In Ohio, aspiring medical coding and billing specialists can complete an undergraduate certificate program in medical billing and coding, which can take about one year to complete. Another option is an associate degree program in health information technology. Additionally, short-term courses, which could be only a few months in length, are also available. Training usually includes didactic studies and hands-on learning in medical office settings. The main focus of these programs is to teach students about coding with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding systems.
Most employers prefer to hire individuals who have certification, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Certification may be obtained through agencies such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The following eight community, career and technical colleges in Ohio offer medical billing and coding programs that prepare students for certification and employment.
Located in Saint Clairsville, Belmont College has a 34-credit medical coding program that can be completed in one year. Students become skillful at coding with ICD-9CM and CPT-4, while also beginning to learn ICD-10 guidelines. Other courses include human biology, medical law and ethics, medical terminology and medical billing. Students spend 30 hours in a real work environment to gain hands-on training. This program focuses on preparing students to work in physicians' offices and related outpatient facilities.
Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County
The medical coding specialist course at Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County in Newark teaches students the fundamentals of medical coding. Students gain knowledge of ICD-9CM, ICD-10CM, CPT and Level II HCPCS coding systems. HMOs and Medicare fraud are also topics in this program. Prerequisite courses include anatomy and physiology, as well as medical terminology, each of which is offered in an online/blended learning format. Once the student completes this course, he or she can take the AAPC certification exam to earn the CPC (Certified Professional Coder) credential.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
The medical coding certificate program at this college in Cincinnati is one of many career programs offered through the college's Health and Public Safety Division. The five-semester program prepares students for entry-level employment in medical clinics, outpatient services and insurance companies. Students learn to utilize numerical coding systems for purposes of financial reimbursement. Topics of study include medical terminology, CPT coding, health data clinical abstracting and healthcare information management. Other topics covered include Diagnostic Related Groups (DRG), Ambulatory Payment Classifications (APC) and medical documentation models. The cooperative education department at Cincinnati State is one of the largest among two-year colleges in the United States.
Columbus State Community College
Located in Columbus, this community college has two program options for students interested in medical coding and billing careers. The 31-credit medical coding certificate program focuses on the industry-standard medical coding systems of ICD-9 and CPT-4. Courses in computers, writing and general medical knowledge augment a curriculum designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in the medical billing and coding field.
The health information management associate degree program prepares students for a variety of administrative tasks in healthcare beyond medical coding. The broad curriculum covers case management, medical reimbursement, business communications and more, in addition to ICD-9 and CPT-4 coding systems. The degree program entails 70 credit hours of instruction.
Cuyahoga Community College
The medical coding and billing program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cleveland utilizes the AAPC professional medical coding curriculum, which is aimed at preparing students to take the CPC certification exam. Various topics are covered, including ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, hospital billing and reimbursement, medical coding guidelines and billing reimbursement fundamentals. The medical coding and billing training, offered through Tri-C's Workforce Training division, is available through various continuing education courses and seminars for professionals looking to update their knowledge.
Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools
Groveport-based Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools have a medical office technology program that not only teaches students about medical billing and coding, but also prepares them to take the certification exam for medical office assistant. The program consists of 450 classroom hours and 150 externship hours where students can obtain real work experience. Students study basic anatomy, medical terminology, CPR/BBP (cardiopulmonary resuscitation and blood-borne pathogens), Microsoft Word and Excel, medical coding and billing, appointment scheduling and basic medical office procedures. This program, offered twice a year, can generally be completed in six months.
O.C. Collins Career Center
O.C. Collins Career Center in Chesapeake offers various short-term medical courses, including two medical coding and billing courses. The medical coding and billing course teaches students the basics of coding and billing, while the advanced course focuses on advanced methods of medical coding and billing. Each program is 16 weeks in length. Students are introduced to medical billing using medical software. These courses are offered based on available enrollment.
Terra State Community College
Located in Fremont, Terra State Community College offers a 30-credit-hour medical coding certificate program that offers a curriculum of lecture and lab courses. Students learn about statistical analysis, ICD-9-CM coding and CPT-4 coding, with a focus on third-party reimbursement. Applicants must complete medical terminology with a grade of C or better to be eligible for this program.
Courses from this program can be applied to the college's health information technology associate degree program. The 68- to 70-credit-hour program also offers courses in anatomy and physiology, health record law, health data management and pharmacology. Students also complete professional practical experience courses that have students working in medical facilities to obtain experience and hands-on training. General education courses must also be completed to earn the degree.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Medical Billing and Coding Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016, unless otherwise noted)|
|Belmont College||Two-year, public; fringe rural||Medical Coding Certificate||$3,596 in-state; $6,030 out-of-state*|
|Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County||Two-year, public; small suburb||Medical Coding Specialist Course||$1,965 total cost (2016-2017)**|
|Cincinnati State Technical and Community College||Two-year, public; large city||Coding Specialist Certificate||$3,825 in-state; $7,393 out-of-state*|
|Columbus State Community College||Two-year, public; large city|| Medical Coding Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management Technology
|$3,808 in-state; $8,430 out-of-state*|
|Cuyahoga Community College||Two-year, public; large city||Medical Coding and Billing Program||$3,136 in-district; $3,953 in-state; $7,648 out-of-state*|
|Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools||< Two-year, public; large suburb||Medical Office Technology Program||$4,983 program cost *|
|O.C. Collins Career Center||Two-year, public; fringe rural|| Medical Coding and Billing Course,
Advanced Medical Coding and Billing Course
|$4,700 program cost (2016-2017)|
|Terra State Community College||Two-year, public; fringe rural|| Medical Coding Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology
|$4,284 in-state; $8,568 out-of-state*|
Sources: *NCES School Navigator, **Schools' websites.