For this article, we’ve set out to find the 25 Most Affordable Medical Coding and Billing School Programs on U.S. campuses that provide training and maximize career investments. We accessed the NCES College Navigator to locate the cheapest MCB majors based on average in-state tuition data for 2017-18. Our advanced search filtered out certificate and associate degrees at public institutions for medical billers or coders. When the tuition max was marked to $5,000, the database returned 67 inexpensive results! Our next task was checking these low-cost options for quality regional accreditation. Preference was also given for accredited colleges on the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) website. After arranging suitable schools from low to high, we kept only the 25 Most Affordable Medical Coding and Billing Training School Programs costing under $3,200 yearly below.
Granted the 2000 Zia Award for Quality New Mexico, San Juan College is a public open-access, HLC-accredited junior institution with an 87,442-square-foot Farmington facility to serve nearly 13,000. The School of Health Sciences has July 1st, November 1st, and April 1st deadlines for individuals with minimum 2.5 GPAs to enter the Medical Insurance Coder/Biller Certificate. Chaired by Prof. Deborah Honstad, this 40-credit, online program blends Canvas courses with 40-hour internships for CCA exam prep.
Directed by Dr. Douglas Major, Meridian Technology Center is a public, two-year Oklahoma CareerTech institute and 2018 HOSA Silver Star Chapter Award winner in Stillwater that’s linked to 82,500 in 400 districts. The Health Insurance Coder Certificate is a full-time, adult-only option that aligns to the latest ICD-10 practices and physician notes. Finishing the 1,260-hour curriculum takes 11.5 months of real-world projects in Anatomy, Reimbursement Methodology, Patient Privacy, and more.
Ranked Florida’s 12th best district with the #1 top teachers by Niche, the School District of Indian River County led by Dr. Mark Rendell expands beyond its 27 K-12 buildings in Vero Beach with cheap adult education. The Medical Coder/Biller Certificate lets TABE exam passers study electronic health records Mondays through Thursdays at Treasure Coast Technical College. Boasting 90 percent completion, the 1,110-hour program can lead to National Healthcareer Association certifications.
Located in Forbes’ 10th friendliest town below Oquirrh Mountain, Tooele Technical College is a public, two-year Utah System of Higher Education member opened in 2009 with 27 programs. For instance, the Allied Health & Nursing Division headed by Prof. Sheila Sferas awards the Medical Billing and Coding Certificate of Proficiency in just six months. This 630-hour, Pell Grant-eligible option admits students age 16+ into modules like Claim Processing for median starting pay of $16.74/hour.
Worth $25 billion total, Oakland Community College is Michigan’s 12th best public, lower-division school on BestColleges.com that’s grown since June 1964 to teach 82,000 Raiders at six locations. In Highland Lakes, the CAAHEP-accredited Medical Assisting Program grants a Medical Insurance Coding Certificate with 100 percent CPC success. The 16-credit track coordinated by Prof. Judy Hayes partners with Henry Ford Health for courses like Medical Ethics and a no-cost apprenticeship.
Chosen a 2018 Bellwether Award Finalist, Lee College is a public, Hispanic-serving Texas Aspen Prize winner ranked 76th nationally by Niche for training over 9,000 Runnin’ Rebels from a 40-acre Baytown campus. In the McNulty-Haddick Complex, the CAHIIM-accredited Allied Health Department grants the Certificate of Completion in Medical Coding in three terms. The 33-credit plan organized by Prof. Howard Bushart involves affordable courses like Health Data Content and AHIMA exam review.
Given a $3.99 million NSF Advancing Technology Education Grant, Collin County Community College is a public, SACS-accredited junior institution founded in 1985 that’s ranked fifth in Texas by BestColleges.com with 53,000 Cougars. The School of Health Sciences led by Prof. Gary Hodge prepares for the CPC exam with the Medical Coding Certificate Series. On Blackboard or in McKinney, the 352-hour, eight-month track integrates courses like HIPAA Compliance and Pathophysiology.
Placed 28th nationally by Community College Week, San Jacinto College is a public, Hispanic-serving “Achieving the Dream Leader” institution opened in 1961 that’s enrolling 30,000 Gators in Greater Houston. The CAHIIM-accredited Health Occupations Division started the Certificate of Technology in Medical Bill and Coding for median salary of $37,685. Directed by Prof. Carla Ruffins, RHIA, the 30-credit curriculum applies North Campus courses like Classification Systems with 26 field experience hours.
