Top 5 Best Online Medical Billing & Coding Schools
December 1, 2016
If you’re hunting for the best online medical billing and coding schools, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve taken the liberty of consolidating the information so you can more easily make a decision about your education, and your future.
Medical billing and coding is a continually growing field due in large-part to healthcare advances enabling us to live much longer than any time in the past, and demand is projected to outpace the supply of competent coders going into future.
Perfect for highly-organized individuals, medical coders are responsible for translating procedures into codes to ensure accuracy when its time for insurance companies to pay out. Coders are required to understand private payer insurance policies as well as governmental regulations for optimum accuracy.
Coders use what is referred to as CPT, or Current Procedural Terminology, codes to describe medical office visits and the services rendered to patients for conditions diagnosed. Every type of health care service is provided a CPT code, but you’ll learn all about that when pursuing one of the following programs.
Top 10 Best Online Medical Billing & Coding Schools:
Tuition: $798 per credit
Drexel University offers an accredited Medical Billing & Coding certificate program entirely online. This six-course program is offered by their College of Nursing and Health Professions and is designed for rapid-entry into the field.
Their program focuses primarily on the four most commonly used coding manuals: CPT, HCPCS, ICD-9-CM, and ICD-10. After completion of the program, you’ll qualify for the American Medical Billing Association, AAPC, and American Health Information Management Association certification examinations.
Tuition: $430 per credit
Ultimate Medical Academy offers an entirely online associate’s degree program in medical billing and coding that can be completed in as little as 17 months. The program consists of 39 credit hours that can be completed at your own pace, however. Examples of courses you can expect to take include:
- Medical Basics and the Healthcare Claim Cycle
- Anatomy, Terminology and Healthcare Payers
- Disease Processes and ICD-10-CM Coding
- Coding with Simulation, CPC Prep and CPC Review
- Introduction to Healthcare Computer Information Systems
The UMA program offers additional resources to its students as well, including one-on-one tutoring, resume writing, interview coaching, and post-graduation job search assistance.
Tuition: $345 per credit
Herzing University offers multiple avenues to becoming a medical coder, including a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management (124 credits or 36 months), an Associate of Applied Science in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist (61 credits or 20 months), and a Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist (44 credits or 12 months). Depending on your personal situation, one of these may be more beneficial than another.
Those who pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field will have the most opportunity opened to them as well as higher advancement potential. They are well-prepared to enter the job market by learning the basics of coding, health sciences, general education, business, management, and accounting, much of which is required for higher-level positions.
Students who complete an associate’s or diploma program will be equipped for entry into the field, but with less earning or advancement potential without further education.
Tuition: $371 per credit
Kaplan University offers a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate that provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to begin with healthcare employers going into the future. Topics covered by courses in this program include:
- Anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology
- Data information processing
- Insurance billing
- Medical terminology and medical office management
The program is designed to adequately prepare you for the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) certification examination sponsored by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Other certification exams you’ll be ready for include the Certified Coding Associate exam and the Insurance and Coding Specialist exam.
Keiser University offers an Associate of Science degree in Medical Administrative Billing & Coding designed to prepare students to assign accurate medical codes for diagnostic and other procedures in a medical setting.
Objectives of their program are similar to others on our list in that its designed to hone the student’s medical language and mastery of classification codes, clerical and administrative duties, and prepare them for AAPC credentialing.
Courses you can expect to take if you choose this program include:
- Anatomy & Physiology with Terminology & Disease Process
- Medical Law & Ethics
- CPT-4/HCPCS Coding
- Basic ICD-10 Coding
If you’re interested in taking up medical coding as a career, any of these choices would suit you well to get your foot in the door and complete the necessary certification examinations.
However, each individual has differing needs, so make sure to look into the details of each. There may be one that offers a specific course that you want to take, or there could be financial incentives to choosing one over the others, or any other factor that may play into your decision.
Regardless of which you choose, completing a program will get you well on your way to starting your career in healthcare! Best of luck!