Earning an Online Degree in Medical Coding or Billing

A medical coder or biller is responsible for keeping a record of patient visits and diagnoses for insurance companies in order for medical personnel to receive payment for their services. In the last decade, medical coding and billing has boomed as a subset of the healthcare industry. Employment in medical records and healthcare information technology is expected to grow faster than average in the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With an Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science degree in medical coding or billing, you’ll be joining one of the most rapidly growing specialties in healthcare. Here are the benefits of completing your associates degree in medical billing or coding online:

Time. If a full-time job and familial obligations won’t permit you to earn an associates degree the old-fashioned way, consider that you can earn one online in as little as a year and a half despite your busy schedule.

More job options. Once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll more career prospects such as medical claims reviewer, medical claims analyst, electronic claims processor, office billing coordinator and patient account representative.

In-depth education. Although your specialty will be in medical coding and billing, your online course work can include a wide range of healthcare disciplines such as anatomy and physiology, psychology, ethics, pharmacology and management.

Accreditation. Online degree programs specializing in medical coding and billing can be just as credentialed as traditional programs. When looking for the right program, make sure that it is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

Easy admissions process. While some programs simply require filling out a form online, others may request official transcripts from your high school, vocational school or any other post-secondary schooling. Some schools allow GED scores in lieu of transcripts. As most classes are conducted in English and medical terminology comprehension is vital, international students are usually expected to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.

Affordability. Earning your associates degree in medical billing or coding is affordable, as most programs generally require a total of eighteen to twenty credits. Many schools offer financial assistance through programs of their own. Students can also request additional aid by filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) once a year.

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