In addition to studying coding and record-keeping procedures in hospitals and doctors' offices, students in medical billing and coding diploma programs are trained in general medical office procedures, billing, anatomy, and medical terminology. A diploma program in insurance coding takes 9-18 months to complete, depending on the number of credits a school requires.
Diploma in Insurance Coding
A high school diploma or GED certificate is necessary to apply to this program. High school coursework in chemistry, biology, health, and computer science can help prepare students for postsecondary work.
Most programs require an internship in a medical facility or physician's office. Course topics may include:
- Coding and billing for Medicare
- Medical terminology
- Insurance fraud
- Managing medical records
- Billing for hospitals
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected employment for all medical records and health information technicians, which includes medical coders, to grow by 15% from 2014-2024, which is much faster than average for other occupations (www.bls.gov). The median salary for medical records technicians, according to the BLS, was $37,110 in May 2015.
Professional Credentials and Continuing Education Information
Employers may prefer insurance coders who hold credentials from a professional association, according to the BLS. While some groups require a degree to take the credentialing exam, others, including the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), accept candidates with a diploma and coding experience. Coders can also study to earn college degrees in health information technology or become specialty coders, working in areas such as mental health or urology.
Insurance coding diploma programs examine topics relevant to the medical sector of insurance, such as billing for hospitals, managing medical records, medical terminology, and more. Graduates can seek employment in related medical record and health information fields, though some employers may prefer applicants who hold professional credentials or more advanced degrees.