Serving Provo-Orem Metro, Mountainland Technical College is a public, STEM-centric vocational institute established in 1989 and led by Clay Christensen, the 2016 UACTE Administrator of the Year, with 87 percent job placement. In Lehi or Spanish Fork, the Health Sciences Department provides the Medical Billing and Coding Certificate for $2,585. The 1,100-hour, open-entry program includes the CPC exam, CPR/First Aid certification, and possible credit transfer to Utah Valley University.
First chartered by Governor Bill Clinton, South Arkansas Community College is a public, two-year El Dorado school and 2015 ABPG Workforce Development Award winner that’s budgeting $14.7 million to instruct 13,707 students. The Division of Health Sciences managed by Prof. Caroline Hammond starts a Technical Certificate in Medical Coding thrice yearly. Reporting a 75 percent AHIMA pass rate, the 36-credit program requires one clinical practicum after affordable courses like Information Processing.
Named 10th nationally by The Knowledge Review, Columbus Technical College is a public, SACS-accredited junior institution that’s serving 5,231 students and hosting the 2018 FBLA Chapter of the Year in western Georgia. The Division of Health Sciences & Nursing in Wright Center confers the Medical Coding Specialist Certificate in 10-12 months. Headed by Prof. Nicole Jackson, the 24-credit option unlocks initial AHIMA certification after courses like Document Production are graded at least “C.”
Gifting $17.9 million yearly, including the Non-Traditional Scholarship, Southern Regional Technical College is a public, two-unit TCSG constituent merged in 2015 under Dr. Craig Wentworth that’s ranked #1 in Georgia by BestColleges.com. The Medical Billing Clerk Technical Certificate utilizes the School of Health Sciences’ resources for 100 percent career placement in 28 weeks. At Thomasville, Moultrie, Tifton, and Cairo campuses, this 22-credit sequence accelerates toward CPB credentials.
Celebrating its 110th year, North Georgia Technical College is the oldest public, open-access TCSG member and 2015 GDEC Grant recipient that’s teaching 3,661 students with 70 percent retention. In Clarkesville or Blairsville, the Health Care Division guided by Prof. Farilyn Rearden has a Medical Coding Certificate worth around $2,734 total. The 24-credit, one-year program engages courses from Human Pathological Conditions to Medical Office Management with clinical partners like Habersham Center.
Crowned America’s #1 best for vets school in Military Times, Savannah Technical College is a public, diverse market-driven TCSG member opened in 1929 that’s serving 4,500 in 150+ coastal programs. The Health Sciences Department has a 20:1 student-faculty ratio under Prof. Kathleen Bombery for its Medical Coding/Insurance Data Entry Certificate. Requiring Compass reading scores above 70, the 29-credit, three-term track covers ICD-10 methods in Savannah, Liberty, or Effingham.
Rated A+ by the BBB, Georgia Northwestern Technical College is a public, two-year Coosa Valley school and 2018 People’s Choice Award winner dedicated to giving 13,734 Bobcats “Education for Work.” The Health Technologies Department led by Prof. Frank Pharr offers the Medical Coding Technical Certificate at six campuses and 100 percent online via Blackboard. For 30 weeks, the 24-credit program prepares for healthcare documentation jobs with mid-career pay of $52,300 on PayScale.
Home to the 2018 Rick Perkins Award for Excellence recipient, Chattahoochee Technical College is a public, eight-campus TCSG member in Marietta that’s ranked 10th by Atlanta Business Chronicle for serving 13,003 Eagles. Administered by Prof. Ron Webb, the Health Sciences Division starts a Medical Coding Specialization to the Health Care Assistant Certificate each August. The 33-credit, hybrid North Metro option adheres to AAPC guidelines with practice partners like Grady Hospital.
Bestowed the 2018 Sumter County Partner of the Year Award, South Georgia Technical College is a public, Hope Grant-eligible junior institution marking its 70th year by training 2,100 Jets with 80 faculty. The Medical Assisting Division confers the Medical Coding Technical Certificate of Credit for $2,794 in-state in Americus or at Crisp County Center. Advised by Prof. Diana Skipper, the 24-credit, 30-week curriculum melds courses like Fundamentals of English and Procedural Coding.
