Certified Coding Degree and Certificate Program Information

Training through a certificate program in medical billing and coding can prepare students for voluntary certification in this field. Before enrolling, applicants should make sure the program is accredited by the appropriate national organization.

Essential Information

A certificate program in medical billing and coding familiarizes students with insurance forms and the CPT and ICD-09 coding systems most commonly used to process insurance forms and claims. Students also understand the legal aspects of maintaining and sharing a patient's personal medical information. Those interested in enrolling the program can find them at many community colleges and vocational schools. These programs typically last from three months to one year.

Medical Coding Certificate Program

Medical coding students who plan to seek certification might want to choose a certificate program that's been accredited by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). These programs equip students with the practical skills necessary to gain immediate employment upon graduation. Course topics often include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Ethical issues in health care information
  • Manual filing of insurance claims
  • Insurance forms
  • Claims appeal
  • Specialty fields

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that health information and medical records technicians in general were expected to experience faster-than-average growth from 2014 to 2024, at an estimated increase of 15%. The rise in opportunities was expected due to the increasing population and number of medical procedures performed. As of May 2015, the average annual salary for a health information and medical records technician was $40,430, stated the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

Voluntary national certification for coding professionals is offered on various levels through AHIMA and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Candidates for certification generally must meet experience or education requirements, or a combination of both, in addition to passing an exam.

Students seeking to expand their career options might pursue an associate's degree in health information management. These programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

This interested in a coding degree should attend a certificate program accredited by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Coursework will provide them with knowledge about medical terminology and maintaining confidential information.

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