Medical Coding and Billing Schools and Training Programs
- A.S. – Medical Billing & Coding
- Diploma – Medical Billing & Coding
- Diploma – Medical Office Billing Specialist
Much of the work being done in healthcare IT today is with patient medical records.Every time a patient visits a hospital, clinic or physician s office, a medical record of any observations, diagnoses or treatments is created and entered into a database. Medical records and health information technicians assemble and organize patients health information, and ensure its quality, accuracy, accessibility and security.
One of the more important careers in this area is medical coding and billing. Medical coding and billing specialists are trained to use the latest healthcare IT software in order to facilitate the processing of medical insurance claims.
Insurers have to make sure that they re only paying for medical treatments that fall within the terms of a patient s policy. In order to cut down on mistakes, they create coding systems to identify certain medical treatments and procedures. Medical billing and coding specialists use these codes to categorize patients medical files and create medical bills.
Work Environments and Locations
Those that work in medical billing and coding usually enjoy pleasant working conditions and normal working hours. They generally work in the administrative offices of hospitals, clinics, or other types of medical facilities.
About 40% of all medical records technicians were employed in hospitals in 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2010) reports, while the remainder worked in physicians offices, nursing homes or outpatient centers. However, in the future, most jobs will likely be in physicians offices as a result of the growing need for meticulous records.
Medical Coding and Billing Training Requirements
Medical coding and billing is important to the functioning of the larger health care industry. It is only by keeping accurate records that doctors, nurses, hospitals, and insurance companies can provide optimal treatment to patients and their families.
Coursework in Medical Coding and Billing
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), the majority of people who enter this field possess an associate degree from a two-year college or vocational school. Hospitals typically look for those who have completed coursework in anatomy and physiology, medical coding, data analysis, database management and computer science. Familiarity with insurance procedures is also an asset, since many medical coders handle the various insurance claims that come through hospitals and clinics.
Formal Training vs. On-the-Job Training
Although some workers receive on-the-job training in medical coding and handling insurance claims, advancing in this career typically requires a bachelor s or master s degree, or a specialized certification, the bls.gov reports. Getting an education in this field could be an investment in your career in this growing professional field.
Job Outlook for Medical Coders/Billers and Health Information Management Technicians
The health care industry is booming as a whole, and employment for medical records and health information technicians is expected to grow much faster than average: 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. Part of the reason for this growth is the aging population, including the baby boomers. In addition, increasing attention to streamlining costs will make the work of medical coders and billers, as well as those handling digital records, very important to the healthcare industry.
Additional Information for Individuals Pursuing a Medical Billing and Coding Degrees:
Additional Resources for Individuals Seeking Medical Billing and Coding Schools:
The following schools offer degree or certificate programs leading to a career in medical coding and billing, or in medical records management.