Many allied health professionals are bucking the “traditional” trend by attending remote medical coding and billing training programs that use Web-based classrooms to practice. According to Babson’s 2017 Digital Education State Almanac, 29.7 percent of the 20.92 million U.S. college students are taking at least one course online. Instead of flooding big lecture halls, adults increasingly choose to harness 21st-century technologies for mastering HIT procedural systems at home. EdTech Magazine reported that 60 percent of remote learners work full-time, 70 percent are female, and 80 percent live within their school’s 100-mile radius. Online training is an attractive offer for good work-life balance, but some question whether it’s really effective. Let’s evaluate whether remote medical coding and billing programs are as good as traditional face-to-face programs for achieving CPC or CCS certification.
Quality of Remote Medical Coding and Billing Training
Online colleges with physical campuses will typically have the same faculty deliver an identical medical coding and billing training curriculum to remote students. The U.S. Department of Education made the monumental move to declare online learning as effectual as traditional instruction in 2010. One Inside Higher Ed survey found that 95 percent of survey takers believed online classes are equivalent or superior. Though three-fourths of employers respect distance education, many university transcripts won’t even distinguish between online and traditional programs. However, please note that asynchronous remote learning isn’t right for everyone. The Brookings Institution discovered that online course grades drop an average 0.33 points relative to face-to-face ones.
Unique Benefits of Medical Coding and Billing Online Programs
Remote medical coding and billing training can be “better” than traditional degrees in numerous ways because they’re extremely flexible. Online courses have 24/7/365 access to fit health care preparation into work and childrearing schedules anytime as long as deadlines are met. The Huffington Post stated that revolutionizing remote study builds computer-savvy tech skills, which HIT workers need, using everything from databases to blogs and discussion boards. Students can apply to online medical coding and billing certificates not available in their geographic location to increase admission chances. Studying remotely can also make financial sense to cut campus fees, room and board, and transportation off the College Board‘s mean community college cost of $3,440 per year.
Potential Cons to Studying Medical Coding and Billing Remotely
Skipping campus commutes for online medical coding and billing training can create some troubles though. For example, eLearn Magazine warned that many virtual classrooms lack the ability to foster face-to-face communication skills unless apps like Skype are used live. Online learners need discipline to avoid falling behind coursework in self-paced modules without faculty supervision. Making one’s home a classroom can add unlikely distractions, such as barking pets and crying children. Web technology is generally a friend, but it can become foe when a Wi-Fi connection is lost and assignments can’t be uploaded. Remote medical coding and billing training programs also often still require hand-on practicum, which can be tough to arrange when living out of state.
Several steps can be made to ensure remote medical coding and billing training is as equivalent to traditional on-campus classes as possible. Accreditation is a key value indicator that ensures schools’ compliance with third-party review standards. Many of the best coding degrees are delivered by the 160 online colleges with CAHIIM accreditation or AHIMA recognition. The U.S. News & World Report suggests asking academic officials if the curriculum’s credits are transferrable to judge eminence. Check with the Online Learning Consortium to determine whether the college is endorsed by its Quality Scorecard Report. Invest some time questioning the institution’s course policies, resources, and student testimonials too. Some great remote medical coding and billing training places include Charter Oak State College, Dakota State University, Great Basin College, Weber State University, Moraine Park Technical College, Fisher College Boston, and Collin County Community College.