Medical billing and coding professionals assign the correct codes to patients' medical records to assist with billing and reimbursement. Training in medical coding and billing can be found through certificate, diploma and associate degree programs at community colleges and technical schools. Coding instruction typically focuses on learning the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding systems.
Atlantic Technical College
Located in Coconut Creek, Atlantic Technical College offers a 10-month medical biller/coder program that prepares students for entry-level employment in medical facilities. Students gain instruction in ICD-CM coding, disease processes, medical terminology, advanced coding and pharmacology. After completing this 1,000-hour program, students receive an Applied Technology Diploma and are eligible to take certification exams for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) and Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) credentials from AHIMA, as well as the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential from AAPC. In addition they can earn the Florida Ready to Work credential, which is a state certification used to establish employment readiness. Students may also transfer 26 credits towards a health information management associate degree program at Broward College.
Brevard Community College
The medical information coder/biller program at Brevard Community College in Cocoa is offered on a full- or part-time basis. The 34-credit program has limited admissions, so interested applicants need to meet all requirements. Students take courses in pharmacology, microcomputer applications, hospital coding and billing, computerized physician office billing and CPT coding principles. A practical work experience provides students with the chance to work in a healthcare setting. Graduates are prepared to obtain national certifications such as CCA and CPC credentials.
Hillsborough Community College
Tampa-based Hillsborough Community College (HCC) offers two 34-credit technical certificate programs in medical billing and coding, as well as an office administration associate degree program with a medical office administration specialization that includes coding coursework. Students choose the appropriate technical certificate program depending on whether they wish to focus on medical coding or medical billing. The programs prepare students for positions such as medical coders, medical billers or medical office specialists.
A clinical practicum provides students with hands-on training in a medical setting. Courses can be transferred to the associate degree program. The college also offers a certificate program in medical office management that includes some instruction in medical billing.
Students pursuing the degree program must also complete general education courses, as well as a practicum in billing and one in coding. Topping off the 63-credit hour program is an internship in HCC's Office Systems Technology Department. Graduates of this program are eligible for certification exams and management-level careers in medical offices.
Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center
Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center in Miami offers a medical coder/biller program that can be completed in 11 months. The 1,000-hour curriculum consists of four courses, including a 90-hour course in health information technology and three sequential medical coder and biller courses. Students are accepted into this program every six months. Applicants take an assessment test and participate in an interview. Those who have withdrawn from high school can apply if they are at least 16 years of age.
Manatee Technical Institute
Manatee Technical Institute in Bradenton offers a medical coder/biller program that can be completed in less than a year if attending full-time. Through classroom studies and practical experiences, students gain the skills for positions in medical facilities and obtain preparation for the CCA certification exam. Students learn about medical terminology, basic data processing, safety and security procedures, healthcare delivery systems and pharmacology. Students completing this program can transfer credits towards a health information management associate degree program also offered at Manatee Tech.
Pasco-Hernando Community College
Students completing the medical coder/biller program at Pasco-Hernando Community College in New Port Richey earn applied technology diplomas and can seek work as medical coders and billers. If students attend full-time, they can complete this 33.33-credit program in a year. Also offered at the North Campus in Brooksville and the East Campus in Dade City, this program offers a curriculum of medical courses and clinical education. The program requires that students complete a four-hour AIDs seminar and also have CPR (Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers) certification. Applicants must have adequate TABE (Tests of Basic Education) scores.
Pinellas Technical Education Centers
The Saint Petersburg campus of Pinellas Technical Education Centers offers a medical coder/biller program through distance learning. The 1,000-hour program includes a curriculum of four sequential courses. After taking a health information technology course, students focus on medical coding and billing in three courses. Completing this one-year program qualifies students to sit for the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) credential from NHA and the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) certification from AHIMA. Additional certifications are available to graduates once they obtain work experience.
Sheridan Technical Center
The 1,000-hour medical coding/billing program at Sheridan Technical Center in Hollywood offers evening classes Monday through Friday. The program covers the CPT and ICD-9-CM coding systems and introduces students to electronic health records and health informatics. Topics of study include medical terminology, pharmacology, manual and computer coding, disease processes and ethical issues. Students that successfully complete this program earn applied technology diplomas.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Legal Statistics, certification may be a requirement for most employers. Aspiring medical coding and billing specialists who want the advantage that gaining certification can offer can apply for various credentials. These include certification from agencies such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Applying for certification is an option after graduation from one of these eight Florida schools.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Medical Billing and Coding Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Atlantic Technical College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Medical Biller/Coder Applied Technology Diploma||$5,444 total program cost**|
|Brevard Community College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Medical Information Coder/Biller College Credit Certificate||$2,496 in-state; $9,739 out-of-state*|
|Hillsborough Community College||Two-year, public; large city|| Medical Coder/Biller College Credit Certificate,
Associate in Science in Office Administration with a specialization in Medical Office Administration
|$2,506 in-state; $9,111 out-of-state*|
|Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center||Two-year, public; large city||Medical Coder/Biller Program||$2.56/hour in-state; $10.25/hour out-of-state**|
|Manatee Technical Institute||Two-year, public; large suburb||Medical Coder/Biller Applied Technology Diploma||$2.92/hour in-state; $11.69/hr out-of-state**|
|Pasco-Hernando Community College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Medical Coder/Biller - Applied Technology Diploma||$3,155 in-state; $12,032 out-of-state total program cost**|
|Pinellas Technical Education Centers||Two-year, public; midsize city||Medical Coder/Biller Program||$6,332 total program cost**|
|Sheridan Technical Center||Two-year, public; large suburb||Medical Coder/Biller Applied Technology Diploma||$4,636 total program cost**|
Source: *NCES School Navigator, **School website