What is the difference between “inpatient” and “outpatient” coding?
In the world of medical coding, there are two fairly distinct groups of coders: • Those who perform coding for clinics, physicians offices, and hospital emergency rooms are typically referred to as “Outpatient Coders”. • Those who perform coding in major hospitals are typically referred to as “Inpatient Coders”. As a general rule, a procedure or health care event that requires you to be admitted to the hospital and stay overnight is considered inpatient coding. Procedures that are performed on a same day basis where the patient is not admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay are considered outpatient events. A lot of surgeries and procedures that used to require admission to the hospital are now being performed routinely on an outpatient basis – which means that the patient goes in and has the surgery and comes home the same day without ever being admitted to the hospital. The reality is that most coding is outpatient coding. The trend is for physicians and hospitals to perform m