Associate of Medical Billing: Degree Overview

Students enrolled in associate's degree programs in medical billing or insurance billing and coding can learn how to process medical bills, code procedures and file records. Graduates can seek immediate employment in health care offices.

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Essential Information

An Associate of Medical Billing is a 2-year program available at colleges and universities. Some schools offer online programs. The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredits many associate's degree programs in medical billing. Students interested in enrolling in a medical billing associate's degree program must have a high school diploma or GED. Optional certification is available to graduates.


Associate of Medical Billing

Students prepare to work in all types of medical settings, including hospitals, private practices and clinics. In addition to general education requirements, students learn communication skills, computer aptitudes, office practices and basic medical knowledge. Studies cover subjects such as medical terminology, medical reimbursement and coding procedures. Typical courses may include:

  • Electronic medical billing
  • Human diseases
  • Business communication
  • Health information management
  • Medical assisting

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 15% from 2014-2024, reported the BLS. The demand is even higher for those applicants with strong technology skills. This higher-than-average growth rate is driven by booming senior populations, new treatments for diseases and the popularity of electronic health records. May 2015 data from BLS showed that medical records and health information technicians earned a median annual income of $37,110.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

The BLS stated that advancement opportunities for medical billing professionals typically require them to pursue bachelor's or master's degree programs. Those who seek additional education can apply for managerial-type employment. These degree programs can be in health information administration or related fields; they provide a broader overview of the health care field and offer courses in privacy policy, health care quality and health data systems.

Medical billing professionals have certification options available to them, many of which can make them stand out to employers. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers several certifications, including the Certificate Coding Associate (CCA) and the Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT). To sit for the AHIMA-administered exams for these credentials, candidates must meet minimal education and/or experience requirements.

Another credentialing body is the American Academy of Professional Coders, which offers the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification. Applicants are advised to have an associate's degree and at least two years of coding experience prior to taking the exam. Recertification must be completed every two years and includes completing 36 hours of continuing education credits.

Students can earn an Associate of Medical Billing degree in two years which can lead to multiple career options in the medical billing field. Faster-than-average job growth is expected for all health information and records technicians, and graduates may also enhance job prospects by earning voluntary certification or pursuing bachelor's degrees.

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