Schools for Health Care Reimbursement Professionals: How to Choose

Students in health care reimbursement programs learn about medical billing, coding and reimbursement procedures. Aspiring health care reimbursement professionals can participate in certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree programs.

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Health care reimbursement professionals submit patient health care claims to insurance companies for reimbursement. They do not always interact directly with patients. Health care reimbursement programs are available through community colleges, vocational schools and 4-year colleges and universities.

Schools with Health Care Reimbursement Programs

Aspiring health care reimbursement professionals can find training programs at the following schools:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered* Tuition (2015-2016)**
Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM 2-year, Public Associate's degree, certificate $1,448 in-state, $6,704 out-of-state
Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH 2-year, Public Associate's degree, certificate $3,808 in-state, $8,430 out-of-state
Onondaga Community College Syracuse, NY 2-year, Public Course $5,014 in-state, $9,184 out-of-state
Alfred State College-SUNY Alfred, NY 4-year, Public Certificate $8,057 in-state, $14,617 out-of-state
Virginia College Birmingham, AL 4-year, Private, for-profit Associate's degree $13,932

Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Information and Records Admin
  • Health Information Technology
  • Health Management and Clinical Administration
  • Health Unit Coordinator
  • Health Ward Supervisor
  • Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
  • Medical Claims Examiner
  • Medical Facilities Management
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
  • Medical Insurance Services
  • Medical Office Computer Technologies
  • Medical Office Management
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Medical Staff Services
  • Medical Transcriptionist

School Selection Criteria

Prospective health care reimbursement professionals should consider the following when looking for a health care reimbursement school:

  • Look for programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). The organization lists accredited programs on their website (www.cahiim.org).
  • Choose a program that prepares students for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers favor health care reimbursement professionals with this credential (www.bls.gov). Students can investigate the RHIT exam passage rates of a prospective program either through the program's website or by speaking with the administration.
  • Reimbursement professionals use several health care and insurance systems. Find out if the school offers classes on up-to-date technology and systems.
  • If you're interested in getting hands-on experience at a local healthcare facility, find out if the program includes an internship.

Certificate in Health Care Reimbursement

Certificates can be earned in as little as a few months. Often, these programs are given in the evening so that students can maintain employment while going to school. Programs may include practical experiences at a local hospital.

Associate's Degree in Health Care Reimbursement

Associate's degree programs go more in depth than certificate programs do. An internship that provides clinical experience may also be part of the curriculum.

Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Reimbursement

Bachelor's-level health care reimbursement programs are difficult to find; however, programs in health care or health information management that incorporate health care reimbursement as part of the curriculum are an option. These programs may be contained within a school's business program but will still likely include classes related to health care reimbursement. Many programs will accept transfer credits from an associate's degree program and apply them toward graduation. Additional requirements for graduation may include an internship and capstone project.

There are several different undergraduate-level educational options for individuals who want to work in the field of health care reimbursement.

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