Ever since the pandemic punched the world in the face, the world of health and medicine has begun to intrigue more people towards it. For most, this profession holds a noble position in their life, people with the will to contribute to the welfare of society often pick medicine as their field, which is great because if it were not for doctors, the world would have not survived the pandemic.
Yet, there remains a substantial chunk of people who fancy the world of medicine but do not necessarily want to get their hands dirty, they had run the hospital from a computer room. It is for that chunk of people that we have decided to devote our time.
We want them to know that they have a great scope to become part of the community of health industry practitioners.
This world lies in the bills and codes of the medical industry and is increasingly spreading all thanks to the hike in the use of technology in the world.
Our article is going to cover the ‘accredited schools for medical billing and coding’ specifically ‘accredited online schools for medical coding and billing.’ I hope you find this read as enlightening as we did when investigated it!
A Beginners’ Guide to Medical Billing and Coding
Medical billing and coding are the spines of the health care revenue system. When you fill out a medical form at a hospital, the form often asks you about your insurance and/or shares a list of services the hospital/clinics are going to be provided to the patient.
This same list is then present at the time of payment. They charge you for all that you get from them. This little cycle is medical billing and coding combined.
In a more detailed manner to explain to our readers, medical coding involves filling in the incoming data of patients into the hospital data systems in the form of codes. Yes, I am talking about the same codes as you have for games, software etcetera.
The purpose of this is to shrink and classify the hundreds of records taken in a hospital every single day.
The coding classification included Current Procedural Terminology; often linked to quick procedures and check-ups, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes; the codes which are linked to long-term diseases like cardiac diseases, cancers; diseases that require prolonged visits to the hospital. This record is necessary to classify patients and billing procedures.
It is also this data that is used to claim reinsurance reimbursements or insurance frauds. Anybody willing to go to this side of the system should understand that medical coding is the more complex of the two and requires thorough knowledge and understanding of the field itself.
Medical billing on the other hand is the next step in the equation. Coders use the data provided to them, to draft receipts which are sent to insurance companies or directly to the patients.
The insurance companies are the final component in the equation and then decide whether the payment is accepted or declined. Hence, in contrast, the billers must understand the coder’s language and be sure of how to manage accounts.
The one thing that sets them apart is that medical billers are required to communicate with the patients whilst coders do not.
But do not worry, both tasks are certified and recognized by the industry. To become so you must be certified with either of the two,
- Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from the National Health Association (NHA)
- Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
You’ll be earning up to 22 $ per hour, this makes it a solid field for you to discover.
Phew! That was a hard nut to crack. Medical billing and coding are complex things to describe, so we hope that we have done a decent job with them. Now, let us move to the next step, exploring the accredited medical billing and coding programs online!
Accredited Medical Billing and Coding Schools:
‘Accreditation’ is going to very frequent word in this article. The reason for this is that it is a certification for the institutions themselves by the health management association to the schools teaching the programs. It attests to the quality of the program which is reassuring for someone who is about to join the sector.
In the USA, this attestation is given by Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). If a program you are planning to pursue has accreditation from this national or regional board, then it is very likely that you will be able to get funding for your study!
We will begin our list of top picks with the community and technical colleges, the reason is that these offer cheaper courses that still hold the attestation from the commission, making them the most preferable option amongst other accredited schools for medical billing and coding.
Community and Technical Colleges
Northwest Technical College:
Northwest Technical College offers sixty credits of an online course on medical coding which can be translated into a medical coding diploma. In this, the students learn how to manage hospital data records using the assigned system of codes by the health association. The graduates can pursue key roles in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and even government health offices.
This accredited online school for medical coding is attested/accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is pursued right after high school. The tuition for this program is $199.9/credit.
Moraine Park Technical College:
Moraine offers an online medical coding accredited program that spans over a 30-credit course. The best part about this short diploma is that it is meant for entry-level medical coders after which they qualify to sit for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam.
This way the coders have a higher coding certification and can access positions around data analysis of codes in hospitals, insurance firms, and even audits.
This Wisconsin-based school is certified by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and charges about $140/credit from in-state residents and $211.5/credit from out-of-state residents.
