Medical Billing & Coding Degrees & Certificates
The career path for medical billing and coding is in high demand in today’s job market.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in the field of medical records and health information technicians, which this career is under, will grow even more by 11% from 2018 to 2028.
Given the high demand, it doesn’t come as a surprise that various schools provide degree programs for this career. Most professionals working as medical billers and coders have a two-year associate’s degree. But there are other degree options such as a diploma, certificate, and bachelor’s degree.
Each degree option is suited for different purposes. You must consider various factors that may affect your choice when deciding which fits best for you.
Some of you might have to assess your family obligations or future career goals. If a management position is your goal, then a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or a related course may help.
What Are the Degree Options?
Before deciding on a degree option, you must understand its different aspects. For example, finishing a certificate course allows you to join the workforce earlier, but earning a bachelor’s or associate’s degree gives a better salary.
- Diploma or Certificate – It usually takes nine months to a year for full-time students to complete a certificate or diploma program. Meanwhile, career college programs can be completed much faster. If time is of the essence for you, then this can be the best option. You can accomplish this at a career college or community college.
- Associate’s Degree – An associate’s degree takes two years to fulfill. It covers general education subjects beyond the scope of medical billing and coding course syllabus. This fits best for those who plan to advance their education later in their life. The credits earned in this degree program are counted when advancing towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Both community colleges, as well as career colleges, offer associate’s degree programs.
- Bachelor’s Degree – Some universities and colleges offer a bachelor’s program in health care administration and health information management. This program will take you four years to finish since it also includes other general education curricula.
A bachelor’s degree opens up greater career opportunities. It can even help you land a management position.
What Are the Classes You Should Expect?
If you wish to become a billing and coding professional, then you need to be an expert and have a grasp on a wide range of topics.
Enrolling in a medical billing and coding course will usually comprise the following classes:
- Medical Terminology – This class will introduce you to the vocabularies used by medical professionals. It includes terminologies for human anatomy, bodily systems, drugs, diseases, and related medical procedures.
- Anatomy and Physiology – This class covers the organ systems of the human body, their functions, and processes.
- Medical Office Administration – Medical office administration covers the duties of running a medical office. It teaches routine tasks such as handling clerical work, scheduling appointments, and greeting patients.
- Medical Office Technology – This course will train you in using typical medical office equipment and software.
- Medical Coding – A typical medical coding class will prepare you in applying Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System, International Classification of Diseases, and Current Procedural Technology codes.
- Insurance Claim Procedures – All medical billing and coding courses include this or a version of this class. This will teach you the standard procedures for filing an insurance claim.
Accredited Medical Billing Programs
There are a lot of reasons why you should get certified. One of the biggest reasons is that a lot of employers prefer to hire certified medical billing and coding professionals. Furthermore, certified professionals generally earn more than non-certified professionals.
If you want to be certified, you must enroll in a school that is accredited. For medical billing and coding schools, the agencies that accredit them are:
- American Health Information Management Association
- American Academy of Professional Coders
Depending on where you enroll, these regional agencies may also be responsible for accrediting the medical billing and coding schools:
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
If you are organized, pay attention to detail, and think you’d enjoy a flexible and rewarding career as a medical billing & coding professional then find the best program for you. Click the blue “Find Schools” button to get started.