Welcome to MedicalCodingCertification.com
Medical coders are in high demand as the health care industry continues to grow and as medical billing and coding processes have gone almost exclusively electronic; accordingly, health care providers, insurers, and others in health care need specialists to handle forms, claims, and the special codes applied to medical procedures
Medical coders, also called medical record coders, health information coders, abstractors, or coding specialists, are the first line in the medical billing process; they apply codes to medical procedures and treatments so they can be billed. Many medical coders, in fact, are also trained in medical billing so they can handle the billing process from start to finish. See below for more specific information on joint medical billing and coding programs.
You will find medical coders in hospitals, physicians’ offices, insurance companies, long-term care facilities, pharmacies, accounting and law firms, and other health care agencies. Some also work out of their own houses, which makes this a great field to enter if you’d eventually like to work from home.
Featured Medical Coding Schools
Ultimate Medical Academy – Ultimate Medical Academy A.A. in Medical Billing and Coding. At Ultimate Medical Academy, students are provided with concentrated courses in order to provide them with essential skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace. The degree in Medical Coding will prepare students for exciting careers in the healthcare industry.
Kaplan University – A.A. in Medical Transcription. With the need for skilled individuals in the healthcare industry on the rise, Kaplan University’s Medical Transcription program gives students the opportunity to enter a thriving field. The program is designed to help students achieve the skills and practice needed to become a certified professional online.
Colorado Technical University – A.S. in Medical Billing and Coding. Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Their Medical Billing and Coding program is taught by industry professionals with great experience in the healthcare industry.
Penn Foster Career School – Penn Foster Career School – Medical Billing and Coding Certificate. Penn Foster Career School gives students hands-on training in several areas such as office practice, medical terminology, and many more. Their programs will help students develop the skills necessary to become successful individuals in the workplace.
How do I become a medical coder?
In order to become a medical coder, you will most likely need at least a certificate or associate degree; employers are increasingly reluctant to hire people with no special training and then teach them on-the-job. Note that a bachelor’s or master’s degree can improve both your earning potential and job prospects; most medical coding schools offer various levels of training so you are sure to find the program that best fits your needs.
Once you have completed training as a medical coder, you should seek certification as most employers now require it. The two main medical coding certification bodies are the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders. Each have specific requirements you must meet in order to receive certification, so read their descriptions carefully.
What are online medical coding certification programs like?
Many online medical coding certification programs will give you the option of pursuing different levels of education, including the following:
- Associate degrees
- Bachelor’s degrees
- Master’s degrees
One note of caution when you are choosing among programs: Medical coding can be difficult to break into if you don’t have experience, so try to focus on programs that will also help you arrange hands-on experience such as internships and also offer job placement assistance.
What are online medical coding certification programs like?
Generally it will take you about nine months to complete a certificate program, two years to complete an associate degree, and four years of full-time study to complete a bachelor’s degree. Some programs may advertise that you can complete your training faster than nine months’ time, but you should consider that anything less than nine months of training may not prepare you adequately for a career in this field — and employers may not think so either.
From comparing programs, you may find that not only will you be expected to learn about special medical codes, you will probably also be required to learn more about basic medical care and procedures. Your familiarity with both procedures and terms will help you do your job more effectively. Indeed, coursework in online medical coding certification programs may include the following:
- Abstraction of Data
- CPT Surgical Coding
- CPT Non-Surgical Coding
- Data Security
- Electronic Record Keeping
- Health Care Law
- Health Care Management
- Health Data Standards
- ICD-9 Coding
- Information Security
- Insurance Abuse, Compliance, and Fraud
- Internet Techology
- Medical Coding
- Medical Terminology
- Pathology Coding
- Professional Ethics
- Radiology Coding
Also, if you think you may someday want to run a medical coding office from your own home, you should consider applicable business courses as well. Keep in mind, as well, that even after you earn your certificate or degree, you will be expected to continue to learn and keep up to date with new procedures, terminology, and coding practices.
Something else you may want to consider is simultaneously becoming qualified, and even certified, as a medical biller, which is someone who gathers claims, fills out forms, communicates with insurance companies, prepares invoices and otherwise handles billing matters. Both medical billers and coders are in high demand in the health care industry, and people who can do both jobs are highly attractive job candidates.
If you are interested in medical billing as well, know that employers prefer those who have at least an associate degree or certificate and certification through one of the medical billing organizations like the American Medical Billing Association or Medical Association of Billers.
Are you ready for the challenge of pursuing medical coding certification? You can start today by browsing through MedicalCodingCertification.com and be on your way in no time.