When visiting a doctor, we often overlook the fact there are people behind the scenes responsible for all of the paperwork which helps in bridging the gap between the clinical care and the administration. It is up to the medical coders and billers to ensure that patient records are accurate and current so that the whole process of clinical care and reimbursement is without any hiccups.
Given the changing industry demands and the fact that the field is becoming more specialized, schools are providing programs to serve this dynamic industry to produce experts in medical billing and coding. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that job growth in medical billing is set to increase by 8% in 2021 while the mean annual pay for positions in the sector was $45,000 in 2020.
There are numerous medical billing and coding schools that offer courses online as well as physical college courses. Even though a college degree is not mandatory to get a job in this sector, that does not mean that education is not necessary. In this article, we take a look at some of the best medical billing and coding schools in the US.
An associate degree in medical billing and coding is a two-year technical program designed to prepare students for entry-level careers in the growing field of health information. Accredited medical billing and coding schools online attract a variety of students who want to pursue their careers as well as adults who are looking to change their occupation.
These courses aim to prepare students for various certification exams on the national level that lead to entry-level job positions. This is made possible through the reading of material, course lectures, and assignments.
The program includes material on human anatomy, medical terminology, insurance plans and regulations, patient account management, diagnosis, and procedure coding, and medical insurance claim processing.
How to Choose the Best Accredited Medical Billing and Coding Schools?
Now that you have decided to pursue a career in medical coding, the first thing that might come to your mind is: What is the best school for medical coding and billing? Or more importantly, how to choose the best school that suits your needs? Well, that decision depends on a number of factors, including the overall cost of the coursework and accreditation.
Weighing the cost of getting an associate degree in medical billing and coding against salary projections is another crucial step in your research. Most of the programs cost around $15,000 in total but can vary based on your location. There are some accredited medical billing and coding schools online with financial aid and some offering free courses as well.
Next, checking for the accreditation of the online medical and coding degree program is another important step. That’s because an accredited program ensures you get a quality education that prepares you to get a job and work successfully in the field.
Most programs take two years to complete, however, some schools also offer part-time tracks that may take longer but are beneficial to people who are juggling between work and completing their degree.
Top Accredited Medical Billing and Coding Schools and Programs
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) was founded in 1928 and serves as an accreditation facility that sets the standard for medical recording. The facility has more than 103,000 members and over 50 state associations.
The AHIMA offers eight certifications in total, spanning professional and facility coding, medical records management, privacy and security, and documentation improvement.
San Joaquin Valley College
San Joaquin Valley College is one of the best medical and coding schools in California offering various programs to enable students to take up administrative jobs in the healthcare sector. They offer a 15-month associate degree program as well as 7-month certifications that train on medical insurance and claims management, procedural and diagnostic coding, medical terminology, and more.
After completing the program, students can take the Certified Professional Coder examination. The best thing is that you can study the program online from the luxury of your home.
Hutchinson Community College
The Hutchinson Community College, Kansas, was founded in 1928, and offers low-cost medical coding and billing online programs. The online program consists of 45 credit hours divided into three semesters, after which students can earn a Healthcare Coding Specialist Certificate.
Florida A&M University
Florida A&M is a public university in the state’s capital of Tallahassee. The medical coding program is offered through the university’s Office of Continuing Education and provides accreditation only online. The asynchronous format enables students to complete the coursework on their own timetable.
The program is divided into three modules, where each module is further broken down into three courses. Once the program is completed, students are awarded a Medical Coding Certificate of Completion.
Herzing University is one of the best medical schools in Texas, offering career-oriented certificates and associated degrees in various disciplines. The university started back in 1965 as a computer programming school and went on to add other graduate programs, certifications, and courses.
Their online medical coding training program under the Herzing University’s School of Healthcare is an accredited and asynchronous program designed in a way to ensure a solid grasp on various aspects of medical coding. The program is taught by highly qualified and distinguished staff and is a good fit for many students.
Online vs On-Campus Learning
With so many online learning options when it comes to certifications, is it worth going to school for medical billing and coding? Well, students who attend on-campus classes have the option to take credits either online, on-campus, or a combination of both. And it doesn’t really matter which format is better. It entirely depends on the student’s study style and their obligations which format suits them best. Below are the advantages of each format:
- Flexibility in scheduling
- Cost Effective
- Interaction with peers
- Interaction with professionals
- Structured learning environment