Medical coding and billing personnel represent an increasingly important component of the healthcare system, and professionals working in these fields require vast knowledge of medical terminology, the insurance industry, anatomy, and information technology. You can advance your career through one of the online certificate programs for medical billing and coding, which will enable you to become certified in the field and work in a variety of settings within the healthcare industry.
This is also a field that is experiencing a lot of growth, especially as baby boomers retire and new federal regulations mandate that healthcare providers keep thorough electronic medical records. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that medical coding and billing will see about 15% growth between 2014 and 2024 — a more rapid pace of growth than most other professional fields.
Now is a great time to get your career started by exploring the wide range of accredited medical billing and coding online certificate programs available.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Certificate in Medical Coding Program?
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN MEDICAL CODING
Although each medical billing certificate online program is different from the next, you're likely to take similar courses no matter where you attend school. Below is a sample list of courses common to these programs:
Introduction to Anatomy: This course takes an in-depth look at anatomy and physiology, including how various functions and systems within the body work in conjunction with one another. It offers a sound foundation that proves useful in just about any position in the medical coding field.
Introduction to Health Insurance: Medical coders must deal with insurance companies on a daily basis, and this course provides a foundation of the health insurance system and how it interacts with hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. Students learn about insurance statistics, various types of insurance, and reimbursement methods, among other topics.
Advanced CPT Coding: This course enables students to become familiar with procedural coding, a skill they'll need for any medical billing or coding position. Medical coding online certificate students explore basic coding processes, how to code special surgery cases, radiology coding, and more.
Introduction to Medicare & Medicaid: In this course, online medical billing certificate students learn about the fundamentals of these two federal entitlement programs. These are especially important subjects if you plan on working in a nursing home setting, or for a healthcare facility that works with low-income people and/or senior citizens.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN MEDICAL CODING?
Today there are many different medical billing and coding certificate programs online, and students usually take one or two years to complete certificate requirements. The amount of time it takes you to finish out your program depends on several factors, including whether you are able to take courses asynchronously and if you can attend classes part time or full time.
It's also worth exploring whether the programs you're considering allow you to work at your own pace or require you to take classes within a cohort of your fellow students. If you can work at your own pace, you may be able to expedite your studies and finish in fewer than two years. On the other hand, cohort learning provides you with the benefit of getting to know your fellow students and the ability to work together on assignments and projects.
Most online medical certificate programs require 18 to 30 credits to graduate.
Online Certificate in Medical Coding Degrees
University of Alaska - Fairbanks
|Fairbanks, AK||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 30%||
With seven campuses and extensive online offerings, UAF provides over 8,500 learners access to more than 175 degrees and certificate programs. Founded in 1917, UAF began as an agricultural college and school of mines, as well as a land, sea, and space grant institution. From its main Fairbanks location, UAF emphasizes educational excellence, research, preparedness, and engagement with Alaska’s career, technical, and professional workforce alongside efforts to serve native, urban, and rural communities.
Online programs at UAF include occupational endorsements in bookkeeping, financial services, and supervision and personnel management. UAF also offers an online occupational endorsement in medical billing and one in medical coding. The 12-credit online medical billing occupational endorsement includes four courses in computer business applications, medical terminology, and patient healthcare reimbursement. The medical coding occupational endorsement features 13 credits in computer business applications and medical terminology, and emphasizes the study of human diseases and medical coding methods.
The online medical coding and medical billing occupational endorsements prepare students to work in medical offices, clinics, hospitals, and comparable settings. Learners gain analytical skills applicable to medical record-keeping, and develop procedural expertise in medical reimbursement processes. The medical billing and coding online occupational endorsements charge $159 per credit, a 25% reduction from standard online tuition. To apply, students must have a high school diploma or GED and must be at least 16 years old.
UAF holds accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Charter Oak State College
|New Britain, CT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
Located in New Britain, Connecticut, Charter Oak was establishment by state legislative action in 1973. Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education, Charter Oak awards up to 87 credits of academic credit for standardized tests, military training, corporate and agency training programs, portfolio assessments, and credit assessment programs. Learners also earn academic credit for prior work experience through licensure and certification credentials.
Charter Oak offers online certificate and credential programs in fields such as after school education, direct care, cyber security, and medical coding. The online medical coding certificate includes 21 credits of coursework to prepare students for credentialing from the American Health Information Management Association and the American Academy of Professional Coding.
Interdisciplinary coursework in biology, healthcare administration, and health information management emphasizes anatomy and physiology, as well as medical terminology and principles of health information practices. Students explore medical terminology with two courses in medical coding and billing, and develop skills to analyze and code patient data. This medical coding certification online also trains students to interact with medical professionals about documentation and to work within the ethical, legal, and regulatory framework of the field. Learners also gain expertise in electronic management systems that maintain sensitive personal, revenue, and reimbursement information.
