What Type of Education Is Needed for Medical Billing and Coding?

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What Type of Education Is Needed for Medical Billing and Coding?

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Medical coding and billing

Pursuing a career in medical billing and coding can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. This is a serious and complex field that is becoming more and more competitive.

You don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to help thousands of patients, because you can contribute quite a lot behind the scenes. You can make sure the communications among patients, healthcare practitioners, and insurance companies always remain seamless, and that everything runs smoothly day in and day out.

Here’s everything you need to know and do to become a medical billing and coding specialist:

Medical Billing and Coding Education Requirements

To work in a medical billing and coding field, you need to obtain a high school diploma or an equivalent GED certificate first.

After that, you can either take two semesters (provided you’re a full-time student) at a community college that offers medical billing and coding programs, or you can enroll in an online course, which you can complete in ten months.

You can choose to specialize specifically in billing or in coding. You can also choose to specialize in an area regarding medical billing and coding that’s either hospital-based or physician-based, as well as specialize in specific fields of medicine.

Once you get the necessary degree, you can get a job in a healthcare facility such as a hospital or physician’s office, or even an insurance company.

Medical and Billing Classes Required

Medical coding and billing computer laptop

Various medical billing and coding classes include a wide variety of different topics. You will learn about pharmacology and anatomy basics, become familiar with the extensive medical terminology, and learn everything about the proper insurance protocol.

Not only will you learn all the necessary medical terms, but you will also learn about various medical codes. The codes will help you easily communicate with healthcare practitioners, and make sure that all the medical records you handle on the job are always properly documented and processed.

You will also learn about insurance billing procedures and privacy laws so that you can make sure the healthcare facility you later work at stays compliant and works with accurate medical records.

Some of the classes that you may need to attend as well include:

  • Medical Contracts, Ethics, and HIPAA
  • Medical Billing and Health Insurance
  • Coding for Hospital Applications/Hospital Medical Billing
  • Coding for Medical Office Applications/ Physician Medical Billing
  • Basic CPT Coding
  • Basic Coding Using ICD-9 and ICD-10
  • Intermediate Medical Coding
  • Advanced Medical Coding

The Importance of Medical Billing and Coding Certification

Medical coding and billing stethoscopeBefore you can get hired in medical billing and coding, you need to get a proper certificate. This is not a mandatory requirement that any state imposes, but almost every employer will ask for it.

This is simply because they want to hire someone who has the proper formal training and experience to handle complex medical records and seamlessly manage computer databases.

Many community colleges and technical institutes offer high-quality medical billing and coding programs, where you can also get an associate degree, which is more than an acceptable form of certification.

Where Can You Get a Medical Billing Certification?

The three national organizations where you can get different medical billing certification include:

  • The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
  • The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
  • The Board of Medical Specialty Coding and Compliance (BMSC)

Where Can You Get a Medical Coding Certification?

You can get a medical coding certification at either of the following organizations:

  • The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
  • The American Medical Billing Association (AMBA)

Preparing for the test can be time-consuming. There are classes that help you study for the exam. And passing the exam on the first try is a real challenge. Some classes focus on helping you organize your exam time which is critical to being able to successfully pass the test and earn your certification.

Commonly Purchased Medical Coding and Billing Online Trainings