How to Find a Good Medical Billing Online Program

If you are considering becoming a medical coder and biller, then an easy way to accomplish this is to study medical billing online. Taking an online course will enable you to either join the fast-growing career of medical billing or even to open your own work-from-home business as a medical coder or biller.

The ability to study at home is great as it affords you the opportunity to study in your own time, at the hours that suit you, without interfering with your current job or domestic or familial responsibilities, and in the comfort of your own home. When choosing your medical billing online course, however, you need to be very careful, as there are literally millions of courses being offered on the Internet. This amount of courses is enough to confuse anyone as to which program to choose.

In order to become a medical billing specialist, one needs to learn all the numbers or codes associated with procedures in the medical field. There are also various codes for drugs. These codes are used for diagnosis, billing and insurance claims. A good medical billing online program will teach you all of the medical billing codes and will also teach you how to complete the different forms the codes are used for. The forms you will need to learn about include forms for various insurance companies and those used for government claims such as Medicare.

A part of the medical billing online program you will also be taught about the systems in the human body, different procedures performed by medical personnel, and different medical terminology, as these will be required for use as reference information when doing coding from doctor and patient files.

What a Good Medical Billing Online Program Should Teach

There are many online programs that are offered online, but many of them are scams, and one way to ensure that the program is genuine is to ensure that you are getting all the knowledge that you need in order to be a good medical biller and coder.

There are 7 essential subjects a medical billing online program should offer:

1. An Introduction to Medical Billing and Office Procedures

  • An explanation of what medical billing is
  • A basic overview of office procedures required for medical billing
  • Instruction on how to collect and enter billing data
  • How the paper claims process works
  • How the electronic claims process works
  • How to create and edit reports
  • Charging out for your services if you are working for yourself

2. Understanding the Documentation Involved

  • An explanation of what superbills or daysheets are, how to read them and how to complete them
  • Essential office forms
  • How to complete a Patient Demographic Form
  • How to read and process insurance cards, insurance forms and verification procedures
  • The Basics of the CMS 1500, UB92 and ADA Forms

3. Understanding Coding and Code Usage

  • Definitions and use of Current Procedural Technology (CPT) coding
  • How to read and use the CPT Manual
  • Definitions and use of International Classification of Disease (ICD) coding
  • How to read and use the ICD Manual

4. Understanding the Life Cycle of an Insurance Claim

  • How to collect and enter claim data
  • The Claims Submission Process, including Paper Claims, Electronic Claims, Secondary Claims, and Claims Attachments
  • Posting Payments, including Full Payment, Partial Payment, Deductible

5. Working with Practice Management Software

  • How to enter Clinic Data from Superbills and Daysheets
  • How to enter Physician Data from Superbills and Daysheets
  • How to enter Patient Data from Superbills and Daysheets , including processing Demographic, Insurance, Procedure, and Diagnosis Information
  • How to Use the software to generate claims
  • How to Use the software to generate reports

6. Operating Procedures of a Medical Billing Business

  • How to draw up a business plan
  • Naming and setting up your business
  • Office equipment and essentials
  • How to decide on which services you will provide
  • How to write a business proposal

7. Effective Marketing Procedures of a Medical Billing Business

  • How to promote your business
  • The benefits of selling your business
  • Defining your market
  • How to target specialties
  • How to enhance your revenue
  • How to design marketing documents such as brochures, flyers, post-cards, letters, contracts

Each of the above sections of the medical billing online program should be followed by an exam that tests your understanding of each topic before you move on to the next section or module.

Medical billing is a viable career forMedical Billing Online those who enjoy a challenging career in which being precise and accurate is very important. The beauty of this career is that you can either work for someone else or for yourself. The training to become a medical coder and biller is not that long, which means that you can be working in your chosen field in a very short time. Most programs last between ten weeks and three semesters, depending on the content.