Charter Oak students pay $310 per credit, while nonresidents pay $408 per credit hour. Applicants must have at least nine credit hours in college coursework for admission and must be at least 16 years of age.
Northwest Technical College
|Bemidji, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
As one of the 24 schools within the Minnesota State Colleges University System, Northwest Technical College in Bemidji offers more than 25 associate degrees and 50 certificate and diploma programs. Founded in 1965, NTC began as a vocational technical institute tasked with preparing learners for professional opportunities in the region. From its initial two programs in carpentry and automotive mechanics, NTC now provides credentials in 32 fields of study. NTC maintains accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
NTC offers online certificate, diplomas, and associate degrees in medical coding. The online medical coding certificate includes 29 credits of coursework that learners can easily transfer to a medical coding diploma or an associate of applied science in the field. NTC’s medical coding diploma and associate degrees in medical coding include 42 and 60 credits, respectively.
NTC’s online medical coding certificate trains students to organize and manage medical data from facilities, healthcare organizations, patients, and research settings. The program prepares learners for entry-level medical coding jobs that record and classify medical procedures and diagnoses. Students explore administrative and technical subjects such as medical office procedures, medical computer applications, medical language, medical terminology, and human anatomy. Additional coursework in billing insurance and medical billing in outpatient and patient settings provide learners with practical skills applicable to professional medical coders.
Learners can complete the online medical coding certificate in two semesters. Applicants submit a high school transcript or GED documentation for consideration, while those with previous college coursework must also provide transcripts from those institutions.
Community Care College
|Tulsa, OK||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
Established in 1995 to provide practical, career-building skills to learners, CCC in Tulsa, Oklahoma functions alongside sister institutions Oklahoma Technical College and Clary Sage College as part of the Community HigherEd corporation. CCC offers over 10 online and on-campus programs to prepare paraprofessionals for careers in business, healthcare, and other lifestyle fields. The nonprofit institution also offers both a diploma and an associate degree in medical billing and coding that trains learners for entry-level jobs in healthcare administration.
The 24-credit online medical billing and coding diploma at CCC can be completed in as few as 11 months. Courses include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, medical insurance, diagnostic coding, and current procedural terminology for medical and surgical guidelines and applications. Students also learn to use medical record software that categorizes medical products and services, submits medical insurance claims for reimbursement, and navigates medical agencies such as Medicare.
CCC’s online medical billing and coding diploma prepares learners to sit for the American Academy of Professional Coding examination. Students who complete an additional 24 credits can earn their associate degree in medical billing and coding. The associate degree curriculum includes business principles, leadership development, marketing, accounting, and business communications, while graduates can pursue managerial and administrative careers in the field.
Applicants submit documentation from a high school diploma or equivalent, a personal information form, and participate in an interview with an admissions representative prior to admission. CCC holds accreditation through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
|Shell Lake, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
WITC offers more than 60 career programs to residents in the northwest region of Wisconsin. As one of 16 technical colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System, WITC offers academic, continuing education, and training programs at its main campus in Rice Lake, Wisconsin; at locations in Ashland, New Richmond, and Superior; from outreach centers in Hayward and Ladysmith; and online.
WITC’s 28-credit online technical diploma medical coding specialist program prepares learners to enter the field of medical coding. Students develop analytical and assessment skills to collect health data, and learn to use computer applications while displaying professional behaviors and ethics appropriate to the profession.
Students complete nine credits of general studies classes in medical terminology, digital literacy for healthcare, and anatomy and physiology. Additional courses include the foundations of health information technology, intermediate coding, human disease for health professionals, healthcare reimbursement, and diagnostic and procedure coding. Coursework prepares graduates to work at hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, outpatient facilities, and healthcare agencies.
Full-time learners complete the online medical coding specialist technical diploma program in as few as 12 months. Students can also continue on to earn a 61-credit associate degree in health information technology. WITC holds numerous articulation agreements, making it easy for students to transfer their credits to a four-year institution in Wisconsin. To apply to the technical diploma program, students submit high school transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.1, or transcripts from previous college coursework with at least a 2.0 GPA. WITC maintains accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
|Rome, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
As part of the Technical College System of Georgia, GNTC offers career and technical programs to learners throughout northwest Georgia. Based in Rome, GA, GNTC results from the merger of several technical colleges in 2008. The school offers educational services in nine counties across its six campus, as well as through numerous online certificates and degrees. GNTC maintains accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The 24-credit online medical coding certificate at GNTC prepares graduates for entry-level careers in medical coding, though current medical coding workers can further hone their skills as well. Learners study basic anatomy, physiology, and human diseases alongside the fundamentals of language and business. Students gain information about the human body, diseases and disorders of body systems, and diagnostic procedures and treatments. A document production class incorporates keyboarding techniques to build speed and accuracy, and trains students to format, proofread, and produce formal business documents.
