Online Courses in Medical Billing
The following courses are commonly offered online in medical billing programs.
- Medical Terminology: Schools may offer one or more courses in medical terminology that teach students basic and advanced terms and abbreviations for medical procedures, conditions, diagnoses and systems as well as human anatomy. Some courses also introduce students to the use of medical dictionaries.
- Medical Insurance and Claim Forms: Students learn to identify major insurance carriers and how to complete and submit common claim forms using ICD and CPT coding for billing. Some courses also include financial practices, such as fee assessment, bookkeeping and purchasing.
- Electronic Medical Billing: This type of course covers the use of electronic billing programs and portals for physician and patient billing, claims processing and insurance communication. Topics include types of health plans, compliance, office management software and paper claims filing.
- Medical Records: Students learn how to keep and manage medical billing records. Other topics include legal requirements, reporting and patient communication.
- Physician-Based Medical Coding: Students learn medical coding standards while simultaneously learning the material needed to pass a national medical coding board exam. Emphasis is placed on the study of the three main coding manuals for physician-based medical coding.
- Pathology and Pharmacology: Online pathology and pharmacology courses are designed to familiarize students with common drugs and their uses. Topics will also include diseases of various body systems, basic surgeries, drug relation, and drug classifications.
- Law, Ethics and Confidentiality: Medical billing involves a large amount of private and confidential data. This online course will teach students how to approach this kind of data, including laws surrounding medical data, ethical issues encountered in healthcare, and defenses against malpractice suits.
Many medical billing programs specifically prepare students for credentialing through industry organizations, such as the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). These designations may include Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Billing and Coding Specialist or Certified Coding Associate. Depending on the course load, completing a course series usually takes a year or less. The length of certificate or diploma programs is often 1 to 1.5 years, while an associate degree program generally takes two years and includes general education courses.
Course content is normally delivered through a college or university Web-based distance learning system. This system utilizes Internet communication tools, such as live one-way or multiple-way audio and video, interactive discussion boards, chat rooms and email. Though these programs can be completed entirely online, students may be encouraged or required to engage in cooperative work experiences in local medical offices.
You can find medical billing and coding programs and courses offered entirely online. Courses can tackle a diverse range of subjects, granting students an opportunity to learn about medical terminology, insurance, healthcare ethics, pharmacology and more.