Students enrolled in a medical billing and coding certificate program learn about completing insurance forms and filing claims while they become familiar with using coding systems. These certificate programs often prepare graduates for national certification exams administered by the American Academy of Professional Coders and the American Health Information Management Association.
Medical Billing and Coding Certificate Program
Courses in this certificate program focus on the medical and clerical aspects of the job. Some programs include an internship or practice experience in the curriculum. They take a year or less to complete on average. Common topics of study may include:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Coding basics
- Legal and ethical issues in healthcare
- Reimbursement in healthcare
Popular Career Options
A medical coding and billing certificate program can prepare graduates to work in physician's offices, hospitals, and insurance companies. Possible career titles include medical biller, medical claims reviewer, and medical coder.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
Per data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth for medical records and health information technicians was estimated to increase at a much faster than average rate of 15% from 2014 to 2024. According to 2015 information, these technicians made a median salary of $37,110, while billing and posting clerks made a median income of $35,050.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers a variety of credentials for individuals who work in doctors' offices or outpatient hospitals (www.aapc.com). The organization also offers credentials for medical coders who process payments or those who specialize in interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding. The American Health Information Management Association also offers credentials in coding, such as the Certified Coding Associate and Certified Coding Specialist (www.ahima.org).
For those who are interested in healthcare careers that reach wider than just medical billing and coding, an associate degree in health information technology could held professionals move into positions like medical records technician or health information technician. Beyond that level, students may choose to move into bachelor's degree programs in health information administration. These 4-year degree programs sometimes operate as 2+2 programs, meaning that they can build on the certificate or associate degree programs.
Certificates in medical billing and coding focus on the theory, practical knowledge, and skill development essential for employment in the healthcare field as medical billing and coding professionals. Graduates have several career options they are qualified for; they can also pursue traditional degree programs and professional certification from various organizations.