Medical Billing And Coding Schools - How to Find Great Medical Billing and Coding Schools
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Medical billing and coding schools are a necessity to get into the field of medical billing, a field which is likely to become increasingly relevant as universal health care is implemented in the United States. Some of the attractions to this field are: (1) medical coding classes can often be taken on your own time or even online, (2) work in the medical billing and coding field can be found nationwide, and (3) sometimes medical billing and coding training can even be put to work at home. Some schools recommended for online courses are Kaplan University, University of Phoenix, and Colorado Technical University Online. However, there are several important points to keep in mind while looking for medical billing and coding schools.
The most important point to remember is to ensure that the medical billing and coding schools you are considering are accredited schools. Degrees and diplomas from schools which are unaccredited will be worthless when you are applying to jobs. The U.S. DoE website carries a list of accredited medical coding and billing schools, or you can check the schools’ websites to make sure they are accredited by one of these three organizations: the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, the American Health Information Management Association, or the Regional Accrediting Bodies, all of which offer specialized accreditation.
Determine what you want out of your medical billing training. If you already know someone on the inside at a hospital or private practice and simply wish to do short term billing and coding work before transferring careers, you may want to consider a nine month to one year certificate program, offered by some online and traditional schools. If you are considering medical billing and coding as a full-time career, however, you will want to pursue an Associates or Bachelors degree, which take two to four years, respectively. Since this field is a much-needed one, financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans are all out there to help you earn this degree, some of which are offered by the American Health Information Management Association Foundation of Research and Education.
Do your own research on medical billing and coding schools before enrolling. Ask to speak to student representatives or check out online forums to find out if the instructors are fully certified to teach in this field, if the lessons were clearly presented, if knowledge from the program applied to their jobs, and how easily students found jobs after graduation. Find out if the school will help place you in an externship program to help you get needed real-world experience. Make sure that the Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist Exam is included in the program, since, while it is not required to work in the field, many companies do encourage taking it. Additionally, medical coding and billing software can sometimes be expensive, so check to see whether or not this software is covered by the cost of tuition before you attend a given school, or if you will need to provide your own.