The Diploma/Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing will prepare you for a career in the data side of the medical field. Typically, Medical records and health information technicians work in offices, but has become common to work from home in this field. Regardless of location be prepared to spend many hours in front of computer monitors.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
Diploma/Certificate degree in Medical Coding and Billing is designed to take one year to complete. You will have some general classes/course you will need to take and core classes as part of the diploma curriculum.
Before you enroll in a college, make sure that they have the major you are considering. For Medical Coding and Billing, many universities have whole departments devoted to the subject. If that is the case, then make sure they have the specific branch of Medical Coding and Billing that interests you. If you are starting out at a community college, they may not have a specific degree for Medical Coding and Billing, but they may offer the right math and science courses you will need as prerequisites. Investigate how well your community college work will synch with your later work in a university before registering.
This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.
The two most prominent types of Diploma/Certificate levels in Medical Coding and Billing are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Medical Coding and Billing. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.
The Diploma/Certificate degree in Medical Coding and Billing, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Bachelor of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Bachelor of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a Dental Assisting below:
The graduation rate is an important piece of information. It measures the performance of the entire student body, and it is a good predictor of the experience each applicant can expect. Time is money when it comes to an education in Medical Coding and Billing. The longer time for completion means more tuition and fee payments. Each year in addition to the expected two years, adds about 25% to the total costs of a Medical Coding and Billing degree. The longer it takes to graduate also means the less time a student is in the workforce earning an income from their Diploma/Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing investment.
National statistics measure on-time degree completion using two-year and three-year marks. Private schools across the US and for all majors have a range of 53% on-time graduation and 65.6% within three years. Students at these schools must plan carefully to ensure that they can complete the requirements for on-time graduation.
Your school's accreditation is an important aspect of getting your Diploma/Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing degree. The two most common forms of accreditation are regional and national.
Regional accreditation is the most recognized and most prestigious available. Because of this label, these colleges often have higher tuition and have more competitive admission standards. Regional accreditation accounts for over 85% of colleges across the United States. There are 6 different regions, including:
MSA (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools)
NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges)
NCA (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
NAC (Northwest Accreditation Commission)
SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools)
WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)
National accreditation is less common. National accreditation agencies oversee the accreditation process for career, vocational, and trade schools across the United States. As a result, these schools tend to be less expensive, require less general coursework, and feature a more practical, career-oriented curriculum. Because it is less structured, schools are only reviewed every 3-5 years to ensure that they still meet accreditation requirements.
Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a Diploma/Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in Medical Coding and Billing. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today's high-paced, technology-driven environments.
The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn't accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a degree in Medical Coding and Billing.
The cost will depend on several factors. Are you pursuing your Medical Coding and Billing degree online or in a traditional setting? If you attend your courses on campus, you will also need to pay for food, room and board, and other fees. This can increase the cost of your Medical Coding and Billing education significantly unless you have a plan in place to keep these costs low. If you attend a public, state school, it will depend on whether or not you are a resident. In-state students usually pay much lower rates than out-of-state students. However, this can be overcome by attending classes online, as most institutions charge in-state rates for all online courses. Either way, you need to research the costs for each Diploma/Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing program you are considering applying to, as each institution will have their own rates.
You can't afford to take time to redraft your resume, write attention-grabbing cover letters, schedule job interviews, practice your interview skills, or parry salary offers. Not when you're student-teaching and getting ready to graduate.
That is why most universities and colleges have offices where career and placement service professionals can help you with all of the above. If your resume needs to be updated or even totally rewritten, they will help you. If you need to brush up on your interview skills, they can assist you.
Some campuses even hold professional development workshops. These may include networking skills, resume writing, and interviewing skills.