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Medical Coding Courses and Classes Overview

Medical coders work in clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities to record medical procedures or reimbursement accounts. Courses in medical coding are taken as part of a full program at the undergraduate level. Keep reading for more info about these courses and the topics they typically cover.

Essential Information

Medical coding courses are often taken in conjunction with medical coding certificate programs, although they're also found in associate's degree programs in medical office administration or medical coding and billing. While medical coding certificate programs focus primarily on medical terminology and coding, associate's programs also educate students on medical office procedures, office applications, business and communication. Degree-seeking students may also do an internship or externship.

Students who complete medical coding courses may be able to sit for the American Health Information Management Association's Certified Coding Associate exam. Although formal training isn't required to take the exam, it's recommended. For those who want to work as coders for a physician's office, the Certified Coding Specialist - Physician-Based (CCS-P) credential is available for those who meet the requirements for experience or education.

Here are a few examples of common concepts that may be found in coding classes:

  • Data analysis
  • Reimbursement methodologies
  • Nomenclature systems
  • Medical suffixes & word roots
  • Insurance claims
  • Medical documentation

List of Medical Coding Courses

Introduction to Medical Coding Course

There are universal languages that are used for medical coding so that all health care facilities and reimbursement companies are able to communicate with one another effectively. In this introductory course, students learn ICD-9-CM coding techniques. Students learn how to read a patient's chart or record in order to determine their procedure or diagnosis. Basic CPT/HCPCS coding may also be covered at this level.

Advanced Coding Course

In an advanced medical coding course, students enhance their ability to read and classify coding language and apply those codes to reimbursement accounts. Students learn to work with software designed specifically for medical coding as well as different payment systems and databases. Advanced skills in obtaining medical information and coding such information correctly in patient and system records are also developed.

Medical Terminology Course

Specific terms are used in health care that are important for medical coders to understand when processing information. This course provides an overview of medical, procedural and anatomical vocabulary, including pronunciations, definitions and common usages. The majority of this class' focus will be on the various human body systems.

Anatomy and Physiology Course

An anatomy and physiology course covers human body systems. Students learn the name, location and function of systems and body parts. Specific areas of study include the skin, skeletal, muscular and respiratory systems.

Health Information Management Course

During a health information management course, students are given an overview of legal concepts and topics of patient confidentiality. These topics are important when working with medical codes, patient records and reimbursement companies. Skills are further developed in record filing, coding, numbering and patient information security. Students also learn about processes in patient admission and discharge.


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