Ranked 19th nationally for education outcomes by WalletHub, Augusta Technical College is a public, SACS-accredited vocational school opened in 1961 that’s led by Dr. Terry Elam with nearly debt-free education for 4,379 Cougars. The Allied Health Sciences & Nursing Division maintains a 16:1 student-professor ratio for the Medical Coding Technical Certificate in Augusta and Thomson. Starting every Fall, the 24-credit, guided evening pathway has 99.8 percent job placement after courses like Human Disease.
Runner-up for the 2016 Sonny Perdue College of the Year Award, West Georgia Technical College is the third-largest public, seven-county TCSG constituent generating $70.6 million with 9,525 Golden Knights enrolled. Chaired by Prof. Daphney Bryan in Waco, the School of Health Sciences powers the Medical Coding Technical Certificate with Blackboard for high school or GED graduates typing 30+ wpm. The 24-credit, one-year online journey includes courses like Human Body Structure and Insurance Billing.
Operating a Five-Star Phi Beta Kappa Chapter, College of the Mainland is a public, two-year Galveston County school founded in 1966 that’s ranked fifth for STEM in Community College Week with 4,328 Fighting Ducks. The CAHIIM-accredited Health Information Management Program led by Prof. Kay Frieze offers a standalone Medical Coding Certificate in 1.5 years. Reporting 28.6 percent attrition, the 34-credit diploma includes hands-on CPC prep in courses like Patient Data and clinical internships.
Declared America’s #2 cheapest HBCU by Best Value Schools, Coahoma Community College is a public, historically Black career institute opened in 1924 that’s training 2,999 Tigers at its 99-acre Mississippi Delta campus. The Allied Health Training Center in Clarksdale launched an A.A.S. in Medical Billing and Coding Technology for initial RHIT certification. Overseen by Prof. Beverly Overton, the 61-credit, applied program integrates 270 work hours into courses like Mechanics of Communication.
Established as Smith-Hughes Vocational School in 1967, Atlanta Technical College is now America’s third fastest-growing campus according to Community College Week with 4,859 students in Forbes’ ninth best city. The Division of Health & Public Safety hosts a CAHIIM-accredited Health Information Management Coding Diploma for 64-week completion. Headed by Prof. Aletta Spence, the 52-credit plan requires 3.0 GPAs throughout cheap courses from Basic Psychology to Revenue Cycle Management.
Adjacent to Baxter Regional Medical Center, Arkansas State University-Mountain Home is a public, open-admission school opened in 1995 that’s budgeting $10.7 million to instruct 1,500 Trailblazers in America’s 80th best associate degrees on Niche. The Health Sciences Division delivers a Technical Certificate in Professional Medical Coding with ICD-10 books included. Coordinated by Prof. Sarah Smith, the 32-credit program strengthens medical document interpretation with optional Fran Coulter Honors.
Ranked 177th nationally for value by WalletHub, Highland Community College is a public, two-year Kansas institution and 2017 PTK International Hallmark Award winner that’s teaching 3,300 Scotties at 33 HLC-accredited locations. The Health Sciences Center utilizes Moodle for its Online A.A.S. in Medical Coding that only costs $3,057 twice. Directed by Prof. Elizabeth Wingo, the 64-credit, two-year program meets CCA competencies in courses like Pharmacology and virtual practica.
Occupying a 135-acre East Texas campus in Carthage, Panola College has placed in the Center for Digital Education’s top 10 five times as a public, two-year Ed2Go member serving 2,584 Ponies with 100 percent admission. The Health Sciences Department headed by Prof. Kelly Reed-Hirsch reports average income of $35,000 for Medical Coding Technician Certificate graduates. Taking 32 weeks, this 36-credit, TSI-waived program has blended Canvas courses like Ambulatory Coding with CCA review.
Finishing the requirements for a certificate or associate degree in medical coding and billing is only the beginning. Now’s the time to begin applying for positions and testing your skills. Your job search likely won’t be long because the demand for medical coders and billers is high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in the health informatics field will grow faster-than-average by 15 percent through 2024. Healthcare providers can’t be reimbursed and remain profitable without medical coding and billing specialists. Here’s what this in-demand job will entail after graduation.
