When you are interested in a certain career or you have heard of a career that you might find interesting, it can be a bit confusing at first as to where to start looking and what to do to enable yourself with the right tools and knowledge to commence something that you may well have to do for the rest of your life.
Knowing where to study, what to study and what to expect while you are studying is a good place to start. It is a good idea to do some research into where you will be working and what schools are in the State you will be living and working it to make the certification process easier.
Medical Billing and Coding Schools Suggestions
Medical coding and billing schools are a necessity if you want to get into a medical billing or coding. In the past you were able to get into this line of work by completing a high school diploma and learning the rest while you go along on the job, but because the laws concerning financing and health have become so strict, it is necessary to have professionals handling this side of a medical practice. To become such a professional, you will need to do a relevant degree which could take you at least two years to complete. After that you may need to do on the job training as well to learn the more practical applications of the theory you have been taught. Each practice runs their business in a different way and learning what systems they use and how things are done is what you will then learn on the job.
The type of schools that can be attended could be a vocational school or a university which offers the programs and classes for medical billing and coding. You could also do a virtual online course as well. This gives you the flexibility to choose how you study, where you study and when you study.
A few examples of schools who offer these classes are:
- Brown Mackie College
- Dawn Career Institute Online
- Kaplan Career Institute
- Texas School of Business
- TESST college of Technology
- Virginia College
- Career College of California
- Brookline College
- Carrington College California
- TCI the College of Technology
- Carrington College
- Carrington College California online
- North Western College
- Everest Institute
There are many more colleges where you can study to become a billing or coding clerk but your choice of college will depend on your personal profile and circumstances.
What to Expect in Medical Billing Classes
A medical billing school will have certain medical billing and coding classes that are geared towards giving you all of the tools you need to confidently enter the job market in this line of work.
Some of the schools will have classes available to attend but you can also do a medical billing program online without having to attend classes. You should, however spend as much time studying your material and doing research in an online course as you would have spent if you attended class.
The classes are designed to give you the necessary theoretical and practical experience so that when you enter the job market, you have the tools you need in order to succeed in your line of work without having to try and do your job while learning how to manage the practical side of what you have learned in class.
The benefit of attending online medical billing and coding classes is that you study in your own time and at your own pace and you do not have to worry about transport too and from school which could put money back into your pocket.
Some universities and vocational schools have small classes which will mean that you will get much more specialized attention where other schools have to deal with a larger amount of students and not enough teachers and will thus have larger classes which will give you the same quality of education, but with less personalized attention. You can inquire about the size of the classes before enrolling. If you feel you can study mostly by yourself, then an online course or an institution with larger classes may be more affordable, but you will need the self-discipline to make sure you understand what is being taught and to make sure you spend the necessary hours paying attention to your work.
Popular Medical Billing Programs
Medical billing and coding programs could last between one and two years. It depends on which institution you attend and the type of program that you choose to undergo.
To obtain your certification, you will need to pass a certain amount of credits which means that you will not have to complete an entire medical billing program in order to obtain your certificate. As long as you pass with enough credits on the subjects you choose, you will be able to obtain your qualification and you will be able to be employed as a medical billing clerk based on the subjects you chose to study.
In your medical billing studies, there are different programs available to you, such as:
- Advocacy for elderly patients
- Anatomy and physiology
- Careers in Healthcare
- Cells and molecular biology
- Comprehensive medical terminology
- CPT coding for beginners
- HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment
- ICD-9-CM – Coding the neoplasm for oncology
- ICD-9-CM – Coding workshops
- Introduction to medical billing
- Introduction to medical coding
- An introduction to medical assistant
- Medical terminology
- Medical terminology for medical coders
- Medical Transcripts
All of these programs will accumulate credits and continuous studying points which will count towards your qualification. It is up to you to decide which of these programs will be relevant to the area of medical billing and coding where you will be working. It may seem that some of these programs have nothing to do with billing and coding, but having background on the medical field in which you will be working, such as general practise, oncology or the care of children or the elderly will give you a better understanding of the processes and procedures which you will be coding and billing for.
Certificate or Medical Billing Degree
When you do a medical billing certificate, you will be able to do the work and you will be employed in a junior position to work your way to the top, but when you get a Medical billing degree, you can be employed on a higher salary package just for having done the full degree program. If you are certified and you want to upgrade to a degree, you will be able to apply for more senior positions as well as the supervision positions.
A medical billing degree will make you more marketable in terms of offering your services as a billing clerk, but you can easily find employment if you have only done a certificate program. There are many good schools who offer the degree and certificate programs that are not very expensive. Be wary of private schools who overcharge. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth from them and that the degree you are going to enroll in will be able to get you a job in billing or coding.
When you are doing an associates degree in medical billing and coding, you will be studying subjects such as anatomy, immunology, coding and terminology which gives you a wider knowledge base to work from whereas when you complete a certificate program, you are more likely to do subjects that are more specific to the practical work that you will be doing on a daily basis when working as a billing or coding clerk.
What to Look Out For When Choosing Schools for Medical Billing and Coding
Even though many are of the opinion that buying cheap is getting cheap, it will not benefit you to go for the first and most expensive vocational school or university to study medical billing and coding. There are a few things you need to look at before enrolling to a school to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
Your choice of medical school can influence the success of your career path.
Look for Accreditation
You need to be sure that the school is accredited and that the courses and programs they offer are in line with health legislation.
Your Type of Program
You need to make a decision based on your personal circumstances of whether you will be studying online or if you would like to attend class. This will make a large difference in the school you choose.
Where Your Interests Lie
The type of programs such as billing management or health insurance claims will have an influence on where you will be working and what type of work you will be doing. This will influence the program you want to enroll in and will then by association influence the schools you choose to study with.
Before you enroll in a program, make sure that the school will be able to offer you hands-on experience. The theory you learn in class will need to be applied practically to ensure you understand what it is you are doing and why you are doing it. You need hands-on experience before you enter the job market.
The choice in school you make will ultimately influence the success you have on your career Path.