Medical billing courses are often taken as part of a short-term medical billing and coding certificate program or a two-year associate's degree program in health information management. Graduates of both programs may work in medical billing, although associate's degree holders may be eligible for other jobs in health information technology. It is also common for associate's degree programs to provide a practicum experience that certificate programs may not. Completing these courses can qualify graduates for certifications, like the Registered Health Information Technician credential, although work experience may also be required before taking some exams.
Concepts students can expect to learn about include:
- Health insurance laws
- Electronic records management
- Physician and hospital coding practices
- Coding software programs
- Medical insurance claims
- Anatomy and physiology
List of Common Courses
Medical Terminology Course
Medical billing specialists work with medical terminology on a daily basis. In this introductory course, students learn the meanings behind common medical terms. Topics covered include prefixes, suffixes, root words and ways to pluralize medical words and terms. Definitions of body parts, common medical procedures, human anatomy and diseases are also covered.
Coding and Insurance Billing Course
A coding and insurance billing course is typically broken down into a series of different levels. Some medical billing programs may have two or three different course levels dedicated solely to coding and insurance billing. In this course, students learn the process of medical billing and the importance of coding in the insurance and health care industries. Topics addressed include health insurance coverage, insurance life cycles, filing insurance claims and specific coding systems. Patient confidentiality and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) laws are also discussed.
Medical Office Procedures Course
Each medical office may run slightly differently, but there are general procedures and practices that all health care facilities follow. In a medical office procedures course, these practices are reviewed. Students study records management, coding computer programs and insurance claim preparation. This course may also cover introductory lessons in medical transcription, scheduling software, and payroll and finance. This course focuses on general health care office procedures as there are times that medical information or billing specialists can be responsible for a variety of general medical office duties.
Health Care Ethics and Compliance Course
State, local and federal regulations are addressed in this medical billing course. Students will learn about HIPAA laws, the regulation of health information and disclosure of such information. Students can develop an understanding of the responsibilities of medical billing specialists pertaining to the adherence to these regulations and the impact on these and other health care professionals.