A Student Guide to Medical Billing and Coding

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Student Guide Table of Contents
Ch. 01

Medical Billing and Coding Certification: An Introduction

Although becoming certified is not legally required to enter the profession, earning a medical billing and coding certification online will provide you with the basic credentials that employers want for most entry-level positions. The best medical billing and coding certifications can be earned from professional associations like AAPC and AHIMA, which also offer courses to prepare you to take the exams for a wide variety of basic specialized certifications.

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Ch. 02

Medical Billing and Coding Programs

Students considering offline or online medical billing and coding programs will find that classes, degrees and training courses are offered by various kinds of organizations including universities, training schools and nonprofit professional associations in both online and traditional formats. The best medical coding programs online offer practicums or internships so that students have a chance to get hands-on training with the codes and software used by real employers.

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Ch. 03

Medical Billing and Coding Degrees

Medical billing and coding online degree programs offer certificates and associates degrees that lead to careers in healthcare. Choosing the best medical billing and coding online degree or traditional degree depends on your career goals, your tuition budget, how soon you want to begin working and whether online or offline courses are a better fit for you.

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Ch. 04

Medical Billing and Coding Certificates

The best medical billing certificate online and offline programs prepare students to take the medical billing and coding certification exams in less than a year with courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and medical billing and coding. Earning a medical billing and coding certificate online is often best for those who also have work and family responsibilities.

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Ch. 05

Choosing a Medical Billing and Coding School

Degree programs and courses are offered by a variety of institutions, including professional associations, for-profit schools and 2 and 4-year medical billing and coding schools online and offline. Top schools for medical billing and coding will teach you the most relevant medical billing and coding practices, give you experience in the field before you search for a job and may also provide you with a network of professionals and students who can help you advance in your career.

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Ch. 06

Medical Billing and Coding Colleges: The Admissions Process

The application process for medical billing and coding colleges varies according to the program and school, but most applications require students to pay a small non-refundable fee, provide contact information and proof of education history. Courses are offered by accredited medical coding colleges, universities, training schools and professional associations.

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Ch. 07

Medical Billing and Coding Classes

Top medical billing and coding classes online or on campus prepare students for certification exams and working in the healthcare field. Both offline and online classes for medical billing and coding will typically include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, clinical classification systems and medical office management, while some programs will also require an internship, externship or practicum.

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Ch. 08

How to Succeed in Medical Billing and Coding Courses

Your success in medical billing and coding online courses or traditional classes will be affected by your unique personality traits as well as your study habits, health and participation in class. The best medical billing and coding courses online will test your communication skills and attention to detail as well as your ability to understand and memorize medical terms.

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Ch. 09

Medical Billing and Coding Careers

The main job duty for professionals with careers in medical billing and coding is to make sure that the billing process between patients, healthcare providers and insurance companies works smoothly and efficiently. Some of the best medical billing and coding careers may allow you to work from home as an independent contractor, and you can also find jobs in hospitals or doctor’s offices.

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Ch. 10

Medical Biller and Coder Jobs

Medical billing and coding jobs are actually 2 different roles with different responsibilities, although they are often performed by 1 person. While both positions require attention to detail and communication skills, a top medical coding job involves accurately translating medical records into numerical codes while medical billers act as intermediates between payers and healthcare providers.

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Ch. 11

Working from Home as a Medical Biller and Coder

Whether as an independent contractor or a mobile employee, medical billing and coding from home jobs are 1 of the most appealing prospects for those interested in the profession and they represent a growing proportion of all jobs in the field. Before diving in, however, you should have a realistic understanding of the pros and cons associated with from-home medical billing and coding careers.

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Ch. 12

Medical Billing and Coding Salaries

While the average medical billing and coding salary in the U.S. is around $36,000 a year, this number can vary significantly depending on factors such as geographical location and workplace. However, the best salaries for medical billing and coding are earned by billers and coders who pursue continuing education and acquire specialized certifications in a variety of sub-fields.

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Ch. 13

Medical Billing and Coding Training and Continuing Education

Passing the exam for a medical billing and coding certification does not mean that your coding credentials are valid forever. Certified professionals have to take accredited medical billing and coding training online, at conferences or at workshops to earn continuing education credits and to keep their certification from expiring.

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Medical Billing and Coding Online