Classes in medical terminology, medical billing and coding, and medical procedural coding equip professionals to work in hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, long-term care facilities, and comparable settings. Students also apply their analytical skills and expertise to current procedural terminology, procedures, techniques, and guidelines.
To apply to the medical coding certificate online at GNTC, learners do not need a high school diploma or GED, but must hold one at the time of certificate completion. All medical coding certificate students pay $89 per credit.
University of Utah
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Founded in 1850, the University of Utah provides 33,000 students academic programs from its Salt Lake City campus, at extension centers throughout the state, and online. From its origins as the University of Deseret, the school took on its current name in 1892, four years before Utah became a state. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the U currently offers over 100 undergraduate majors, more than 90 graduate degrees, and extensive lifelong learning and professional programs. Learners at the U also enjoy a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Offered through the school's continuing education and community enrichment program, the online medical coding and billing certificate prepares graduates to pass professional certification exams offered through the American Health Information Management Association and the American Academy of Professional Coding. Coursework in the online medical coding and billing certificate emphasizes foundations of health information management, biomedical science, and code training.
Learners complete classes in computer fundamentals, legal and regulatory compliance, healthcare delivery systems, medical terminology, and human anatomy. During coding training, students gain knowledge of coding systems and procedures before participating in a coding practicum. Through optional courses in advanced coding methodologies, learners can further enhance their expertise in the field.
Students complete the U’s online medical coding and billing certificate in 4-12 months. This includes exam vouchers for exams offered by national credentialing agencies. Learners enroll in the program with no application required.
Lakeshore Technical College
|Cleveland, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Based in Cleveland, Wisconsin, LTC provides workforce training, credentialing programs, apprenticeship options, and adult education opportunities to over 10,000 learners each year. LTC hosts students throughout northeast Wisconsin at additional locations in Manitowoc and Sheboygan, its community education centers, and additional online programs.
Students can complete the 30-credit online technical diploma for medical coding specialists in one year. Coursework includes occupational support and general studies classes in medical terminology and body anatomy, physiology, and function. Occupational specific courses such as digital literacy for healthcare, healthcare reimbursement, health data management, and coding systems prepare students for entry-level careers in the field. Learners also participate in a medical coding internship or practicum. During the internship, students apply theoretical knowledge to clinical experiences in a professional practice setting. Alternatively, the practicum emphasizes technical procedures of health record systems and clinical situation.
LTC’s online medical coding specialist program prepares learners for medical coding positions in hospitals, physician offices, insurance companies, and government agencies. Degree-seekers develop their analytical skills to assign and sequence universally recognized diagnostic and procedural codes. Medical coding specialists also review medical documentation and work with healthcare providers to apply appropriate numerical codes.
Applicants submit high school, GED, or previous college transcripts for consideration. Once admitted, learners work closely with academic advisers to complete a functional abilities statement of understanding form. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, LTC is one of the sixteen institutions within the Wisconsin Technical College system.
Kennesaw State University
|Kennesaw, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
KSU in Kennesaw, Georgia offers more than 150 academic programs to over 35,000 students. The College of Professional Education offers professional, personal, adult learner, youth, and online programs to learners of all ages. One of 13 colleges at KSU, the College of Professional Education maintains accreditation through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training.
The online medical billing and coding specialist program at KSU sharpens the skills of current medical office professionals. The program includes 100 hours of work in line standards put forth by the American Academy of Professional Coders and the National Healthcareer Association. Learners also complete trainings to prepare for credentialing exams offered through both agencies.
KSU’s online medical billing and coding specialist certificate focuses on physical office coding. Students explore inpatient and outpatient diagnostic coding guidelines and conventions, as well as current procedural terminology. The program emphasizes evaluation and management of coding with information on anesthesia, surgery, radiology, pathology, and laboratory coding. Students also develop communication skills to interact with physicians, patients, and insurance companies, and hone their analytical skills to translate and assign medical codes for illnesses, injuries, and procedures.
Students can complete the online medical coding and billing certificate in as few as three months. Applicants must complete a medical office assistant program or have 1-2 years of experience working in a medical or dental office. Learners must also complete a skills assessment and submit a current resume for consideration.
Ogeechee Technical College
|Statesboro, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Established in 1986 as a technical institute by the Georgia General Assembly, Ogeechee Tech currently offers certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees in more than 30 fields of study. As a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, Ogeechee Tech serves Bulloch, Evans, and Screven counties. Ogeechee Tech holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Ogeechee Tech’s online medical coding certificate program prepares graduates to work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care centers. Students already working within healthcare can deepen knowledge base, while individuals looking to enter the field gain fundamental information on anatomy, medical terminology, and medical diagnostic and procedural coding.
Learners complete 24 credits in health information management technology, coding and billing procedures, and healthcare management. Coursework in computer applications in healthcare accompany classes in healthcare statistics, revenue cycle management, and health record content and structure. As a result, learners are prepared to assess and record diagnostic and procedural data.
