Students enrolled in a 2-year Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding program are expected to learn about medical office procedures as well as technical billing and coding techniques. Students enrolled in these programs can often take advantage of internship or externship opportunities.
Many associate's degree programs in medical billing and coding also provide training in federal and state healthcare and billing regulations, office technologies and basic administrative procedures. Prerequisites include a high school diploma or equivalent, plus basic computer skills.
Associates' Degree Programs in Billing
Associate's degree programs in medical billing and coding offer more general education and humanities courses than certificate programs, along with practical coding courses. Online degrees are available as well. Some core courses include:
- Medical terminology
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Drugs and medication
- Electronic records systems
- Health information technology
- Health information management regulations
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Medical billing and coding professionals earned a median annual salary of $40,350 in 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job growth is expected to be a faster than average 11% from 2018-2028 according to the BLS. Medical records and health information technicians who worked for professional, scientific and technical services companies typically earned higher salaries than those who worked for hospitals or physicians' offices.
Medical and billing specialists can gain certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders or the American Health Information Management Association. To receive certification from such organizations, individuals must pass a credentialing examination. Many healthcare organizations prefer to hire health information technicians who have some form of certification.
An associate's degree in medical billing and coding prepares students to work in this fast-growing field through training in topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and medication. Certification is optional, and most program require as little as a high school diploma and basic computer literacy.