Medical billing and/or coding programs are offered at the undergraduate certificate level and may take 7-12 months to complete. Associate's degree programs in health information technology can also offer training in this field. These programs prepare students for performing tasks such as keeping patient records, inputting patient information into computer systems and understanding disease classification systems. Applicants may be required to pass a typing test and may need to complete certain prerequisite courses.
Although certification is not required to work in the medical billing field in the United States, employers often prefer candidates with certification. Certification for medical billing specialists is available through organizations such as the Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), which offers the Certified Professional Biller (CPB) credential, and the National Healthcare Association (NHA), which confers Billing and Coding Specialist Certification (CBCS). Graduation from the programs at the ten 2-year colleges profiled below can lead to certification.
Canada College in Redwood City offers an associate's degree program in medical assisting with a concentration in medical billing. Students explore subjects such as accounting, coding, medical terminology and medical insurance. In addition to taking core courses and general education classes, students must fulfill physical education requirements, which include a dance class option. Students can also opt for a certificate in medical billing.
City College of San Francisco
Located in San Francisco, this college offers a certificate program in medical billing. Students in this program study topics such as disease processing, computer bookkeeping, computer insurance billing and ICD coding. To enroll, students must be at least 18 years old and able to type at least 45 words per minute for five minutes, with an error rate of no more than ten percent.
Clovis Adult Education
Students at this school in Clovis can pursue a medical assistant front office certificate program that includes training in medical billing and takes 10-12 months to complete. Additionally, they gain training in medical terminology, Microsoft Office 2010, keyboarding and medical manager software. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Located in Cypress, this college offers a program that awards a Medical Insurance Billing Specialist Certificate of Completion. Besides medical insurance billing, topics of study include health information science, ambulatory care coding and computer information systems. Students earn the certificate after completing 24 program units.
In addition, the college offers certificate and associate's degree programs in health information technology that include training in medical billing. Students in both programs learn to perform a variety of medical administrative duties, such as tracking patient medical histories, interacting with healthcare professionals and acting as patient advocates. Both programs offer the same curriculum, with the associate's program requiring general education requirements as well.
Cosumnes River College
The medical assisting certificate program at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento includes a medical insurance billing specialty. Before students can enroll in this program, they must be computer literate and have completed a variety of prerequisite courses in topics such as physiology and anatomy, medical assisting and medical terminology. Once they enter the program, they take courses in human disease, ICD-CM coding, medical insurance procedures and other topics. This program prepares students for employment in ambulatory settings or doctors' offices.
Downey Adult School Career and Education Center
This school located in Downey specializes in programs for adult learners seeking to gain high school diplomas, GEDs, ESL instruction or career training. The school's medical biller and coder program offers day and night courses in medical terminology, anatomy, medical insurance, medical billing and medical coding. Graduates can gain employment in settings such as doctors' offices, medical clinics, hospitals and insurance companies.
Located in Ukiah, Mendocino College offers a business office technology - medical billing/coding certificate program. Besides learning about medical billing procedures, human biology, medical terminology and medical coding, students in this program take business courses, such as business English, word processing, database management and office procedures. Students complete 35 units to earn the certificate.
Southwestern College, based in Chula Vista, administers a medical coding and insurance program at the college's Higher Education Center in National City. Students learn the medical billing skills needed to work with insurance companies in getting reimbursement for health services rendered. Students are also familiarized with a variety of medical codes. In addition, they develop basic office skills, as well as the necessary medical terminology to communicate with patients and healthcare experts in the field.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Medical Billing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Canada College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Medical Billing Specialist Certificate,
Medical Billing Specialist Associate in Science
|$1,360 in-state; $7,744 out-of-state*|
|City College of San Francisco||2-year, public; large city||Medical Biller Certificate of Achievement||$1,696 in-state, $10,372 out of state*|
|Clovis Adult Education||Less than 2-year, public; large suburb||Medical Assistant Front Office Certificate||$12,000*|
|Cosumnes River College||2-year, public; large city||Medical Assisting, Administrative Certificate of Achievement||$1,104 in state, $8,712 out of state*|
|Cypress College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Medical Insurance Billing Specialist Certificate of Completion,
Certificate of Achievement in Health Information Technology,
Associate in Science in Health Information Technology
|$1,140 in-state, $6,158 out of state*|
|Downey Adult School Career and Education Center||2-year, public; large suburb||Medical Biller and Coder Program||$2,999*|
|Mendocino College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Business Office Technology - Medical Billing/Coding Certificate||$1,423 in state, $7,783 out of state*|
|Southwestern College||2-year, public; large suburb||Medical Coding and Insurance Certificate of Achievement||$1,338 for in-state, $6,602 out of state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator