Learn how to become a medical billing and coding specialist. Find information on programs, training, certification, job growth and salary. View popular medical billing & coding schools that prepare students for careers as medical billing and coding specialists.
Although there are no formal education requirements for medical billing and coding specialists, students interested in entering this field may enroll in a diploma or certificate program in medical billing and coding. Students may complete a diploma program in several months and learn how to manage patient records and file claims, prepare insurance forms, and handle billing for medical offices. Students may also enroll in a certificate program, which they may complete in several months, and may learn how to accurately record patients’ details into computer systems and use coded medical records to create invoices. Both programs may provide students with the skills and training needed for entry-level employment and professional certification opportunities. Students enrolled in an online medical billing and coding program may takes courses such as:
- Office Procedures
- Basic Pharmacology
- Body Systems Terminology
- Medical Coding
- Electronic Medical Records
Employers of medical billing and coding specialists may offer on-the-job training to its employees. Medical offices may utilize different types of medical software systems, and on-the-job training may help them to become proficient. However, employees may need to show proficiency in billing and coding standards, which they may learn through completing an educational program. They may also need to have strong critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as the ability to work independently.
License & Certification
Employers of medical records and health technicians may require individuals to have professional certification, which may be available from several organizations. Depending upon the organization, students may need to pass an exam or graduate from an accredited program. Among the certifications available, include the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS), Certified Professional Coder (CPC), and Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR). Once certified, individuals must renew their certification regularly.
Job Outlook & Salary
Upon graduation, students may find career opportunities physicians’ offices, hospitals, and nursing care facilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for those pursuing careers as medical records and health information technicians are expected to increase by 21% from 2010-2020. The BLS also reports that annual median wage for the same type of employment was $32,350 as of May 2010.