In an AAS in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding program, theory-based classes in subjects like anatomy and physiology are combined with technical courses designed to develop skills like CPT and IDP Coding. In addition to their coursework, students participate in real-world practical experiences, preparing them to take important industry certification examinations and enter the field as trained professionals. These programs are offered at community colleges and technical schools, and are also offered in other associate's degree formats. Most programs take 18-24 months to complete.
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
Students must have a high-school diploma or equivalent to apply to an AAS medical insurance billing and coding program. Once enrolled, they learn administrative duties, such as preparing and submitting paperwork necessary for insurance and billing purposes, often practicing these new skills in a cooperative work experience setting. They also have the opportunity to learn medical terminology, insurance codes and computer application skills. In addition to coursework and lab studies, students may participate in internship opportunities to obtain hands-on training. A student can expect to take a variation of the following courses:
- Medical terminology
- Communication in healthcare
- Insurance and billing
- Medical office administration
- Document formatting and production
- Medical machine transcription
Popular Career Options
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that medical records and health information technicians could expect employment growth of 15% for the decade of 2014-2024, which is much faster than average (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that employees in this field earned a median annual wage of $37,110 in May 2015. Graduates may find career opportunities in clinics, hospitals and physician offices. Some common career titles include the following:
- Medical records technician
- Health information technician
- Coding specialist
- Medical coder
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Medical insurance billers and coders interested in employment advancement may pursue certifications for credentials or pursue bachelor's degrees for more education. Certification is a way to demonstrate knowledge, skill, and proficiency in the profession.
Eligible candidates must pass written examinations to obtain certification. The Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC), the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS) offer specialty coding certifications.
By earning an AAS in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding, students gain basic medical training and technical office skills they need to seek professional certification and start working in the field.