Now is the time to take advantage of the increased income available through medical billing and coding jobs. If you’re interested in making a career in medical billing and coding, the first question that might cross your mind is this. Can you get a medical billing and coding degree online?
Many colleges, universities and vocational schools now offer programs offering online education. In fact, some schools require that a student attend classes on a regular basis over the internet. So, if you’re wondering if you can get a degree online in medical billing and coding, the answer is yes.
Overview Of Medical Billing And Coding Jobs
While a career in healthcare, specifically in medical billing and coding sounds exciting, it’s best you have an overview of what these jobs entail.
Medical billing and coding jobs ensure that the revenue cycle of healthcare is robust. These jobs often involve helping healthcare practitioners and hospitals prepare invoices and receipts, as well as assisting them with billings. Hence, medical billers and coders must have a solid understanding of the health care industry, patient billing and records, health information management, health insurance, and pharmaceutical calculations.
Some medical coders start out as medical billers since it’s easier to get into the billing department somewhere in the revenue cycle. If these jobs interest you, the good news is that you can get a medical billing and coding degree online.
Online Degrees Offer The Advantage Of Flexibility
For those interested in an online degree, the major advantage is the flexibility that online education affords. You are able to work at your own pace, set your own schedule and complete your work in the manner that works best for you. You do, however, have to be disciplined because attending classes physically often precludes you from taking a course at a time when it is convenient for you.
With online education programs, you will be able to access study guides and study materials whenever you need them. You can also take your courses at times when it is convenient for you without having to worry about getting behind or missing a deadline. Some of the programs can even be taken on weekends so that those with a hectic schedule won’t have to worry about putting the studies off until the weekend.
Another advantage of taking up a medical billing and coding degree online is that you earn it while you’re employed. If you are currently working, an associate’s degree can put you on your way to earning a certification, which will give you more credentials and make you eligible for higher-paying positions.
You’ll have a head start in the career field while increasing your income at the same time. You may also qualify for some federal health information technology jobs so that you can advance your career even further.
How Can You Get A Medical Billing And Coding Degree Online?
If you don’t know where to get your degree or what area to focus on, look around for accredited online colleges. It’s important that you consider only accredited online colleges.
Accredited online colleges and universities provide quality of education that has attained, met, or exceeded industry standards. The food news is that there are many of these online schools. Many of them offer federal grants to help you get your tuition costs under control.
They also typically have smaller class sizes, so you can work on studying more efficiently while making sure that you still get work done in a timely manner. As long as you meet the basic requirements, and pass the prerequisites for the medical certification test, you should be able to get through the course without any trouble.
If you want to get a medical billing and coding degree online, you must also look into the program that’s being offered by the school. Institutional accreditation is not enough for a medical billing and coding degree online.
You must also look into the accreditation of the medical billing and coding program. It’s better to enroll in an accredited program.
Programs that are properly accredited will have achieved accreditation from a third-party organization, like the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Look for a CAHIIM-accredited program when looking for a medical billing and coding program. You’ll be glad you did.
One of the most important reasons why you must choose a CAHIIM-accredited program is that it qualifies you to sit for certification exams sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association or AHIMA.
AHIMA offers certification exams on Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), and Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT®); to mention a few. These certifications can help you get an entry-level position. That’s the reason why it’s a must for you to look at the accreditation of the program being offered.
Related Read: Best Medical Billing And Coding Certification Online
Accredited programs that can help you earn a medical billing and coding degree online are usually the following: health information management, health information administration, health information systems, medical coder, medical billing specialist, and health information technician.
Related Read: Best Medical Billing And Coding Online Programs
These programs must include credits in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. Credits in these subjects are very useful for both medical billing and coding jobs.
Also make sure that there also credits in medical law, basic nursing skills, and office practices, such as keeping patient charts and medical files organized. The bottom line is that you need to look at the program first before making the decision to enroll.
By completing these programs and gaining certifications, you can get the jump start you need on your career and get on with earning top wages and getting a lucrative salary.
Yes, you can get medical billing and coding degree online but you need to choose the right learning institution and program to get your money’s worth.
Consider Continuing Education
Once you have earned your degree and are ready to start your medical billing and coding program, make sure that you enroll in some kind of refresher course or refresher software that can help you keep up with the changing medical regulations.
You may need to get a certification exam for one of the areas of your certification, so try to choose an appropriate program that allows for this. If you are still working, take a full-time job while you’re in school, and complete whatever necessary to get through the semester or two before your exam. It won’t hurt to be patient.
Students who complete an accredited online medical billing and coding program are often eligible to apply for jobs in hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities as well. Depending on your training and certification, you could even open your own office or start your own business in the coding field.
The salary range for individuals with this degree is typically between a few thousand and several hundred dollars per year. While this isn’t the highest-paying job in the field, it is still respectable.
So, stop asking the question, can you get a medical billing and coding degree online? You now know that it’s very possible. Just make sure to consider accredited learning institutions that offer accredited programs. You will never wrong with that.
To learn more about the career path you might be interested in, talk to a career counselor at your local college. He or she can help you determine what your specific career goals are and recommend schools that are an appropriate fit for you.