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.

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Published on May 9, 2022

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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.

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.

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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?

Medical Terminology

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

Pathophysiology deals with the nature and cause of human diseases, how to diagnose them, treatment options, disease management, and prognosis.

Basic Coding

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.

Coding Auditing

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?

Career Outlook

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.

Career Paths

Cancer Registrar

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

Medical Auditor

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.

Healthcare Careers Business Administration Careers Human Resources Careers

Continuing Education

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?

Cost

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.

Program Format

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.

Location

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.

Accreditation

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.

Student Support

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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Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs

  1. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

    Avg. Annual Cost

    In State | $21,900

    Out of State | $21,900

    Credits to Graduate

    60

    Keiser's online associate in medical billing and coding degree emphasizes the technical aspects of insurance claims, compliance, and reimbursement procedures. The curriculum trains graduates to take the American Academy of Professional Coders exam.

    Courses cover medical law and ethics, pharmacology, and anatomy and physiology. Students also learn medical lingo, coding procedures, and administrative duties. Graduates obtain the skills needed for entry-level positions.

    Undergraduate applicants need to submit high school transcripts and a diploma or a GED certificate. After speaking with an admissions counselor, candidates can attend an open house.

  2. Laurus College
    Location

    San Luis Obispo, CA

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Avg. Total Cost

    In State | $40,000

    Out of State | $40,000

    Credits to Graduate

    66

    Laurus College's online associate in medical billing and coding degree allows learners to graduate in two years. The program features courses in medical terminology, current procedural terminology, diagnosis coding, electronic medical billing, and administrative duties.

    Students take two lecture-based courses every quarter through day and evening class times. Laboratories give students hands-on practice. Graduates become patient services coordinators, medical records and health information technicians, and medical coding specialists.

    All prospective students must complete an interview with an admissions counselor and submit an application.

  3. Eastern Gateway Community College
    Location

    Steubenville, OH

    Tuition

    $3528

    100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

    Avg. Cost per Credit

    In State | $130

    Out of State | $250

    Credits to Graduate

    66

    Program Information

    Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

    EGCC's health information management program prepares students to earn a medical coding certificate and medical scribe certificate in 21 months.

    The curriculum equips graduates to take the American Health Information Management Association's Certified Coding Associate exam. After gaining work experience, graduates can also take the Certified Coding Specialist exam. Students learn legal and ethics concepts, clinical classification systems, reimbursement methodologies, healthcare indexes and registries, and advanced coding.

    The self-paced courses provided through Blackboard give students added flexibility to continue working while completing their education.

    Applicants must complete an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation background check.

  4. Cowley County Community College
    Location

    Arkansas City, KS

    Tuition

    $7893

    100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

    Avg. Cost per Credit

    In State | $300

    Out of State | $300

    Credits to Graduate

    65

    Cowley College offers more than 30 online degrees and certificates, including the associate in medical billing and coding program that prepares students for entry-level medical coding positions.

    Program courses focus on medical terminology, pharmacology, legal and ethical issues, and reimbursement methodologies. Graduates can earn their credentials to become certified coding associates and certified professional coders.

    New students complete a free application. Admissions representatives respond to new applicants within 48-73 hours.

  5. Laramie County Community College
    Location

    Cheyenne, WY

    Tuition

    $5647

    100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

    Avg. Annual Cost

    In State | $6,200

    Out of State | $10,910

    Credits to Graduate

    63

    Program Information

    Program Accreditation | Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education

    LCCC's "stacked" associate in medical billing and coding degree lets students progress at their own pace — part time or full time — to earn a certificate in three semesters or an associate degree in two years.

    The curriculum combines medical coding and health information technology, with courses in computer software for medical office professionals, health data management, medical terminology, and disease processes in coding. This fully online associate in medical billing and coding also includes a virtual lab.

    Accepted students must complete a drug screening and background check.

  6. Ross College-Sylvania
    Location

    Sylvania, OH

    100% Online | Self-Paced Classes and Scheduled Classes

    Avg. Annual Cost

    In State | $8,300

    Out of State | $8,300

    Credits to Graduate

    60

    Program Information

    Program Accreditation | Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

    Ross features an associate in medical billing and coding program that students can finish in 10-13 months. The program features a fully online format with 1,800 hours of experiential learning.

    Students complete 20 courses that include healthcare office applications, medical terminology, pathophysiology, electronic health records, medical law and ethics, and diagnostic and procedural coding. The program culminates with a medical billing capstone.

    Former students have found jobs at surgery centers, hospitals, and physician offices.

  7. East Mississippi Community College
    Location

    Scooba, MS

    Tuition

    $6951

    100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

    Avg. Cost per Credit

    In State | $160

    Out of State | $260

    Credits to Graduate

    60

    EMCC, which offers more than 450 distance learning courses, features an online associate in medical billing and coding with a work-based learning opportunity. The associate in medical billing and coding degree prepares learners to work in hospitals, physician offices, clinics, and insurance companies. Students can graduate in two years.

    Courses focus on current procedural terminology coding, international classification of diseases coding, medical insurance billing, and medical terminology. Students can opt for a work-based learning experience to fulfill elective requirements.

    Graduates gain the competencies to take the Specifications for Certified Medical Transcriptionist certification and the Certified Coding Associate exams.

  8. Herzing University-Kenosha
    Location

    Kenosha, WI

    100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

    Avg. Cost per Credit

    In State | $440

    Out of State | $440

    Credits to Graduate

    60

    Herzing's associate in medical billing and coding degree lets students set their own schedule and graduate in 10-20 months.

    Courses emphasize procedural terminology, international classification of diseases, ethics and professionalism, and insurance claims. Online learners complete an insurance billing and coding capstone or internship.

    Graduates can transfer up to 45 credits toward a bachelor's degree. They can also sit for the Certified Billing & Coding Specialist, Certified Professional Coder, and Certified Coding Specialist exams.

    Herzing requires students to take entrance exams. Candidates also need a high school diploma or GED certificate.

  9. Fortis College-Centerville
    Location

    Centerville, OH

    100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

    Avg. Annual Cost

    In State | $14,600

    Out of State | $14,600

    Credits to Graduate

    62

    Fortis offers an associate in medical billing and coding program that lets students continue to work while they study. Online learners become proficient in office management, medical terminology, and medical coding techniques.

    Graduates can become certified medical coders through the American Academy of Professional Coders. This degree offers job opportunities at clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices, and physician offices.

    Eligible applicants need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Each prospective student completes an admissions interview.

  10. Northland Community and Technical College
    Location

    Thief River Falls, MN

    Tuition

    $9992

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Avg. Annual Cost

    In State | $11,940

    Out of State | $11,940

    Credits to Graduate

    60

    NCTC prepares working students to become medical billers and coders in two years through its fully online associate in medical billing and coding program.

    Students can customize their degree with electives in psychology or communications. The program's core courses include medical office simulation, medical terminology, medical billing and insurance, current procedural terminology coding, international classification of diseases coding, and pharmacology. Online learners become familiar with insurance plans, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and disability coverage.

    Candidates must complete an online application. Eligible applicants need to meet prerequisites, unless they already work in a health-related field.

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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