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Medical Billing and Coding Online

In the wake of nationwide reforms, the healthcare industry is experiencing record growth, as well as unprecedented change. Millions more people have access to healthcare, and sweeping new insurance regulations and improved digital records systems are being put into place. As patient records are more freely shared between practices, and as the insurance billing process changes, an increased focused is being placed on health informatics. Medical billing and coding specialists are at the forefront of that field.

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While the titles are often combined, and many employers require a specialist to perform both functions, medical coding and medical billing are two separate fields. For every patient seen, a record is kept. It’s the job of the medical coder to translate the diagnoses and treatments from that visit into universal alphanumeric code that can be shared and translated between all healthcare and insurance providers. The medical biller then takes that information and creates a claim to submit to the insurance company to both determine coverage and to collect payment. Without medical billing and coding specialists, no healthcare provider would be paid for their services and the critical sharing of patient information would grind to a halt. It’s safe to say that they are one of the most crucial components of the healthcare industry.

This increasing importance is bringing a new competitiveness to the field. There are currently no regulations requiring a degree or certification to become a biller or coder, and it is possible to find employment without either. However, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to do so. As the billing and coding process grows more complex, and as the specialist’s responsibilities expand, many employers are adding specific certifications to their hiring criteria. Certifications through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and American Academy of Professional Codes (AAPC) are quickly becoming the entry-level standards in the field. Many of those certification exams are only open to graduates of an approved certificate, diploma, or degree program.

Therefore, as the employment outlook for medical billers and coders continues to grow, so does the focus on postsecondary education. We here at MedicalBillingandCodingOnline.com wanted to create the ultimate resource for both those trying to decide on a health information career and for prospective students searching for the perfect school to fit their needs. Here you will find comprehensive guides on every aspect of the field, an extensively-researched list of the top online medical billing and coding programs in the country, and a series of free information courses designed to both prepare you for your coursework and to serve as a study tool for certification exams.

Top Online Medical Billing and Coding Programs

Once you’ve decided that a career in medical billing and coding is right for you, the next step is deciding where to pursue the education you need to fulfill that goal. Thanks to the continuing advances in distance education, more colleges and universities are offering flexible, completely-online programs. It’s more convenient than ever to earn a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree in medical billing and coding from home, on your time, even while working a full-time job.

But just like with any marketplace, as more quality options are made available, so are an equal number of poor —or even disreputable – ones. Every day it gets harder for prospective students to find the online program that not only fits their needs, but is also respected and accredited. To help make that search easier, we’ve combed through every available online medical coding and billing program in order to filter out the bad and leave you with only the best options. In order to do that, we’ve meticulously researched every program and applied our unique rating system that utilizes several weighted metrics that we feel are the most important in choosing any school.

We’ve graded each program in the following key areas:

Value: To objectively determine a school’s value, we calculated each program’s tuition cost and weighed it against factors like total credit hours, salary potential, and debt prevention.

Reputation: A school’s reputation was graded based on where, and how often, it appeared on the popular college ranking systems, such as U.S. News World Report, Forbes, and Money. We also factored in enrollment statistics, including student population, graduation, and retention rates.

Response: Because so much of online learning relies on effective communication between students and faculty that are separated by time and distance, we also rated each program based on the quality of the department’s response to our inquiries, as well as the timeliness of their replies.

Transparency: The less reputable programs that have flooded the online education marketplace often make it difficult to find important information on cost, accreditation, enrollment data, faculty, and curriculum. More often than not, if the data is hidden, it’s for a good reason. So, we also assigned each program a rank based on the accessibility of key information.

After applying those strict metrics and calculating all of the grades, we have compiled a list of the schools that we feel will give prospective students the best chance of success.

The following list represents the top 10 online medical billing and coding programs:

Overview of Free Online Student Guide

Our list of the top online programs isn’t meant to definitive, or to influence your choice of schools in any way. Our main goal here is to be one of many valuable resources that you use in your own research into the field of online medical billing and coding. To further this aim, we’ve created a series of free online courses that serve as a comprehensive introduction to the field. These courses will not only help you decide if a career in medical billing and coding is right for you, but will also prepare you for the coursework of a certificate or degree program, should you decided to enroll in one.

Through a series of 15 courses, you’ll learn about every aspect of the medical billing and coding profession, from the claims and billing process, to codes and terminology, insurance and Medicare/Medicaid, and even advice on starting your own business. They also serve as a comprehensive study guide for those preparing to take their certification exams.

