Whether you’re a high school grad, career changer, single mom, or returning veteran, medical coding and billing is an in-demand profession to consider. Medical coders are skilled HIT technicians who assign letters and numbers to health records for coding diagnoses and procedures. Medical billers utilize their coded records to file claims with patients’ insurance carriers and get healthcare organizations paid. Medical billing and coding jobs are highly flexible, even offering telecommuting positions for work from home. Joining this healthcare field poised to grow by 15 percent through 2024 will require post-secondary training though. Most employers prefer hiring medical coders and billers with a certificate or associate degree. Since education is key for becoming successful in medical coding and billing, being very familiar with the field’s codebooks is essential for creating accurate health insurance claims. Registering for medical coding and billing training is a smart investment. Certified Professional Coders (CPCs) earn 20 percent more than their colleagues with an average salary of $50,030. Develop the technical skill sets for coordinating the healthcare revenue cycle by attending one of these Top 10 Medical Billing and Coding Schools.
In this article, we’ll recognize only the best billing and coding schools in the United States for mastering health records management. We began the selection process by surveying the 268 associate-level programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Associate degrees offering built-in or subsequent certificates for medical coding and billing were noted. Extra brownie points were given to coding education programs recognized by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Next, we shortened our lengthy list by judging academic reputation in national rankings. For affordability, we only chose colleges with average undergraduate tuition prices under $25,000 each year according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Other factors considered were professional experience, certification rates, student-faculty ratio, financial aid, and coding practices.
Without further introduction, we present the
Top 10 Medical Coding and Billing Schools:
1. Bowling Green State University
Founded under the Lowry Normal School Bill in 1910, Bowling Green State University is a public, research institution located 15 miles south of Toledo, Ohio, with over 17,700 students. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Bowling Green State University is America’s 185th Best University and 103rd Top Public School. Bowling Green’s Firelands College campus in Huron offers a Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredited Associate of Technical Study (ATS) in Coding & Medical Billing. The two-year, 64-credit program blends on-site and online courses to satisfy American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) requirements. There’s also an A.A.S. in Health Information Technology.
Tuition: $4,946 (in-state) or $12,482 (out-of-state)
2. St. Catherine University
With enrollment over 5,000, St. Catherine University is a private, women’s liberal arts institution rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition in Minnesota’s Twin Cities Metro. Given a “B” Forbes financial grade, St. Catherine is ranked the 15th Best Midwestern College by the U.S. News and World Report. In the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, ladies can pursue the A.A.S. in Health Information with a Coding Specialist Certificate. Holding Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) accreditation, the 70-credit program features clinical lab and professional practice application. St. Catherine graduates have an above-average Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam pass rate.
3. Alfred State College – SUNY
Sitting in the rolling hills of New York’s Southern Tier, Alfred State College – SUNY is a public, state-funded technical institution educating over 3,500 students in 50 fields. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Alfred State as the North’s 19th Best College and 14th Top School for Veterans. Alfred State has offered an online Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) accredited A.A.S. in Health Information Technology and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) approved Coding and Billing Specialist Certificate. Both programs include a 160-hour practicum in an acute care hospital. Graduates had a 100 percent employment rate in 2014.
Tuition: $8,057 (in-state) or $14,617 (out-of-state)
4. Keiser University
Attracting more than 18,000 diverse students, Keiser University is a private, non-profit institution headquartered in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida, since 1977. With dual Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and Commission on Accrediation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) accreditation, Keiser is ranked the 36th Best Southern College by the U.S. News and World Report. At the Lakeland, Pembroke Pines, Tampa, or online campuses, Keiser students can pursue an A.S. in Medical Administrative Billing & Coding. Consisting of 60 credits, the two-year program prepares graduates for taking the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) credentialing exam. Students practice their ICD-10, CPT-4, and HCPCS coding in externships across South Florida.
5. Ferris State University
Endowed for $40.2 million, Ferris State University is Michigan’s ninth largest public teaching institution serving over 14,700 students in Big Rapids and 19 off-campus locations. With a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, Ferris is ranked the 61st Best Midwestern College and 15th Top Public School by the U.S. News and World Report. The College of Health Professions awards a CAHIIM-accredited A.A.S. in Health Information Technology with certificates in Coding Specialist or Cancer Information Management. The 77-credit program offers on-site and online courses before a final summer internship.
Tuition: $10,970 (in-state) or $17,562 (out-of-state)
6. Weber State University
Established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1889, Weber State University is a public, co-educational technical institution enrolling over 26,600 students in Ogden, Utah. Ranked 77th Regionally by the U.S. News and World Report, Weber State offers more than 250 academic programs. Students could pursue the CAHIIM-accredited Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management and/or Healthcare Coding Certificate. Health Information Management courses are available online for completing the 10-course certificate in four semesters. Weber State graduates achieve an average starting salary of $34,000.
Tuition: $5,321 (in-state) or $14,235 (out-of-state)
7. Dakota State University
Located in rural Madison, South Dakota, since 1881, Dakota State University is a public, tech-centric undergraduate institution serving more than 3,000 students. The U.S. News and World Report crowned Dakota State University the 92nd Best College and 30th Top Public University in the Midwest. Following CAHIIM guidelines, Dakota State confers a 12-month Health Care Coding Certificate, A.S. in Health Information Technology, and B.S. in Health Information Administration. Courses are delivered online or in Sioux Falls for AHIMA credentials. Each program includes one to two semesters of professional healthcare experience.
Tuition: $7,974 (in-state) or $10,556 (out-of-state)
8. Washburn University
Formerly called Lincoln College, Washburn University is a public, co-educational higher learning institution founded in 1865 and educating over 6,900 students in Topeka, Kansas. Awarding over $70 million in financial aid, Washburn is named the Midwest’s 92nd Best College by the U.S. News and World Report. With CAHIIM accreditation, the School of Applied Studies offers a Health Information Coding Certificate and A.S. in Health Information Technology. Reporting a 100 percent satisfaction rate, the one-year and two-year programs are primarily online. Professional experience is coordinated in students’ local communities.
Tuition: $6,350 (in-state) or $14,222 (out-of-state)
9. Idaho State University
Celebrating its 115th anniversary, Idaho State University is a public, doctoral-granting research institution that’s educating over 15,500 students yearly in Pocatello, Meridian, and Idaho Falls. Offering over 30 health-related disciplines, Idaho State University was declared America’s 216th Best Public College by Forbes. The College of Technology offers a 38-credit Intermediate Technical Certificate in Medical Coding. Each spring, online cohorts are admitted to satisfy AHIMA’s Certified Coding Specialist requirements. Credits seamlessly transfer into the CAHIIM-accredited A.A.S. Health Information Technology and B.S. in Health Science programs.
Tuition: $6,784 (in-state) or $20,182 (out-of-state)
10. Peirce College
Nestled in Philadelphia’s Center City District, Peirce College is a private, non-profit institution offering career-focused education to over 1,800 full-time students. Known for its accelerated seven-week format, Peirce has America’s 79th Best Online Undergraduate Programs according to the U.S. News and World Report. Either online or on-campus, Peirce students could pursue the CAHIIM-accredited A.S. Health Information Technology and Certificate in Medical Coding. Graduation requires passing a HIT professional practice experience. With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, the curriculum progress through ICD-10 and CPT outpatient coding. Students can also join the Health Programs Student Association (HPSA).