Students explore medical coding and billing classifications and procedures to build occupational expertise. Learners then gain additional experience in the field through a health information technology practicum.
Ogeechee Tech's medical coding certificate online can be completed in two semesters, and prepares degree-seekers to sit for certified coding associate and specialist exams offered through the American Health Information Management Association. Graduates are also prepared for the professional coder credentialing exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders.
Learners must be at least 17 years old and meet assessment requirements to gain admission to the online medical coding certificate.
Moraine Park Technical College
|Fond du Lac, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Established as Fond du Lac Continuation School in 1912, MPTC is now one of the 16 institutions in the Wisconsin Technical College System. MPTC offers coursework from its main Fond du Lac campus; at locations in Beaver Dam, West Bend, Jackson, and Ripon; and online. MPTC provides 25 online associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeship programs, including an online technical diploma in medical coding.
MPTC’s online medical coding specialist technical diploma includes 29 credits of coursework to prepare graduates for medical coding positions in hospitals, surgery centers, physician offices, and similar healthcare settings. Learners are also qualified to work at insurance companies, government agencies, and coding and billing consulting forms.
Students can complete MPTC’s online program in one year. Classes in anatomy and human diseases provide fundamental information about the body and body systems, while classes in English and computer applications build language and communication skills. Students explore the foundations of health information management and gain hands-on experience using inpatient and outpatient coding terminology and guidelines. Additional classes in healthcare reimbursement and digital literacy in healthcare provide holistic information on the healthcare field.
MPTC’s online medical coding specialist technical diploma prepares graduates to sit for national credentialing exams through the American Health Information Management Association. Prospective students submit transcripts from high school or previous college coursework or GED documentation. MPTC also offers credit for prior learning to students with military training and documented work and life experience.
MPTC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Great Basin College
|Elko, NV||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
Opened in 1967, GBC offers programs from its main campus in Elko, Nevada; at educational centers in Battle Mountain, Ely, Pahrump, and Winnemucca; and online. GBC’s programs reach learners in two time zones, across 86,500 miles, and in Nevada’s ten largest counties. Online learners and interactive video students also participate in GBC’s career and technical education and undergraduate degree programs.
Students in GBC's 34-credit online certificate in medical billing and coding can complete the program in one year by taking 17 credits each semester. The first semester includes courses in executive office procedures, introduction to medical coding and billing, and medical terminology. Students also explore anatomy and disease processes during classes in healthcare structure and medical record content. The second semester emphasizes diagnostic coding and reimbursement, as well as procedural coding and billing. Students also complete an English class and a medical coding practicum to round out their program.
GBC’s introduces common insurance reimbursement practices, computerized medical billing systems, standardized inpatient and outpatient coding, and medical terminology. The medical billing and coding certificate online program at GBC prepares graduates to take certified professional coder exams through the American Health Information Management Association and the American Academy of Professional Coders.
Learners in GBC’s sequential program must earn 85% on all work to complete the certificate. GBC does not award incompletes or extensions for certificate coursework. GBC holds accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
|Indianapolis, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Indiana University first offered classes in Indianapolis in 1891, laying the foundation for IUPUI. Both IU and Purdue University provided academic programs in Indianapolis until 1969 when they merged to form IUPUI. Currently, IUPUI’s more than 28,000 students enroll in undergraduate and graduate programs through the institution’s 19 schools and colleges.
Offered through the School of Informatics and Computing, the 28-credit online medical coding certificate includes coursework in healthcare information technology, standards, and systems. Learners study information governance, the legal and ethical aspects of healthcare, inpatient and outpatient coding for procedures and diagnostics, reimbursement systems, and information management. At the end of the certificate, students complete a practicum in medical coding that incorporates a minimum of 240 contact hours at a designated site. Students also participate in supervised coding activities, assess medical records, and gain hands-on experience working with reimbursement systems.
The medical coding certificate online prepares students to seek certification through the American Health Information Management Association or to continue onto a bachelor’s degree in health information management. Graduates entering the workforce can find employment as benefits coordinators, documentation and coding specialists, and medical billers.
To enter IUPUI’s online medical coding certificate program, students must complete coursework in anatomy and physiology for healthcare management, computer concepts for health information, and medical terminology. Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA in prerequisite coursework and an overall minimum GPA of 2.5 for admission. IUPUI holds accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
Hutchinson Community College
|Hutchinson, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
Founded in 1928 as Hutchinson Junior College, Hutchinson Community College now provides more than 5,600 learners with academic and vocational programs from its main Hutchinson, Kansas, campus; at locations in McPherson and Newton, Kansas; and online. HutchCC offers over 120 majors and 1,300 courses while engaging with the community through service projects and economic partnerships. HutchCC holds accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
HutchCC boasts online associate degrees and certificates in business, early childhood education, and health information management. The online health coding certificate includes 45 credits and coursework in human health and body functions, health information technology, and universally recognized coding systems and practices. Learners complete classes in health record applications, medical terminology, and reimbursement methodologies to gain experience using procedural and diagnostic coding.
