Inpatient Coder

Enter patient information into the computer.
picture of Inpatient Coder

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $53,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Inpatient Coders do?

To health providers everywhere, an Inpatient Coder is more than just a fellow employee. You’re a Safari Guide putting up signposts in the thorny jungle of medical data. As an Inpatient Coder, you type patient data into the computer for quick retrieval. To formulate a successful treatment plan, a Doctor needs a map that identifies the patient and the treatments that they’ve already tried. In a few keystrokes, you can paint that picture.

A typical day on the job starts by wrangling up free-floating patient data. You turn that jumble of records into a well-sorted list within your computer. This includes everything from patient name and birth date to current insurance provider. Then it’s on to the most important info for an Inpatient Coder—the treatment plans. Each record needs information on the patient’s current medications, treatment history, and other factors that help Doctors do their jobs.

After you’ve typed out the standard patient data, the record needs alphanumeric coding. This system helps health insurance companies process a patient’s claim. For every type of treatment, a code exists. If the computer runs the code and the insurance doesn’t cover it, the patient has to pay out of pocket. Your attention to detail ensures the right codes go into the database so the insurance company can do its part.

However you describe your job, most people will simply call you the hassle-preventer. You blaze through the underbrush of medical data entry to ensure the road of information retrieval is an easy one to follow.

Should I be an Inpatient Coder?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Coder, Medical Insurance Coder

    How to become an Inpatient Coder

    Most Inpatient Coders have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9siaaa&chl=no+college+%2870%25%29|certificate+%2821%25%29|associate%27s+%2810%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,70,70
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