Medical Coding and Billing
Schools & Careers Online
At Medical Coding and Billing Schools, we have included medical coding and billing salary information and job outlook, student interviews, articles written either by nurses or medical coder/billers that have worked within the healthcare field, job and career resources for medical assistants, and – our specialty – a comprehensive medical coding and billing program directory of more than 1,000+ schools in the U.S. that offer some sort of medical coding and billing program.
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Medical Coding Schools Online
If you work full-time or simply want the convenience of learning online, there are several options for students who want to pursue certification and work in medical billing and coding. Some programs can be completed in 10-12 months. You will want to look for an AACPC certified program, so you can be as prepared as possible for your certification exam upon completion. Most programs will include courses that cover ICD-10 coding, and prepare graduates to sit for both certification exams: NHA and AHIMA.
In an online setting, you will likely learn from online simulations of coding experiences, as well as virtual labs an online videos that show procedures that you would practice in a classroom setting. In some programs, you will receive textbooks shipped to you that may be useful in your online education. There are some efficient billing and coding online programs that can be completed for under $5,000 and help graduates work in doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, as well as insurance agencies, group practices and nursing homes. In fact, many employers in today’s healthcare industry understand the need for quality online programs to help workers become qualified in today’s workforce.
Medical Coding Schools Online Cost
The cost of your education will depend on what type of program you choose. There are some efficient billing and coding online programs that can be completed for under $5,000 and help graduates work in doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, as well as insurance agencies, group practices and nursing homes. These programs will typically result in a certificate or diploma.
Medical Coding Accreditation
If you are comparing medical coding programs you will want to make sure you choose one that is accredited by the right organizations. Likewise, you will need to earn your certification. Do those two things and you’ll have two important boxes checked in working in this occupation. Currently, there are two main agencies that accredit coding programs and certify coders. These are the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
The CAHIIM works to accredit medical billing and coding programs. So when you choose a program, you’ll want to make sure it has their seal of approval. In addition to recognizing qualifying programs, this organization tries to foster a culture of sel-improvement in the field, along with helping come up with the best ways to achieve student assessment for educators.
The AAPC is where coders earn their certification. They offer several types of coder certification, including: Certified Outpatient Coding (CPC), Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC), Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC), Certified Professional Coder – Payer (CPC-P), and Specialty Credentials for Expert Coders.
Still want to know more about working in the field of medical coding? Contact schools that offer programs for students in your state to get started.
Medical Coding Careers
You might be wondering what it’s like to work in a medical billing and coding career, since the job growth in healthcare overall is much faster than many other types of industries. In fact, the anticipated job growth for medical records and health information technicians is 15% for the years 2014-24. These professionals perform a growing number of tasks in today’s world of healthcare, with more organizations sharing information and forming networks of providers who have to communicate with each other.
In a nutshell, you will be responsible for managing health information in your role. This means understanding the ways, or the languages, that is used for coding health information. Codes used for medical reimbursement is referred to as Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), and the International Classification of Diseases-9th Edition Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes. To become a coder, you will need to have a strong understanding of the theory and ways these codes are applied. Understanding the method to these systems will help you assign the correct codes, and spot instances where others may have made an error.
Coders help the healthcare system as a whole become more open and transparent. Their work is often related to finding cases of fraud, which can save agencies significant sums of money. If you want to work as an inpatient coder at a large hospital, you may be required to have a higher degree of completion. This is because of the complex systems and volume of work required of professional coders in these environments.
Although there aren’t national requirements for medical coders to be employed, many employers will require an associate’s degree and some form of certification, usually administered through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). This organization works to ensure there are high standards that hospitals and other health facilities can use as a guideline for their employees and processes. They offer certifications in all three areas, which are accepted in most types of medical offices.
Medical Coding Salary
If you are wondering about salary potential in medical billing and coding, there are several factors that could affect your pay scale. Medical records and health information technicians can earn an annual median pay of $37,110 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top paying states for this line of work are: District of Columbia, New Jersey, Alaska, California, and Maryland. D.C., the top-paying, has an annual mean wage of $69,290. Maryland, the lowest on the list came in at $47,930.
Metropolitan areas where medical coders can find the highest concentration of work are Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, Boston, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Dallas and Baltimore. However, with job growth strong across the US in healthcare, your employment outlook might be on par with these areas. Your salary will depend on your level of education, type of facility you apply at, and region you live. The best way to learn more about medical billing and coding salary is to speak with employers and schools who educate coding professionals in your area.
Featured Student Interviews
Julissa completed her Billing and Coding Specialist diploma at the Chubb Institute and now works as a medical biller.
Lizcette studied medical coding at night and is looking for a job that does not require experience.
Medical coders hold a key role in the success of many types of health care companies. Whether its a hospital, physician’s office, or other managed health care setting, coders are relied on everyday for the success of the company. The primary role of a medical coder is to ensure that these organizations are properly reimbursed for patient care from insurance companies. Read more…
To the untrained, understanding medical coding certification seems a little intimidating. But don’t let that stop you – becoming a certified medical coder can benefit your career in many ways. By proving your expertise, medical coding certification shows future employers that you know your stuff – and it can help you make more money in the end. Read more…
The cost of medical coding school can vary tremendously. Both the AAPC (American Association of Professional Coders) and AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) offer a package of courses for a basic coding certificate for about $2,000. An associate’s degree (generally a two year program,) through a community college averages $6,000 for two years, but will give you better credentials than a certificate program. Read more…
Anyone who goes back to school for vocational training usually has some form of sticker shock when they see how many textbooks they need to buy and how much they cost. Medical coding textbooks are no exception. Many of the books you will need to buy won’t be on sale. Rarely, used books may available at a fraction of the price, but because professors are always choosing the newest versions, what’s used from one year may not be current enough for use the next year. Read more…
You completed the courses, paid your registration fee, and your exam date is rapidly approaching. Now what? There are several different types of exams and the one you take will depend on which specialty you choose. For example, you may wish to get certified as a medical auditor or to work for a hospital – either way, test day is looming before you. The exams are held at specific locations where approved proctors can monitor the testing process. Read more…
Everyone wants to “work from home”. But the reality is, the majority of ads online that claim to make you a home-based millionaire with all your personal freedoms and family time intact are working double-time to take your money and run. Medical coding at home job “opportunities” are regularly on the Better Business Bureau’s Top Ten scam list. Read more…
Everyone has a right to have their most private medical information protected. Because new technology makes it easier than ever to share confidential medical information, those who are involved in patient care, or the handling of information must know how to protect patient privacy. Read more…