Northland Technical and Community College:
This college offers a sixty-credit online accredited course on coding which involves training students to learn billing procedures also. At the end of this diploma, you’ll be trained in medical coding ethics, billing management, insurance management, medical terminology, and pathophysiology. Since this is a comparatively newer program on the list, it requires your high school transcripts, your ACT scores, and your COVID-19 immunization form.
Do not worry, the college has an accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, so you are in safe hands because the college is very quickly topping the lists of accredited medical billing and coding programs online. The estimated tuition fee for this 18-month program is $ 11,940 in total but do look out for the financial aid options they offer!
Central Maine Community College:
Central Maine Community College offers an online associate in applied science degree in medical coding and electronic health records and a certificate in medical coding and electronic health records. These degrees can be completed online.
The associate in applied science in medical coding and electronic health records trains students to become proficient in coding systems, computing common healthcare statistics, quality improvement standards, and patient privacy issues.
The medical coding and electronic health records certificate teach students to oversee specialized classification, record-keeping, and data entry related to treatment, medical diagnostics, insurance documentation, and billing.
The online application is a straightforward process where you are required to submit your high school transcripts, ACT scores, and the application form. The fee for this 60-credit cycle is $96/credit and the college had accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Indiana Hills Community College:
Amongst all the accredited medical billing and coding programs online shared so far, we thought that the Indiana Hills Community College had the best game because AHIMA accredits its program. The program offers similar training to these technical and community colleges, but it stands its ground by being backed by the national commission for the task.
Because this is one of the more competitive diplomas due to its attestation, the application requirement for this involved both ACT and SAT scores in addition to your high school transcripts. The fee for this 12-month program is $8640 for the residents of Iowa and the rest, it is $11,280.
Right, so that was for all that community and technical colleges have to offer on this list. Up next are the universities which have the accreditation for this purpose. We have managed to keep it to the top five accredited schools for medical billing and coding.
Universities’ Accredited Medical Coding and Billing Programs Online
Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis:
The medical coding program at Indianapolis is completely online and has accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Because of this double attestation, the students can access scholarships and financial aid.
The program can also lead to a bachelor’s degree in health information management and is flexible for you to complete easily as per your availability. In addition to this, they have a policy of Return on Investment which is rare for programs in this field. Their tuition fee per credit is $399.
Drexel University, Columbia/Philadelphia:
Drexel is one of the best accredited online medical billing schools out there. It has a cooperative education program that adheres to giving its students access to 18 months of full-time paid opportunity right after they graduate. This allows the students to begin their careers right away and build an applaud able network along.
Its online program on medical billing and coding focuses on four coding manuals including CPT and ICD-9, which is one of the long-term disease coding systems. The program is catching pace in becoming the most sought-after program. The tuition fee for this is $789 per credit hour.
Herzing University, Wisconsin:
Herzing University is a non-profit organization that awards all tiers of degrees from diplomas to master’s and is one of the leading choices in accredited online billing and coding schools. The program is flexible, and students can go with it at their own pace. The program covers multiple areas of the field including understanding medical technology, understanding medical coding and ethics, understanding the legal ethics of the program, and learning how to use health information technology.
It is for this reason and the fact that the faculty consists of healthcare professionals that Herzing university makes it to the list of the best-accredited schools for medical billing and coding. The tuition fee per credit for this program is $345.
Sullivan University, Kentucky:
Sullivan University is accredited by the Southern Association for colleges and schools, one of the first schools to be accredited by the association which is why Sullivan makes it to our list of accredited online schools for medical coding and billing. Along with the coding systems, the students also learn the following: understanding medical records, anatomy, and physiology, medical terminology, Health IT, Information literacy, and pharmacology. The tuition rate for the program is $13,500.
Keiser University, Florida:
We decided to add a university that involved a more hybrid program as well, so when we looked them up, Keiser University stood out. Keiser does hybrid program options for students. It keeps the option for partial remote and partial online medical coding programs for students along with full on-campus programs and fully online programs.
They have a personalized learning center for students which makes it a customized experience for each student. This accredited medical and billing school has attestation from SACS, as well, and charges you $267/credit hour.
With that our list ends and we repeat that you must investigate this career path for yourself. We hope to have done our job, good luck with your applications!