Medical coding is a growing field where professionals process and review medical claims and procedures from hospitals and offices. In order to become a medical coder, you should attend one of the best online medical coding schools to receive a certification.
As a medical coder, you must be proficient in at least one of the medical types that are out there. Below is a list of the medical codes that you may choose to learn during your education.
Types of Medical Codes
International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification. The ICD-10-CM medical coding set is used for classifying procedures, diagnoses, and procedures that take place within hospitals in the United States.
Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System. The HCPCS is a coding system based on the CPT code developed by the American Medical Association. It is a group of healthcare procedural codes.
Current Procedural Terminology. CPT is a medical code set for reporting services and procedures. This coder is tasked with reporting diagnostic, medical, or surgical procedures to health insurance companies, accreditation organizations, and physicians.
When it comes to the HCPCS and CPT medical codes, there are three levels associated with them. The first level is numeric CPT codes. The second is alphanumeric HCPCS codes used for non-physician products and procedures. The final level consists of Medicare and Medicaid-developed codes for specific programs and jurisdictions.
Medical coders should gain an understanding of all three levels of code sets for their careers since they often overlap to some degree.
The Best Online Schools to Earn Your Medical Coding Certificate
With a medical coding certificate, you can work in a growing career field. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that demand for medical coder positions is expected to grow by 13 percent by 2026.
With the right program and education, you won’t just learn about medical coding, you’ll also gain valuable skills in performing administrative tasks. Below is our guide to the best schools for medical coding certification and education.
South Wisconsin Technical College
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College has seven online degree programs and four technical diplomas. One of its technical programs is for medical coding specialists. This program prepares students for entry-level careers in various medical settings. The knowledge gained throughout this program allows you to utilize health information systems to record and translate important medical data.
This program is 33 credit hours and typically takes one year to complete. In the first semester, students take foundational classes in medicine. Throughout the second and third semesters, students take courses in law, ethics, and healthcare reimbursement. In order to earn their diploma, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA throughout the entirety of the program.
Online classes at Southwest Wisconsin Technical Institute run for four to 16 weeks at a time. Students are allowed to complete the program from wherever they’re located, but in-state students pay a lower tuition rate. Online students also have access to various student resources, such as career services, library access, and support and advising.
Mercy College of Ohio
Mercy College of Ohio offers a medical coding certificate program that utilizes a unique mixture of didactic and simulated lab components. It trains coders for entry-level positions in the healthcare field. Students take online courses in a 26-credit hour program. The curriculum lasts three semesters.
Throughout the program, students take classes that cover medical terminology, information technology, medical coding systems, and human structure and function. By the third semester, students can take advanced coding courses where they focus on clinical coding/classification systems and medical reimbursements. Students also receive hands-on training through professional practice labs.
Upon completing the program, graduates are fully prepared to sit for the certified coding associate exam given by the American Health Information Management Assciation.
Moraine Park Technical College
Moraine Park Technical College offers a medical coding specialist program that can be completed online in one year. The curriculum trains students in reviewing and translating medical records into an alphanumeric system. Students explore the various ways of assigning diagnostic and procedural codes.
Throughout the program, students take courses in human diseases for health professionals, physiology, general anatomy, medical terminology, and human diseases for professions. Students can take additional courses in healthcare reimbursement, CPT, ICD diagnosis, and ICD procedure coding.
Once students complete the program, they qualify for certification examinations, such as the clinical coding associate certification from the American Health Information Management Association.
Rutgers University is a renowned institution that offers over 550 undergraduate and graduate programs. The school provides a 21-credit medical coding certificate program to its students. Throughout the program, students receive the training needed to assume specialist roles in healthcare coding and reimbursement.
Coursework takes five semesters to complete where students learn how to classify data from physician office and patient records. The curriculum starts with courses in disease pathology and an examination of medical terminology. Future courses cover an introduction to coding, training with CPT, and reimbursement systems.
Upon completing the program, students are fully prepared to take the American Health Information Management Association certification exam. This allows them to become certified coding associates and certified coding specialists.