Whether you’re seriously considering a career in medical records and health information, seeking to supplement your previous education, or are simply curious, you’ll find all of the information you need in the courses below.

#1George Mason University

Degree Type: Medical Billing and Coding Certificate

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1895 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: N/A (same as in-state)

Institutional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 33,729

Retention Rate: 88%

Graduation Rate: 67%

Overall Grade: A

Value Grade: A+

Reputation Grade: A-

Response Grade: A-

Curriculum Grade: A+

#2 University of California - Riverside

Degree Type: Professional Medical Billing and Coding Certificate

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $3295 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: N/A (same as in-state)

Institutional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) (verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 21,498

Retention Rate: 90%

Graduation Rate: 69%

Overall Grade: A-

Value Grade: A+

Reputation Grade: A

Response Grade: A-

Curriculum Grade: A-

#3 North Dakota State College of Science

Degree Type: Medical Coding Certificate

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $8170 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: N/A (same as in-state)

Institutional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 3,033

Retention Rate: 71%

Graduation Rate: 39%

Overall Grade: A-

Value Grade: A-

Reputation Grade: B-

Response Grade: A-

Curriculum Grade: A-

#4 Kennesaw State University

Degree Type: Medical Billing and Coding Certificate

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2095 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: N/A (same as in-state)

Institutional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 25,714

Retention Rate: 79%

Graduation Rate: 43%

Overall Grade: A-

Value Grade: A+

Reputation Grade: B-

Response Grade: B-

Curriculum Grade: A+

#5 Marion Technical College

Degree Type: Medical Billing and Coding Certificate

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $5780 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $8500

Institutional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 2,468

Retention Rate: 47%

Graduation Rate: 14%

Overall Grade: B+

Value Grade: A-

Reputation Grade: C

Response Grade: A+

Curriculum Grade: A-

#6 Rutgers University

Degree Type: Administrative Medical Specialist with Medical Billing & Coding Certificate

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2855 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: N/A (same as in-state)

Institutional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) (verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 6,321

Retention Rate: 82%

Graduation Rate: 53%

Overall Grade: B+

Value Grade: A+

Reputation Grade: A-

Response Grade: D

Curriculum Grade: A-

#7 Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Degree Type: Medical Coding and Insurance Diploma

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $9950 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: N/A (same as in-state)

Institutional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)(verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 6,415

Retention Rate: 57%

Graduation Rate: 33%

Overall Grade: B

Value Grade: A-

Reputation Grade: C

Response Grade: A+

Curriculum Grade: B

#8 Shoreline Community College

Degree Type: Medical Coding & Reimbursement Specialist Certificate of Proficiency

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $6070.20 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $6864

Institutional Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)(verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 6,015

Retention Rate: 68%

Graduation Rate: 30%

Overall Grade: B

Value Grade: A-

Reputation Grade: C

Response Grade: A-

Curriculum Grade: A-

#9 Lake Land College

Degree Type: Medical Coding Specialist Certificate

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $3792.50 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: N/A (same as in-state)

Institutional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 6,015

Retention Rate: 68%

Graduation Rate: 30%

Overall Grade: B

Value Grade: A+

Reputation Grade: C

Response Grade: B-

Curriculum Grade: A-

#10 Central Community College of Nebraska

Degree Type: Medical Coding Diploma

In-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $3948 (below average)

Out-of-state Tuition Per Credit Hour: $5670

Institutional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (verification)

Department Website: Link

Institution Type: Public, non-profit

Student Population: 6,377

Retention Rate: 65%

Graduation Rate: 33%

Overall Grade: B

Value Grade: A+

Reputation Grade: C

Response Grade: B-

Curriculum Grade: A-


Table of Contents
Ch. 04

Course 4: Medical Billing Guidelines

This course allows you to review guidelines for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) compliance. You’ll also explore implications of the Healthcare Reform Act.

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Ch. 07

Course 7: Health Insurance Providers

This course is a comprehensive guide to the wide spectrum of government and commercial insurance providers you will be working with. You’ll explore valuable information on how to process claims for different insurers.

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Ch. 10

Course 10: ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM Codes

This course serves as a reference guide for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), including both ICD-9 and ICD-10 code sets. Discover the differences between them and how the change in ICD is affecting the industry.

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Medical Billing and Coding Online