Inpatient Coder responsibilities – an overview

In simple terms, an inpatient coder is a professional medical practitioner responsible solely for medical coding, particularly in a medical inpatient environment. In most health facilities, they are certified professionals who have undergone intensive training on the job. The training relates to interpreting and applying medical codes based on patients’ health and treatment documents. These codes are used for diagnosis and treatment purposes as well as insurance and billing.

An inpatient coder professional should have specific coding expertise and experience. These include the international ICD-9 and the ICD-10 codes classifications. An inpatient coder reviews the patient medical notes and documentation provided by attending physicians and determines the most appropriate corresponding code

In order to provide better and standardized medical care, it is important that an inpatient coder be knowledgeable with coding software to process insurance and billing claims. In addition, they need to have a broad knowledge and understanding of various medical terminologies, including anatomy and biology, also some knowledge of pharmacology and all major diseases.

A professional who works as an experienced or senior inpatient coder is a critical part of a medical facility. He or she has a lot of responsibilities, key among them being training and mentoring junior staff members. Besides that, they may also have leadership roles and work as liaisons, most commonly to an outside party such as an oversight organization. They may either work in teams or alone with minimal supervision where necessary.

In most cases, inpatient coder professionals are literate and computer savvy. This ensures all the entries they make are not only accurate but updated to ensure proper service delivery. Besides that, they are also instrumental in billing and filing essential office processes. Foremost, they must ensure high levels of patient data confidentiality. IT systems used by Inpatient coders either onsite or at remote coding facilities have encryption and other security systems enabled to maintain this confidentiality.

An inpatient coder is mandated with the duty of ensuring high levels of accuracy in all patient files. In case of any inaccuracies or discrepancies, then it is his or her responsibility to report the matter to the medical staff members so that the necessary corrections and updates can be made.

As an entry requirement, an inpatient coder should have successfully completed an associate’s degree in medical record coding. Additionally, he or she must also receive specialized training on coding to quality as a certified inpatient coder. Ongoing education is essential to stay abreast of updates in coding conventions and practices.

On average, the outlook on the inpatient coding job market is very positive. There are anticipations that job growth in this field is expected to grow even further if the current data from the United States are anything to go by. As of now, inpatient coders earn an average of around $53,000 annual salary.

For more information about our Medical Coding Services and Medical Coder positions, contact Professional Dynamic Network. By email to: or by telephone at: 1-708-747-4361.