Students learn inpatient and outpatient coding techniques prior to completing a health record coding practicum. The program prepares students to work in hospitals, clinics, and medical settings. Learners also develop competencies to pursue careers with insurance companies and government agencies.
Online classes at HutchCC begin anew each month, and online learners can access support through technical and instructional resources. HutchCC's health information management program maintains accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Applicants to the health information management program must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA from high school and previous college coursework for admission.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
|Granite Falls, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Granite Falls, Minnesota, functions as one out of 31 institutions within the Minnesota State System. MWTC provides academic, community, and technical programs at five campuses and two extension centers in Minnesota. As part of MWTC's mission to offer learning opportunities to students of all ages, MWTC also offers more than 45 online associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas.
MWTC's online diploma for medical coding specialists incorporates 34 credits that learners can complete in three semesters. Students study body structures and functions and disease conditions while learning the fundamentals of microcomputers, information and delivery systems, and medical billing and coding. Classes in coding systems, current procedural terminology, and advanced coding guidelines build competencies applicable to careers in hospitals, clinics, and comparable healthcare settings. Students develop an understanding of the international classification of disease clinical and procedural coding classification systems. Learners also explore aspects of healthcare and society, and insurance in healthcare, in anticipation of future jobs in the insurance industry.
The medical coding board review class provides a review of all topics included in the national certification examinations given by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). MWTC's online medical coding specialist diploma holds distinction as a professional certificate approved program.
Learners applying to MWTC's online medical coding specialist diploma should hold previous knowledge of basic word processing, spreadsheet, database, and document development and use. MWTC also recommends applicants hold experience with graphics and telecommunications.
MWTC holds accreditation from the HLC.
Alexandria Technical & Community College
|Alexandria, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
As one of the 31 schools within the Minnesota State system, Alexandria Technical and Community College offers associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas to learners of all ages. Based in Alexandria, Minnesota, ATCC emphasizes industry and community partnership, innovation and leadership, and applied and active curricula in on-campus and online programs alike. ATCC holds accreditation from the HLC.
ATCC's online medical coding specialist diploma includes 45 credits. Learners complete classes in anatomy and physiology and basic pathology while studying personal computer skills, electronic health records, and healthcare systems and practices. Students also take classes in medical terminology and explore various coding programs.
Classes in healthcare systems and practices, medical legal and reimbursement issues, and medical reception prepare students for careers with insurance companies and medical service offices. The curriculum prepares students for professional certification exams through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
ATCC also offers a medical coding certification online. The curriculum includes 19 credits on coding systems and medical reimbursement issues learners complete in three semesters. Students develop an understanding of medical terminology and its applicability to professional coding standards.
Applicants to ATCC's online medical coding diploma program submit high school transcripts or GED certificates for admission. Learners with more than 12 credits of previous college coursework may apply as transfer students but must provide appropriate documentation. Through ATCC's postsecondary enrollment program, students still in high school can apply and participate in concurrent enrollment opportunities.
Northwest Iowa Community College
|Sheldon, IA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
Based in Sheldon, Iowa, Northwest Iowa Community College serves Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, Sioux, and portions of Cherokee counties. Founded as Northwest Iowa Vocational School, NCC first began providing vocational classes in 1964. After the Iowa State Legislature recognized NCC as a community college in 1966, the institution incorporated two-year degrees into its programming. Currently, NCC cooperates with six other Iowa community colleges as part of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium to further extend academic, workforce, and community education opportunities across the region.
NCC offers online associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in business, management, agriculture, information technology, and medical coding. The 34-credit online medical coding diploma at NCC builds competencies in diagnostic and procedural classification systems and software. Students complete the program in two semesters, earning eligibility to sit for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) examination through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
NCC's medical coding diploma online includes lab coursework in human anatomy and physiology. Learners also study computer applications, communication, and pathology while exploring coding and reimbursement methods, medical terminology, and the medical insurance industry. Across the curriculum, students develop expertise in applying codes, submitting medical bills, and communicating with healthcare professionals applicable to careers in clinical, office, and governmental settings.
All online students at NCC pay the same tuition rate of $184 per credit. NCC participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, a cooperative among member states that establishes national standards for postsecondary distance education courses and programs. NCC holds accreditation through the HLC.
Dakota State University
|Madison, SD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Dakota State University, located in Madison, South Dakota, offers undergraduate and graduate programs to over 3,300 students. DSU traces its origins to 1881 and currently boasts a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
The online healthcare coding certificate at DSU incorporates 35-36 credits of coursework to prepare students for entry-level careers in the field. The curriculum builds competencies to work as clinical record managers, clinical coding specialists, and coding compliance reviewers. Learners complete classes in biology and human anatomy to gain a fundamental understanding of human body systems. Coursework in computer applications, health information management, healthcare information systems, and legal aspects of health information provides students with a strong knowledge in healthcare data.