Medical coders and billers oversee crucial steps in the reimbursement process to keep the revenue cycle flowing. Medical coding specialists will carefully review patient files in the electronic health record system. By following the doctor’s notes, they’re able to assign numerical codes to the diagnosis and treatment provided. Coders flip through resource books to determine the right CPT or ICD-10 codes for each patient service. Every cost, including lab tests, consults, medications, and treatments, gets coded. Medical coding specialists often talk with physicians or nurses to clarify any unclear patient information.
For medical billing jobs, the daily duties will differ. Medical billers collect the records that have been coded to turn treatments into invoices. They assign financial values to patient services and submit insurance claims to the proper carrier. Billing specialists interact with the insurance company’s representatives to get claims processed. If coverage isn’t available, medical billers will send out bills to patients and follow up until they’re paid. When claims are denied, they also spearhead the appeals process on behalf of patients. Some medical billing specialists assume basic accounting roles by drafting accounts receivable reports.
Typical Work Environment
Medical coders and billers work behind the scenes in office cubicles for healthcare organizations. Most of their day is spent sitting at a desk, typing on the computer, and speaking on the phone. The desks of medical coding and billing specialists are often stacked with reference materials, claims forms, and patient files. They work independently because paying attention to detail is essential for accuracy. Direct patient contact isn’t common unless they must answer invoice questions from an uninsured individual. Medical coding and billing jobs are usually full-time with normal 40-hour weeks from nine to five, but part-time scheduling is offered too.
Virtually all healthcare organizations depend on a medical coding and billing team. The majority, around 38 percent, are employed in state and private hospital systems. Medical coders and billers also work in physician offices, outpatient centers, clinics, specialty hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and managed care organizations. Others work on the opposite side of the claims process for health insurance companies. Experienced coders could work for government agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Although it’s important to beware scams, some medical billing and coding jobs are remote for working from home.
Since medical codes and insurance laws continually change, schooling never really stops in this profession. Becoming certified is the best way to advance your career. The American Academy of Professional Coders offers the industry’s certifications. The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential is available to those with two years of coding experience and 36 continuing education units. There’s also the Certified Professional Biller (CPB) and Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC) designations. Experience can lead to advancement in other avenues too. Coders can eventually become medical records technicians, coding managers, clinical data analysts, and health information directors.
Building a career in medical coding and billing provides many benefits without a long trek into higher education. Graduates of online or on-campus training programs will utilize state-of-the-art software technology to coordinate patient payments. The career path offers an average yearly salary of $40,430, or $19.44 per hour, with room for advancement. Medical coding and billing jobs place workers at the helm of keeping healthcare systems profitable and cost-effective.
At this moment in time, the health profession is undergoing some major changes and improvements, and one of the areas that is most exciting is information management. Every hospital, no matter how small, now must manage a truly enormous amount of information for each patient. Sometimes, this information has to do with bill payments, and sometimes, this information is actually designed to preserve a patient’s life. If you are someone who has already completed their medical billing and coding training and interested in expanding your knowledge within the medical profession, a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management might be the degree program for you!
Coding and Billing and More
When you are interested in medical coding and medical billing, you already know that there are certifications that are designed to give you the skills that you need. However, if your interests in this area go beyond simply doing the tasks themselves and towards building the systems that they rely upon, you should take a look at Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. A bachelor’s degree in this program allows you to take the next step when it comes to data management, and in addition to helping you rise in the system, it can open you to a whole new way of looking at your work.
For many people, a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management is the next logical step. This degree is one that is increasingly chosen by people who have already earned an active RHIT certification or who have completed a degree in Health Information Technology. This is something that can increase your earning potential, and it provides you with more of the challenges that you have come to love. Other people simply have a deep interest in information protection and management, and this allows you to use your skills in an essential and exciting way.
Employment Opportunities For Individuals with a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
When you are looking at obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management, you should also be looking ahead to the kinds of career opportunities available to you post graduation. For example, many of the jobs that you can secure will naturally be centered around hospital work. In addition to the medical coding and billing positions that you will be qualified for, you can also take management positions as a system manager, an information department director or a clinical data specialist. Essentially, you will be in charge of curating the information that a hospital is responsible for maintaining. It will be your duty to not only protect it, but also to make sure that it is available. You might also be put in charge of marketing initiatives or informational programs that will make the system clearer to others.