How to Find a Good Medical Billing Online School

Finding the right medical billing online program can be difficult, but there are a few easy steps to follow that can help:

Make sure that the course is accredited

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued warning regarding companies that misrepresent the earning potential of a medical biller and who offer programs that do not fulfill the needs of someone wanting to go into this career. These so-called schools scam individuals out of their hard-earned money and the qualifications that they offer are not worth the paper that they are printed on. An accredited course will allow you to sit for the National Certification Exam offered by The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), The American Medical Billing Association (AMBA), or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Check who is offering the course

A good medical billing online course should only be taught by those who are experienced in medical coding or medical billing. An Educational Clearinghouse offers every type of course, including medical billing, but the problem with these institutions is that they do not teach you in-depth enough, so doing a medical billing course through one is not good enough.

Check the cost of the course

Medical billing online courses are not expensive as a rule, with most courses costing in the region of $500 – $700; you should steer clear of any institution that wants to charge you more that. This excludes courses that include additional training that is designed to give you the knowledge to become a medical transcriptionist or a nationally certified medical coder; these could go as high as $2,500. A good programme should also be flexible enough to offer more than one payment option.

Medical Billing Online Degrees

Online degree programs are becoming more and more popular, and there are currently many reputable schools that offer various online degrees which teach valuable, pragmatic know-how and do not take that long. Students of these accredited programs are usually able to sit for and pass the Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) exam within 2 or 3 months.

Bryant & Stratton College

Bryant and Stratton College offers a medical billing online program; the Associate of Applied Science – Medical Reimbursement & Coding (MRC) Program, which prepares students to either sit for the national coding exams in order to become certified, or to begin working in the coding and billing field immediately.

The program consists of core courses which provide the student with a foundation on which they can rely to enable them to complete the coding portion of this very comprehensive program. Once the core courses are completed the student has a choice of two directions to follow; Physician coding or Hospital/inpatient coding. The MRC program prepares you with the information needed to choose either one or both coding paths. Whether you choose to specialize in on e path or become cross-credentialed in both is up to you.

The MRC program fulfills all necessary criteria for both the AAPC and the AHIMA national certifying bodies. This means that once you have completed the course you can sit for either The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) exam in order to become certified.

Requirements:

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Associate Degree
Language: English

Allen School

Allen School offers a medical billing online program which provides the student with the benefits and flexibility of attending classes in their own home via an intensive web-based program. The program includes interaction between students and instructors via 24/7 online access to the online campus. The program makes use of academic exercises, video recordings, message boards, and live interaction. Students on this program need to dedicate 25-30 hours per week towards their academic studies.

Benefits of this Medical Insurance Billing and Coding Program:

  • The school is a recognized Health Science Institution which has been around for more than 50 years.
  • The nine month accelerated program allows you to get into the medical billing career very quickly
  • The program is instructor-supported and supervised
  • Lifetime national career service assistance
  • Financial aid available to those who qualify

Allen School is Nationally Accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and Licensed by the States of NY & AZ

Requirements:

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Certificate
Language: English

Most of the medical billing online programs are basically the same, so it does not make sense to go through each and every program in detail, but here follows a list of some other schools offering online medical billing programs:

AmeriTech College

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Associate Degree
Language: English

Ashworth College

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Continuing Education Certificate
Language: English
Accrediting Agency: Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission

Harrison College

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Certificate or an Associate Degree
Language: English

Herzing University

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Diploma in Medical billing or an Associate Degree
Language: English
Accrediting Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; The Higher Learning Commission

Penn Foster Career School

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Diploma in Medical billing
Language: English
Accrediting Agency: Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission; Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Ultimate Medical Academy

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Diploma in Medical billing or an Associate Degree
Language: English

U.S. Career Institute

Educational: A high school diploma or a GED
On Campus: None
Delivery: 100% Online
Education Level: Medical Coding and Billing Specialist Certificate
Language: English

When doing your research into which school to do your medical billing online program through, also make sure that you have the required technical equipment necessary to do the course, such as Microsoft XP, Vista, or Windows 7, a computer with at least 512 MB internal memory, a 1 GH (1000 MHZ) processor, a 40 GB hard drive, Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and a high-speed internet connection. These will be necessary in order to access the online programs. Some of the course will have other technical requirements too, which could include the need for a sound card and speakers, a minimum resolution of 800×600, Adobe Flash Player (ver. 10 or higher), Javascript and cookies, and a PDF reader.

Some schools offering medical billing online programs also have some geographical restrictions, so make sure that you are eligible to enroll in the school of your choice.

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