By studying medical terminology, coding systems and practices, and revenue cycle management, learners gain expertise in coding, classifying, and indexing diagnoses and procedures in healthcare settings. The curriculum also includes a practicum where students work within the context of a healthcare facility, applying degree content to practical experiences.
DSU's online healthcare coding certificate prepares students for professional certification examinations offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Learners can also apply credits to an associate or bachelor's degree in health information technology and administration.
DSU partners with the United States Air Force as a military friendly institution. Military personnel receive discounted tuition by enrolling in the Community College of the Air Force program. DSU holds accreditation through the HLC and is governed by the South Dakota System Board of Regents.
|Arkansas City, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Established as Arkansas City Junior College in 1922, Cowley College offers academic and vocational programs from its main campus in Arkansas City, Kansas; at educational, service, and outreach centers; and online. CC provides more than 80 major and degree options to over 4,500 learners and maintains accreditation through the HLC. CC also holds membership to the Kansas Association of Community Colleges, the Council of North Central Junior Colleges, and the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges.
CC's online medical coding healthcare certificate prepares students for entry-level careers in medical coding. Learners complete 35 credits of courses in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and anatomy and physiology to gain provider-level knowledge of the human body and body systems. Students also study current procedural terminology, international classification systems, and medical language alongside information on bioethics and legal issues in healthcare. Through a healthcare coding practicum, learners apply coding classifications and terminology to a virtual medical office setting to gain understanding and skills applicable to a practical work environment.
Students in CC's online medical coding healthcare certificate can apply coursework to the associate degree in medical coding. The curriculum also prepares students to sit for certified coding credential exams offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Applicants to the medical coding certification online program at CC benefit from the school's open enrollment process. Learners who participate in a medical coding class but do not seek a degree or certificate do not need to apply to the program.
Mercy College of Ohio
|Toledo, OH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
As a private, Catholic institution that focuses on healthcare programs, Mercy offers certificates and associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in fields like nursing, medical imaging, health sciences, and health information technology. Mercy, established as a nursing school by the Sisters of Mercy in 1918, hosts learners at its main campus in Toledo, Youngstown, and online.
Mercy offers a 26-credit online certificate in medical coding. The curriculum trains students to select and apply appropriate diagnostic and procedural codes to various medical services. Learners study human structure and function as they explore the fundamentals of medical coding, medical terminology, and health information technology. Students complete coursework in clinical coding and classification systems and participate in professional practice labs to gain hands-on experience. Additional classes in medical reimbursement, diagnostic processes, and coding practices prepare students to transition to an associate degree in health information technology. Learners who enter the workforce can also sit for professional certification examinations offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
The online medical coding certificate program at Mercy begins each fall semester. To apply, learners need a minimum 2.0 GPA from high school and any previous college coursework.
Mercy holds accreditation through the HLC and authorization through the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Mercy's health information technology program maintains accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Mercy participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, as well.
North Dakota State College of Science
|Wahpeton, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
North Dakota State College of Science holds distinction as the oldest two-year residential college in North Dakota. Almost 3,000 learners enroll in the degrees, certificates, and diplomas offered from NDSCS's main campus in Wahpeton, North Dakota; its second location in Fargo, North Dakota; and online.
As North Dakota's only medical coding certification online program approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Professional Certificate Approval Program, NDSCS's online medical coding certificate includes 41 credits. Learners complete classes in anatomy and physiology and diagnostic procedures while exploring the fundamentals of health information, computer applications in business and healthcare, and medical terminology. Students study procedural and diagnostic coding, reimbursement methodologies, and medical terminology in preparation of entry-level careers at hospitals, clinics, consulting firms, and insurance companies.
The program also includes a practicum conducted through online learning laboratories. At the end of the practicum, learners participate in a virtual capstone exercise, coding different types of health records to demonstrate degree competencies.
Students who complete NDSCS's online certificate in medical coding can easily transfer their credits to the school's associate of science in health information degree. NDSCS's curriculum also builds competencies to complete one of the professional certification exams offered by the AHIMA.
To apply to NDSCS's certificate in medical coding, learners must hold a high school diploma or GED. Applicants benefit from previous coursework in computer applications, anatomy, and medical terminology.
NDSCS achieved recognition by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education as a Centennial College in 2002 and maintains accreditation through the HLC.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
|Fergus Falls, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
With campuses in Detroit Lakes, Ferguson Falls, Morehead, Wadena, and online, Minnesota State Community and Technical College reaches more than 8,000 learners each year. MSCTC, a member of the Minnesota State system, formed as a result of the consolidation of Fergus Falls Community College and Northwest Technical College in 2003. Currently, MSCTC offers more than 70 career and liberal arts programs and holds accreditation through the HLC.
