Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs of 2022
Interested in earning an associate degree in medical billing and coding? Explore this up-to-date list of the best online associate in medical billing and coding programs.
In 2020, medical records and health information specialists earned a median salary of $45,240 — slightly higher than the median pay for all other occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for all medical record and health information technicians will increase by 9% from 2020 to 2030, which is also slightly faster than the projected rate of growth for the rest of the economy over that time period.
To qualify for these jobs, you must complete some form of postsecondary education — usually a certificate or associate degree. This page features a ranking of the nation's top online associate programs in medical billing and coding, as well as common program requirements and career options available in the field.
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|Best Associate in Medical Billing and Coding||Location||Tuition|
|Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|Laurus College||San Luis Obispo, CA|
|Eastern Gateway Community College||Steubenville, OH||$3,528|
|Cowley County Community College||Arkansas City, KS||$7,893|
|Laramie County Community College||Cheyenne, WY||$5,647|
|Ross College-Sylvania||Sylvania, OH|
|East Mississippi Community College||Scooba, MS||$6,951|
|Herzing University-Kenosha||Kenosha, WI|
|Fortis College-Centerville||Centerville, OH|
|Northland Community and Technical College||Thief River Falls, MN||$9,992|
What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Program?
You can expect a variety of choices when selecting an online associate program in medical billing and coding. For example, more than 200 programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) are offered online. Students can often specialize their area of study, choosing from dozens of options, such as dental work, psychology, and oncology.
This career often appeals to detail-oriented and analytical people. Medical billing and coding professionals should also be proficient with computers, and good interpersonal skills are important to communicate the coding language in an easy-to-digest way. You should check with individual programs to find out more about general education requirements, such as coursework in medical terminology, biology, and math.
Coding and billing differ in the following key ways.
- Medical Billing: These professionals focus on knowing the billing codes for procedures, diagnoses, and treatments plans. These codes are used to send billing information to insurance companies, ensuring that the correct payment or reimbursement is issued.
- Medical Coding: These professionals focus more on the human side of the billing and coding process. They provide the correct coding for treatment and diagnosis purposes, ensuring that patients receive the proper care.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
Popular Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Program?
To code the medical language, you must understand the medical language, which uses some unique terms. This course provides learners with knowledge about the fundamental healthcare and medical languages used by doctors and nurses.
Healthcare Law and Ethics
Medical professionals must keep patient information safe, hold medical facilities accountable, and avoid fraud. This class teaches the basics of the legal and ethical challenges students might face once they graduate.
Pathophysiology deals with the nature and cause of human diseases, how to diagnose them, treatment options, disease management, and prognosis.
Students must crawl before they can walk in the world of coding formats. This class teaches the basics of how coding works and goes over why codes are designed the way they are.
This class focuses on finding errors in medical billing and coding. An erroneous code could lead to the wrong medicine being dispensed or an incorrect charge filed on a patient's bill. Sharp-eyed auditors work to keep the system honest and accurate.
What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Program?
Prospective students applying to online medical billing and coding programs need transcripts from high school and previous colleges, if applicable. A college application is required, and students may need to pay an application fee. You may also need to submit letters of recommendation with your application. Check with each of your prospective schools for exact admission requirements.
Some colleges provide personal admissions counselors to help prospective students navigate the application process.
What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Degree?
The BLS projects the addition of 2.6 million jobs to the healthcare sector between 2020 and 2030, including more than 37,000 new positions for medical records and health information specialists. As of May 2020, these professionals earned a median annual salary of more than $45,000.
See where an associate in medical billing and coding can take you. Learn more about health informatics careers.
This job requires certification in hematology and oncology coding, and specialized credentials are offered in this field. These professionals work in cancer centers, spending their days entering the unique codes that relate to cancer diagnoses and ongoing treatments.
Average Annual Salary (January 2022): $50,320
Health Information Technician
Health information technicians enter codes, validate records requests, and handle legal requests. They may also handle additional basic office tasks.
Average Annual Salary (January 2022): $39,490
An auditor goes through numbers with a sharp eye to find abnormalities or errors. These professionals make the coding system more efficient and are expected to make recommendations for improvements.
Average Annual Salary (January 2022): $58,970
Medical Billing Specialist
This job focuses exclusively on medical billing. These professionals deal with insurance companies and third-party vendors to resolve problems and provide clarifications.
Average Annual Salary (January 2022): $39,910
Medical Billing and Coding Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
An associate degree in medical billing and coding can pave the way for additional educational opportunities, including earning a bachelor's degree in medical billing and coding. Although not required for many positions in this field, these four-year programs help students build stronger resumes and develop deeper knowledge.
A bachelor's degree can set students up for leadership roles in health informatics if they choose to further their education. Graduates may be able to qualify for positions as medical and health services managers, for whom the BLS projects 32% job growth between 2020 and 2030. As of May 2020, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $104,280.
Students interested in graduate school can also go on to earn a doctorate in health informatics, which is the terminal degree in this field. This degree offers the chance to become an expert in informatics and conduct original research in the field.
How Do I Choose an Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Program?
Make sure to evaluate the true cost of each program you are considering, including tuition and fees. Some schools charge an online learning fee. However, distance learners can save on expenses like transportation and on-campus room and board. Online students can also sometimes qualify for in-state tuition rates, even if they live out of state.
Although online programs may not require students to visit campus, programs may include in-person clinical requirements. You can usually complete these in your own community, but be sure to double check for in-person requirements before enrolling. If you plan on working full time while enrolled, asynchronous programs may provide the best fit. These do not have scheduled course times, but allow you to complete assignments around other responsibilities.
For the most part, online associate in medical billing and coding programs do not include any on-campus requirements. However, it may still make sense to attend a school close to home if you want to take full advantage of student services, networking opportunities, and the school's connections for internships and jobs.
Students should seek out programs that are accredited by CAHIIM. Many employers look for this mark of excellence on the resume of job candidates. Furthermore, students should enroll at schools that hold institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the Department of Education — this ensures that students will be eligible to apply for federal financial aid.
The best schools offer online student support and student services. Mentorship programs, networking and internship opportunities, and technical support can help distance learners thrive in their programs. Often, these services can make the difference between an excellent online learning experience and a lackluster education.
2022 Best Accredited Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
Is an associate degree in medical billing and coding worth it?
Graduates who earn an associate in medical billing and coding can enter an in-demand field that provides a solid return on investment for a two-year program. The degree can also lead to lucrative and even more in-demand jobs if graduates continue on to complete a bachelor's in the field.
How fast can I get an associate in medical billing and coding degree online?
Most online associate in medical billing and programs take about two years of full-time study to complete. Some accelerated programs may offer 18-month timelines, but most associate degrees require two years.
Is an online associate degree in medical billing and coding credible?
The most credible online associate programs in medical billing and coding are accredited by CAHIIM. Make sure to research the accreditation status of each program you are considering to determine its legitimacy.
How much money can I make with an associate in medical billing and coding?
According to the BLS, as of May 2020, medical records and health information specialists earned a median annual salary of $45,240. The top 10% of earners in the field made a median annual wage of more than $105,690, while the lowest 10% made under $29,130.
Is an associate degree in medical billing and coding in high demand?
Yes. The BLS projects 9% job growth for medical and health information specialists between 2020 and 2030, which is slightly faster than the projected growth rate for all occupations during that period (8%). Furthermore, the BLS projects 16% job growth for all healthcare occupations between 2020 and 2030.
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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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