As President Barack Obama seeks to give temporary amnesty and work permits to perhaps five million illegal immigrants, the majority of whom are low-skilled workers, there is a shortage of skilled workers in the medical coding field.
Torrey Barnhouse, president of TrustHCS, told CNBC that “there is a dramatic shortage of skilled workers” in the specific medical coding market, which is critical for health insurance payments. Meanwhile, President Obama is considering flooding the market with non-skilled workers with immigrants through executive orders.
The information technology and the high-tech sectors, in general, though, have a surplus of American skilled workers, according to Census figures and numerous studies from organizations on the left, right, and center.
But in the medical coding industry, the shortage of skilled workers is reportedly “being driven primarily by the coming adoption of a new federally mandated coding standard.”
Barnhouse “said there is a constant 20 to 30 percent shortage of medical coders, a deficit seen growing to 50 percent in the coming year.” This is due to the adoption of the new coding standard that “is expected to decrease a coder’s productivity by 50 percent” because it requires more details.
TrustHCS reportedly “plans to double its medical coding workforce over the next 12 to 18 months” and hire an addition 300 coders.
According to CNBC, “becoming an accredited coder requires anywhere from 700 to 1,000 hours of coursework in fields of study including physiology, anatomy and pharmacology.” Hospitals usually want “people with accreditation and experience,” and that is why “in some areas, there is a bidding war going on for coders.”