MSCTC's 50 credit online medical coding and insurance diploma trains students in medical terminology and office technology, legal and ethical behavior in healthcare, and medical billing procedures. Learners study the human body's structure and function while exploring disease processes and treatments to apply, assess, and record diagnostic and procedural codes.
MSCTC's medical coding and insurance diploma emphasizes processing insurance claims and plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, workers compensation, and disability coverage. The program also includes coursework in professional business communication, appointment schedule management, and patient registration procedures.
Students complete a medical coding capstone and certified biller and coder examination review classes. The curriculum builds competencies to complete professional credential exams offered by the American Academy of Professional Coding (AAPC) and transfers into MSCTC's online health information technology coding associate degree.
Full-time learners can complete the online medical coding and insurance certificate in 18 months that includes one summer term. Applicants to MSCTC may receive prior course credit for relevant life, learning, military, and work experience. MSCTC awards up to one-third of required credits for prior learning.
Barton Community College
|Great Bend, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 31%||
Serving seven counties in central Kansas, Barton Community College hosts a 160-acre main campus in Great Bend, Kansas. Additional locations in Grandview Plaza, Kansas; at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth; and online meet the needs of over 17,000 learners. BCC offers associate degrees, more 16 career clusters, and almost 80 career pathways to area high school students and adult learners. BCC's career and technical programs link secondary and postsecondary education while building workforce skills and career advancement opportunities. Over 40% of BCC's enrollees participate in online courses and programs, including the school's medical coding certification online program.
Offered through BARTonline, BCC's online medical coding certificate builds knowledge and skills in healthcare record assessment, diagnostic and procedural coding, communication, and healthcare ethics. Students complete coursework in English and medical terminology, gaining strong interpersonal communication fundamentals applicable to healthcare settings. Learners also study human anatomy, pharmacology, and pathophysiology to gain an understanding of body systems, diagnostics, and prescriptive medicine.
Classes in computer applications, keyboarding, and ten key mastery prepare students for medical coding classes in internationally recognized healthcare coding systems. Learners participate in a medical coding internship during their final semester to gain hands-on experience with coding systems.
Full-time students complete the medical coding certification online program in three semesters. BCC offers open admission, allowing for easy enrollment. BCC holds accreditation through the HLC and membership to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). BARTonline participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement initiative.
|Philadelphia, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 21%||
Originally named Union Business College by founder Thomas May Peirce, Peirce College opened its doors in 1865. From its Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, location, Peirce continues to expand its career and academic programs, focusing on providing opportunities for all adult learners.
The online medical coding certificate at Peirce incorporates 40 credits of coursework to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to assess medical records and assign diagnostic and procedural codes. Classes in computer application software, health information management, and anatomy and physiology build strong competencies in coding systems. Students focus on international statistical classification of diseases and related health problems and current procedural terminology to understand and assign codes used in medical billing, insurance reimbursements, and research. Learners also explore legal and compliance issues related to healthcare prior to participating in a professional experience course.
Peirce's online medical coding certificate builds the analytical skills needed to compile patient data and perform reviews of diagnostic and procedural code assignments. Learners gain insights into payment systems, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and managed care. Graduates of the online medical coding certificate program at Peirce become eligible to sit for the certified professional coder exam through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Applicants to Peirce College may receive academic credit for prior learning, military training, and work experience. Peirce holds accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement with the approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Gogebic Community College
|Ironwood, MI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Established as Ironwood Community College during the 1930s, Gogebic Community College now provides educational programs to learners throughout the Great Lakes Region from its main campus in Ironwood, Michigan; an additional campus in Houghton, Michigan; and online. GCC boasts a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, offering its 1,200 enrollees student-focused certificates, associate degrees, and dual enrollment options.
GCC offers online associate degrees in business, computer programming, and accounting with transfer programs in general education, general science, and business administration. Certificates in general business and computer programming accompany a medical billing and coding certification online program students can complete in two years.
GCC's online medical coding and billing certificate program builds the competencies needed for entry-level positions in healthcare settings like hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. Students can work as medical coding professionals and within healthcare insurance organizations as reimbursement specialists. The certificate may allow students to sit for national professional coding examinations.
Learners complete GCC's online medical coding and billing certificate across four semesters. Students study health information management, language, and anatomy fundamentals. Coursework in medical terminology, medical office procedures, computer applications, and healthcare data structures prepare students for classes in disease processes and international coding systems. During the final semester, students focus on advanced coding systems and participate in an internship to synthesize degree content and gain hands-on experience in the field.
GCC functions as one of 33 community colleges within the Michigan Community College Network and maintains accreditation through the HLC.
What Can I Do With a Medical Coding Diploma?