On top of that, you will also find that you are qualified to work in public clinics and private physician offices. A little further afield, if you decide that you have a passion for the way that data systems are set up, you might find that you are invested in taking positions with IT and software vendors, or even with insurance companies or the government. Depending on your level of expertise and experience, you might also find yourself working as a consultant.
When you are looking into a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management, you may wonder what kind of classes you have to get the degree. Though the classes will vary from university to university, you will find that some of them are very common. For example, you will likely need to take classes on data security and on financial management, where you make sure that the system works with the budget that it is using. You’ll also find that you need to take a functions and services class, where you will look at what the system you are going to be managing really provides, and you will also likely be taking a quality management class, where the system’s quality assurance is discussed. You may also find yourself drawn towards classes on statistics and research, especially if you have an interest in the healthcare’s data system on an architectural level. As you progress further with this degree, your interests will be sharpened and you can find classes that best suit your needs and your interests.
Is a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management what you have been looking for? Many people are drawn to the coding and billing fields yet find they wish to expand their educational foundation and career prospects. Often these people embark on completing training within Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management programs to do just that!
A great number of people tend to believe that medical coding and medical billing are one and the same thing. But they are not. The job of a medical biller is different from the work of a medical coder and it’s only in few exceptions that you will find a single employee is covering both, especially in small medical facilities. In fact, the work done by both is administrative and both groups do not do any medical work with patients so this often makes people think that they are the same occupation.
Therefore, it’s very important that you get to know what the two career professions involve before venturing into either one of them. That’s where we step in to offer our help. Keep reading for a basic overview of The Difference Between Medical Coding and Medical Billing:
Understanding Medical Billing And Medical Coding
Medical billing mainly entails the process of handling and submitting the records of patients to government agencies and insurance companies for the services that have already been offered to the patient. Medical billers make use of alphanumeric and numeric codes that were assigned by medical coders during the procedure of diagnosis to process this medical form and submit them in claim forms to payers.
Patient data concerning their clinical procedure is entered into practice management software which is eventually used on the claims.
A competent medical billing process makes sure that the paperwork process is completed in time to ensure payment is received without delay. The quality and integrity of the data is also the sole responsibility of the medical biller together with running of the medical reports. They need to understand all the insurance procedures in order to facilitate accurate submission of claims. In some cases, medical billers are the ones responsible for explaining these charges and insurance benefits to patients. Medical billers should keep track of the billing process and maintain contact with insurance firms to ensure money is received on time.
Medical coding mainly involves the medical records of the patient. The coding should be accurate in order to eliminate any misguided diagnosis or notes. Alphanumeric and numeric numbers that have been constituted by the healthcare industry is used by medical coders in the translation of patient clinical records into a universal agreed letters and numbers in order to aid in medical billing process. These codes are helpful to marketing staff, resource management and health care statistics due to their shortening of lengthy descriptions for treatments, diseases and illness. These codes cover all the types of clinical procedures from office visits, to routine examinations, to injuries, to illness, to surgical procedures.
Coders are responsible for gathering all the information on the patients record from the other office staff and establish the correct coding for the patient diagnosis. Some of the health care coding systems used by medical coders are:
· CPT-Current Procedural Terminology: These are codes that apply to physician’s office procedure and outpatient procedures.
· HCPCS – Healthcare Common Procedure coding System: These are codes that apply to Medicaid and Medicare procedures.
· ICD-9 – International Classification of Diseases – this is an international coding system for procedural and diagnosis codes.
The training of medical coders is mainly done in diploma and certificate training programs and others pursue their training in Health Information Technology associate degree programs that basically deal with reimbursement and coding. Some of the coding credentials are a certified professional coder that’s offered by American Academy of Professional Coders.
Medical billers also obtain their training form certificate and diploma programs that is channeled towards insurance and medical billing. Certified Reimbursement Specialist is a special credential for billers.
With this information, you will have a better understanding about medical billing and medical coding which can be important in your future decisions. More importantly, you will be able to understand what the difference between medical coding and medical billing is. These two closely related professions have been very vital in the healthcare industry and are required to be accurate and detail oriented to avoid slow processing and delayed payment. Accuracy, proficiency, experience and education are core values in these special departments of the healthcare industry.