University of Utah
The University of Utah is ranked as one of the top 100 colleges in the world, thanks to its various innovative programs. For aspiring medical coders, the university offers a medical coding and billing certificate. Students can complete the program entirely online at their own pace and it prepares them for national certification exams.
This extensive program covers several courses that focus on CPT/HCPCS, CPT/HCPCS, and ICD-10 Coding. Throughout the program, students take part in an 80-hour practicum that gives them hands-on experience when it comes to record-keeping. The program also prepares students to take exams, such as those administered by the American Health Information Management Association.
Students in the program can take advantage of the university’s free electronic textbooks and handbooks for coding. They can also receive a $325 voucher to pay for a certification exam.
Ogeechee Technical College
Ogeechee Technical College offers a 24-credit medical coding certificate program that students can take online. The program is self-paced. Students train in medical and physicians’ coding procedures.
Coursework involves anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and human diseases. Two courses focus solely on developing students’ medical coding skills. Typically, the program can be completed in two semesters.
Upon completing the program, students qualify for the certification examination given by the American Health Information Management Association. Some examinations that graduates can take include certified coding specialist (CCS), certified coding specialist, physician-based (CCS-P), and certified coding associate (CCA).
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Kennesaw State University
One of the largest public colleges in the nation, Kennesaw State University offers a 100-hour online medical billing and coding specialist certificate. Upon completing the course, graduates become an integral part of the healthcare team.
For a well-rounded program, Kennesaw State University partners with the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) to develop its online medical coding certification. Throughout the program, students acquire the skills needed to assign codes to denote medical procedures and patient illnesses.
Students learn ICD-10-CM diagnosis coding guidelines, HCPCS level two coding, and CPT coding for evaluation and management. They also learn to code for various procedures such as pathology, lab work, and surgery.
The program takes three months to complete and prepares students to take the AAPC certified professional coder exam. Students have the freedom to start the program at any time and earn their certification at their own rate.
Charter Oak State College
Charter Oak State College is a public online college in Connecticut that provides degrees to professionals looking to advance their careers. Specializing in providing certificate programs and degrees for highly in-demand fields, students can earn their medical coding certificate through the college completely online.
The medical coding certificate program is 21-credit hours long and gives students a strong understanding of medical science. Students take courses that teach them about pathophysiology, anatomy, and physiology. Upon completing the course, students become capable of analyzing code patient data and manage it through electronic resources.
Coursework in the program involves medical terminology, health information management, medical coding and billing and reimbursement methodologies. Students must earn at least a “C” in their courses to earn their medical billing and coding certification.
Conclusion: Choose From the Best Online Medical Coding Schools to Secure a Lucrative Career
Medical coding positions have a median pay of $40,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This lucrative position requires a great deal of knowledge in any one of the various medical coding types. Upon taking and passing the exams for certification, there are several career opportunities available to you.
The first step toward becoming a medical coding professional is to complete a certification program. Luckily, several top universities in the United States offer online programs in medical coding that can be completed remotely at your own pace.
Being a medical coder is a fulfilling position where you work in the healthcare field and aid patients and healthcare professionals.
You can make the career change to a medical coding professional. Get started by downloading the Career Karma app today.
Medical Coding FAQs
Medical billing and coding is an essential part of the healthcare system. Behind every diagnosis and treatment there is code used for billing purposes. People who work in medical billing and coding careers can interpret these codes and turn them into services. The codes used in medical billing and coding are used by healthcare providers, government bodies, insurance companies, and other organizations within healthcare.
Medical billing and coding both make sure the payment side of healthcare runs smoothly. It involves assigning and tracking a code for each medical service provided by a doctor or a nurse. Medical billing is when a bill is created based on the services a patient has used. The bill created by a medical biller and coder is sent to an insurance company which will calculate how much it must pay. The patient is then sent the final bill.
If you go straight into an 18-month or two-year degree program in medical coding, you could pay $1,000 to $2,500. After that, the application fee for basic credentials is $199. If you want an associate degree, you can expect to spend much more.
Entering the field of medical coding with no experience can be tough. That’s why experts recommend you get your foot in the door by working in other healthcare administration jobs. Once you’re working in a hospital or doctor’s office, you can train to become a coder. And once you have your certificate, you will be much more qualified.
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