary. However, in a relative short period of time, and by following certain steps, you will be able to get yourself in a position where you can confidently ask for more money.
In the medical coding field, it is a fact that experience level and academic credentials are directly related to the medical coding salary paid. Experience is something you have little control over and is acquired over time, and by taking on new and challenging projects. Education and training, however, is an area which you do have control over and takes initiative, planning and the expenditure of money.
Let’s look at 6 things you can do and implement right from the outset:
Strive To Do Perfect Work: Nothing makes a bigger impact on a medical practitioner or medical facility, and in turn medical coding salary than receiving reports from medical coders which are accurate, clear, and concise. Incorrect codes create reimbursement delays, issues with patients, and potential legal problems.
Look For Solutions: If unclear on something, take the initiative to, and develop the habit of looking for answers and finding solutions on your own. Do not be afraid to ask questions, however, ensuring that you have explored all avenues prior to asking questions will make a big impact on the employer. You do not want to develop the reputation of being a time waster by asking questions about every last detail.
Set Reasonable Expectations: Don’t try to impress by taking on more work than your skill level can handle. This approach can quickly backfire. If you are backlogged or bogged down, explain this to the employer and find out how important completion the file is. You may determine that is not required for a week, or on the other hand that it is extremely urgent and needed the same day. Adopt an “under promise over deliver” attitude and strive to have the file completed prior to the date or time promised.
Ask For A Formal Review: Do not expect the medical practitioner to arrive on your doorstep with a pay raise in hand. Unless you are employed by a large medical facility or medical insurance provider with set human resources policies and procedures in place, it is unlikely that you will ever see a formal review – that is, unless you initiate it. Simply approach the employer and tell them that you would like to set up a meeting to discuss your performance, and to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement. During this meeting you will then be able to bring up a medical coding salary increase, and things such as reimbursement for further education in medical coding courses.
Get A Pulse On The Industry: It is very important to keep abreast of the medical coding industry as a whole in terms of trends, average pay rates, and courses and training. This can be done by speaking with colleagues, joining and getting involved in online forums, internet chat rooms, and going for job interviews with other companies or medical practices. When asking for an increase in compensation, it is extremely important to be well informed and have a lot of facts to substantiate your request.
Keep A Journal Or Diary: This is one thing that very few people do, however, it can prove to be invaluable. Document everything you do, good or bad. Keep records of files you completed perfectly as well as ones where you experienced difficulty, positive and negative feedback you received, accomplishments, and so on. Often, it is difficult to remember things from many months ago, a journal allows you to quickly recall situations which can be used in preparing for a performance review, or creating a resume for a new job opportunity.
Medical coders play a vital role in the overall operation of a medical practice or medical facility, and should be paid a medical coding salary which reflects the importance of this function. As with and job, the onus and obligation is on the employee to “look out for number” to ensure that they are being compensated fairly. Adhering to the 6 tips listed above will ensure that this happens.