Medical Billing and Coding is a profession that requires great care and expertise. Along with the extensive training needed to get familiar with the various coding standards and terminologies, there are also additional certifications to obtain to get used to the numerous ethical standards and the more subtle side of the job.
It could get tricky keeping up with these certifications and degrees. But since it is a field projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to experience an incredible rise in demand over the coming years, it is one worth familiarizing.
We’ve done just that in the upcoming sections below if you’ve ever needed an extensive guide on the topic. We review everything you need to know regarding medical billing and coding education, including preliminary certificates and degrees, additional certifications, and job projections.
Medical Biller & Coder Program Options
There are usually different classes of certification programs one must acquire before pursuing a career in medical coding and billing. They all vary in terms of difficulty, duration, and demand. All three are explained below.
Certificate & Diploma Options
The first set of certificates you need to become a medical biller and coder is the postsecondary certificate and diploma option. These are usually easier to obtain than the other two and generally take nine months to one year before completion.
Prerequisites for a postsecondary certificate are your high school diploma or GED and minimum scores on standard tests.
Associate Degree Options
Associate degrees are in more demand than postsecondary certificates, which are generally more challenging. They take longer, too, usually requiring two years of courses before completion. For an associate’s degree in this field, candidates need a high school diploma or GED and sometimes prerequisite coursework in anatomy and physiology.
Bachelor’s Degree Options
Bachelor’s degrees are the most coveted in the field and usually take much longer than the other options above, typically requiring four years or just a little under for completion. Requirements for this class of degrees include a high school diploma or GED, essay questions, and sometimes interviews with admissions staff.
Depending on which form of degree and certification you choose to pursue, there are a handful of options all over the country, including online and offline alternatives. We take a look at the most noteworthy schools in each category below.
In-Person Programs for Medical Billing and Coding to Consider
Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology at Oakton Community College
Oakton Community College offers an AAS in health information technology, which it describes as being at the intersection of medical, computer technology, and information management disciplines. Students can opt for full-time day classes or part-time evening ones at the institution.
The community college also provides a 16-unit medical coding and billing certificate which costs about $137 for every semester credit hour for district residents and $367 for those outside of it.
Medical Coder/Biller Certificate at Santa Fe College
Those searching for a postsecondary credential would find the medical biller and coder certificate at Santa Fe College quite appealing. At SFC, the choice is between the one-year full-time program and the two-year part-time program. It costs $77 per credit hour for every student who falls into the college district in Gainesville, Florida.
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management at Coppin State University
At Coppin State, you get the chance to learn the basics of the medical billing and coding field while at the same time earning a Bachelor of Science degree. Among other areas, CSU students are portrayed as experts in patient data, medical information verification, and code assignment for insurance and research purposes.
Tuition and fees at CSU cost about $395.
Online Programs for Medical Billing and Coding to Consider
Online Associate of Science in Health Information Technology at Albany State University
Students who graduated in the health information technology field at Albany State have seen job opportunities in several areas, including health data analysis, physical practice management, medical billing, and coding. The program is also a hundred percent online-based and covers many workplace skills and standards.
The program costs $118 per credit and requires no campus visits.
Online Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration at Dakota State University
Getting a Bachelor of Science degree in health information from Dakota State University provides a thorough preparation for anyone looking into computer coding analysis and information systems. Classes take place online through webcasting. The DSU program is quite selective and usually requires prior certification in health information technology.
The program costs $340 for every credit hour.
Online Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding from Drexel University
Medical Billing and coding postsecondary certificate at Drexel University costs $834 for every credit. The campus is based in Philadelphia, but as expected, no campus visit is required. University graduates usually have an edge in the job market and are eligible to sit for other certification examinations by the American Medical Billing Association and AHIMA.
Safeguarding against Scam & Malicious Programs
It is worth mentioning that candidates looking to pursue medical billing and coding certificates both online and offline should always be on the lookout for scams and malicious programs pretending to be legitimate institutions.
As with most fields of study, there are usually a handful of these scam actors printing flyers and pop-ups for training and job opportunities. It is up to you to do your due diligence and research whichever institutions you select appropriately.
There are also accreditation issues to consider. Accreditation is carried out on a national, regional, and programmatic level. While most institutions will provide information regarding their accreditation status online, it is also up to you to confirm these claims by checking in with the schools and the actual bodies in question.