|$ Online Courses: $1,000-$4,000||$ $ Certificate Preparation Programs: $2,500-$12,000||$ $ $ Degree Program: $20,000-$30,000|
The job of the medical coders is focused on work with standardized healthcare coding systems used for the billing of patient services and procedures.
The medical coders decipher the patient charts to assign the proper codes and to ensure reimbursement from private and federal insurance providers.
Medical coders work in all areas of healthcare, yet, in general, this happens in doctors’ offices and hospitals.
The job of medical coding and medical billing are usually in training and then in career paths.
Available online, the medical coding training courses are priced between $1,000 and $4,000.
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The American Association of Medical Coders provides an online standard certified professional coder preparation course for $1,495.
The online medical training center Career Step, for example, packages two medical coding and billing programs that cost $2,095-$2,495.
At the same time, the in-person medical coder certificate preparation programs provided at technical schools and community colleges come with the price of $2,500-$12,000 based on the student’ residency status.
The tuition for the medical coder certificate program at St. Petersburg College, in Florida, is $3,196 for residents and $11,594 for non-residents.
Medical coding is usually taught as part of larger healthcare management associate degree programs at certain schools.
The associate degree programs take 18 months to two years to complete and cost $20,000-$30,000.
At the same time, Colorado Technical University has a health administration services degree program, which costs $27,260 and can be completed in 18 months.
What Is Included
- The medical coder programs cover detailed training in one or several of the standardized medical codes including CPT (Current Procedure Terminology), HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System), and ICD-9 (and soon ICD-10).
- The learning standardized medical coding system programs offer training in anatomy and medical terminology, physiology and pathology, pharmacology, HIPAA compliance, and insurance compliance.
- There are plenty of certification tests for medical coders which cover different skill levels and occupations.
- The leading organization in health care management American Health Information Management Association has coder certification for both medical coding associates for $200-$300 and medical coding specialists for $300-$400.
- The associates can be certified after completing training, and specialists need on-the-job experience to qualify for testing.
- The American Association of Professional Coders secures certification for various coding areas of expertise including radiology cardiovascular coder for $400 and various coding specialities for $245.
- The Association of Registered Healthcare Professionals provides testing to become a registered medical coder for the sum of $285.
- Being registered is voluntary but can lead to higher-paid positions.
- There is financial aid available to qualified students for degree-based programs like those at junior or community colleges, and students can apply online for federal financial aid.
- A subsidiary of MonsterFastweb has an online search engine for scholarships and grants.
- The American Health Information Management Association awards scholarships annually for students who are pursuing careers in health information management.
- Sarah Lincoln Bush Health System secures scholarships to medical coding students.
- The American Association of Professional Coders provides discounts on membership and certification testing for students who complete AAPC training.
- Information for finding an ideal coding program is offered by The Health Information Careers provides.
- The American Association of Professional Coders allows a search of classes for CPC and CPC-H training across the country.
- There are many reputable companies that secure legitimate and rigorous medical training, but students should be careful about programs which make promises of guaranteed jobs or at-home work, which sounds too good to be true.
- HomeWithTheKids.com provides common medical transcription/billing/coding scams.