Degree in ICD-9 Coding: Program Information

Oct 13, 2019

Medical billing and coding associate degree programs train students to use the ICD-9 coding system to transform medical procedures and treatments into shorthand codes for billing and record keeping purposes. Learn about other program topics, and get career and certification options.

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Essential Information

ICD-9 coding is a form of coding used primarily by medical records and health information technicians in healthcare facilities and insurance companies. Students enrolled in an Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding degree program can gain hands-on experience in ICD-9 coding procedures. Different lists of ICD-9 codes represent infectious diseases, congenital anomalies, injuries, medical symptoms, mental disorders and more. Associate degree programs in medical billing and coding often contain courses that introduce students to working in the healthcare field in general.

Admission into associate degree programs requires a high school diploma or GED. Many courses in medical billing and coding may be available online.


Associate Degree in ICD-9 Coding

In addition to courses on ICD-9 coding systems, associate degree programs in billing and coding also take courses in medical office procedures, medical terminology and computerized billing systems. Students enrolled in such programs are often required to gain practical, hands-on experience in a medical office or insurance company. Topics covered may include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Basic medical diseases
  • Medical administration principles
  • ICD-9 and CPT medical coding
  • Computerized billing systems and reimbursement procedures
  • Health information management

Popular Career Options

Graduates with knowledge of ICD-9 coding systems can gain positions in a variety of settings, including hospitals, physicians' offices, medical laboratories and insurance companies. Typical job titles include:

  • Insurance claims specialist
  • Health information technician
  • Medical records specialist
  • Billing and coding technician
  • Medical office assistant

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Medical records and health information technicians earned a median salary of $40,350 in 2018, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reports employment prospects in this field are expected to increase by 11% over the decade of 2018-2028. In 2018, there were 215,500 medical records and health information technicians, as indicated by the BLS' figures.

Certification Options

There are some certifications available for individuals who master ICD-9 coding systems. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers certification in the field, as does the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC) and the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS). While certification is not required, it can help medical coding specialists who are looking for an edge in a competitive job market.

ICD-9 coding training is available as part of most medical billing and coding associate degree programs. Professional-level understanding of ICD-9 coding prepares students to work as insurance claims specialists, medical office assistants, and billing and coding technicians.

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