A certificate program is different from an associate degree in that it generally only requires that you complete courses related to your professional area of study. On the other hand, an associate degree program usually involves more general education credits that can be applied to a 4 year degree later on. Although it's not always the case, some employers prefer to hire individuals who have an associate or bachelor's degree rather than those who solely hold a certificate.
If you are considering pursuing a medical billing and coding certificate online, you should be ready to work in a demanding and high-paced environment. As a professional in this field, you'll need to possess strong organizational skills and the ability to communicate with patients, doctors, nurses, insurance companies, and various other people on a daily basis. Below are the most common career paths for individuals who graduate from these programs:
Medical Coder: Working with electronic health record systems, medical coders enter data and analyze medical and surgical reports to apply the associated codes. They must be good communicators and able to work well with healthcare professionals and patients alike.
Medical Biller: These professionals are responsible for accurate data entry and submitting insurance claims, as well as following up with insurance companies, healthcare providers, and patients to ensure timely payments of claims. They also manage invoices and accept payment and investigate when a claim has been denied.
Health Information Technician: These professionals collect patients' health data and record it, typically using EHR software. They also review insurance claims and ensure full compliance with all relevant laws and regulations as they pertain to the handling of patient information.
|Position||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate|
|Health Information Technician||$38,040||15%|
Earning a medical coding certificate online is a great step forward, but you may wish to move on to a bachelor's degree program in the future. Doing so qualifies you for a wider range of jobs in the healthcare field, including health information management and healthcare administration. In fact, many medical and health service managers make more than $90,000 per year with only a bachelor's degree.
Health Information Management: This bachelor's degree program will prepare you to develop and oversee various health information systems, ensuring they are compliant with all medical, ethical, and legal standards. Professionals in this field may work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or public health offices.
Healthcare Administration: Healthcare administrators manage the business side of the medical industry, with a focus on office management, the delivery of health services, and health informatics.Health care administration is a high-demand field in which professionals earn competitive salaries.
Bioinformatics: Bioinformatics is a very specialized bachelor's program that deals with the wide variety of healthcare data produced due to the rapid evolution of technology. Coursework tends to focus on statistics, life sciences, and computer science.
Public Health: This bachelor's degree program focuses on health policy and how it contributes to the overall wellbeing of populations across the country and around the world. Many programs focus on the research and science aspects of the field, including biostatistics and epidemiology.
Accreditation for Certificate and Diploma Programs
To receive your professional license, the medical coding certificate online program you complete must be accredited by a recognized agency. Nationally, these include the American Academy of Professional Coders and the American Health Information Management Association, although there are several regional accreditation agencies, as well. These include the following:
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Regional accreditation is considered more prestigious, although nationally accredited programs tend to have lower tuition rates.
Accredited medical billing and coding online certificate programs must go through a stringent process that examines the quality they provide to their students. Programs that fail to adequately prepare students for careers in medical billing and coding will not receive accreditation. In general, the accreditation process for certificate programs works the same as it does for associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs.
Employment Outlook for Certificate in Medical Coding Holders
CERTIFICATE IN MEDICAL CODING SALARY
Medical Billing and Coding Careers by Experience
Derived from Payscale, listed below is salary information for various positions within the medical billing and coding field. Note that exact salaries depend on both where you work and how much experience you have.
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20 years)|
|Medical Records Clerk||$27,000||$25,380||$27,810||$30,240|
|Health Information Technician||$31,000||$30,070||$30,690||$32,550|
|Health Information Manager||$50,000||$41,500||$48,500||$55,000|
As you engage in a medical billing and coding online certificate program and enter the field, it can be helpful to become a member of one or more of the excellent professional associations available. These groups offer some exceptional perks to members, such as professional development, conferences, career services, and more. Below are a few of the more high-profile organizations related to the field:
Financing Your Online Certificate in Medical Coding Program
There are numerous resources available to help you pay for your medical billing certificate online program. To start, take the time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine if you qualify for subsidized loans, grants, or work-study benefits. You should also explore scholarships, especially those made available by hospitals, foundations, and insurance companies.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
- Best Online Certificate in Medical Coding Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location 1 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 2 Charter Oak State College New Britain, CT 3 Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls, MN 4 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS 5 Dakota State University Madison, SD 6 Montana State University - Billings Billings, MT 7 Community Care College Tulsa, OK 8 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore, WI 9 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI 10 Collin County Community College District McKinney, TX 11 Peirce College Philadelphia, PA 12 Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls, MN 13 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN 14 Great Basin College Elko, NV 15 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND 16 Fisher College Boston, MA 17 Barton County Community College Great Bend, KS 18 Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac, WI 19 Gogebic Community College Ironwood, MI 20 Weber State University Ogden, UT 21 Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, WI 22 Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH 23 Northwest Technical College Bemidji, MN 24 Ogeechee Technical College Statesboro, GA 25 Dakota College at Bottineau Bottineau, ND