Courses in a medical insurance coder certificate program prepare students to take certification exams in medical billing and coding upon graduation. Some medical insurance coder programs may be offered online. Students can complete internships in medical offices as part of practicum courses. A high school diploma or equivalent is required to enroll in this program.
Medical Insurance Coder Certificate
In addition to supporting insurance reimbursement systems, medical coders participate in the assessment of clinical care by providing coded data and performing other research activities. Students learn how to maintain medical records and other information relevant to patient care. Typical course topics include:
- Healthcare coding regulations
- International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9)
- Procedure and diagnostic coding
- Medical terminology
- Billing and insurance
Popular Career Options
Medical insurance coders can be found in clinics, hospitals and medical billing offices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical records and health information technicians could expect to see an increase in job opportunities of 11% between the years of 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). Popular career options include:
- Medical records technician
- Coding specialist
- Medical coder
- Health information technician
In 2018, the BLS reported that medical records and health information technicians earned an average yearly salary of $44,010.
Continuing Education Information
Medical insurance coders may be hired upon completion of a certificate program, although many choose to earn an associate's degree, according to the BLS. Some also pursue bachelor's degree programs to become health information managers. Certification is also recommended for medical insurance coders, as it can improve their employment opportunities while demonstrating their knowledge and proficiency in the profession.
Graduates of 2-year medical coding associate's degree programs can obtain the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification by passing a written examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Other organizations offering credentials include the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC), the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS).
Students in a medical insurance coder certificate program learn how to review medical records and enter data so that facilities can be reimbursed for services by insurance companies. Graduates can pursue certification which, while not required, may improve employment chances.