Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries we have in the United States today with a lot of growth potential. The healthcare sector is also not restricted to only patient care or handling needles and injections. It includes other opportunities like administration and medical billing and coding.
The field of medical billing and coding, especially, is an exciting one that combines administrative functions with patient rendered services. To be able to excel in it, it’s important to enroll in a program that’s comprehensive enough to teach you as much as you need.
Thankfully, medical billing and coding is one of those healthcare careers you can learn online.
Are you interested in earning an online diploma or associate degree in this field? Here’s what you should know about it.
Medical billing and coding involves a variety of courses. From managing medical records and applying codes, to submitting invoices and assisting with other business procedures for the healthcare field, medical billing and coding programs involve a mix of technical and business knowledge.
Online medical billing and coding classes will adequately provide you with the necessary foundation of knowledge that you need to begin a career in medical billing and coding. Your courses will include;
- Diagnostic Coding
- Procedural Coding
- Billing and Coding Application
- Introduction to Computers
- Introduction to Healthcare Communication
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Law and Ethics
- Records Management
- Healthcare Settings, Claim Cycle, and Claims Processing
- Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology.
You can get your professional medical coding certification online after going through an online medical coding and billing program. It works the same way it works for an on-site training program or school.
However, you may have to take the required exam in person as that’s the requirement from most certifying bodies. Bodies like the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) require candidates to take the exam at an approved AAPC exam site and meet eligibility requirements. Many states host the exam in one or more major cities and on multiple dates, so students can choose the location and timing that best suits them.
It typically takes between 11 and 24 months to complete a program. Usually, this would depend on the program type you’ve enrolled for. Online healthcare programs are typically in three formats: a professional knowledge or skill certificate likely to be completed within a year, a diploma program that typically lasts for 11 months, or an associate degree program which takes up 18 months of your time.
For the reason that it’s an online experience, you enjoy more flexibility and ease when compared to similar on-site programs.
If you are planning to pursue CPC certification, you would need to factor in additional time to take the certification exam and meet the eligibility requirements for CPC certification. If you pass the exam but do not have the necessary work experience required for full CPC status, you will receive the CPC Apprentice (CPC-A) designation until you submit proof of experience and/or education.
You have the same career opportunities as a person who studied in an on-site school. All that matters is that your online school is certified and accredited for study.
Careers in this field usually have a large range of job titles, and they usually depend on the organization or the job description. The range includes;
- Medical Records Coordinator
- Medical Coding Specialist
- Medical Billing Specialist
- Medical Records Technician (or Medical Records Tech)
- Health Information Specialist
- Medical Records Clerk
- Health Information Clerk
- Medical Records Analyst
- Health Information Technician (or Health Information Tech)
- Medical Billing Manager
- Medical Records Director
As you may already know, there’s a wide range of medical coding and billing programs that exist. So, it’s necessary to look into your options and pick out the one that effectively suits your needs. It’s important to be futuristic when making your decisions.
First, try to search for medical billing and coding jobs around you and see what qualifications the employers require. You can then go ahead to use it as a gauge for what is required of you. From there, you can narrow down your medical billing and coding program options.
Pick options that suit your schedule, your industry certification, skillset, research and financial aid, job search assistance, etc. These will help you in picking out an appropriate program and going ahead to enroll.