Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding Program Guide
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- Medical coding and billing certificate programs typically cost between $4,500 and $19,500.
- You'll learn medical terms and CPT and ICD-10 coding systems in a certificate program.
- Medical billers and coders with certificates may earn $6,000 more per year than those without.
Do you want to start a career that combines healthcare and business in 15 months or less? Consider becoming a medical biller and coder. Find out what you’ll learn, how much it will cost, how long it will take, and what you can do after you earn your certificate in medical billing and coding.
Should I Get a Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding?
Although professionals can pursue a career in medical billing and coding without a certificate, earning a certificate offers several key advantages. These programs teach learners the skills needed to excel in the job, and a certificate demonstrates to employers that students have mastered the field's fundamentals.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% job growth for medical records specialists between 2022 and 2032, which is faster than average. Graduates can look forward to ample opportunities. Medical billing and coding is a competitive field, making certificate-holders more desirable candidates than job seekers with only a high school diploma or equivalent.
Although program lengths vary, students typically spend 4-15 months earning their medical billing and coding certificates. Learners can also pursue an online medical billing and coding certificate, which is an especially convenient and flexible option for working professionals.
Featured Online Medical Coding Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Will I Learn in a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate Program?
In a medical billing and coding certificate program, you’ll learn about the systems and processes needed to run a healthcare front office. You will also learn about health insurance and reimbursement, how to properly code medical and patient data, and how to use the Current Procedural Terminology system for reporting healthcare services and procedures.
Additional topics include record transcribing, medical terminology, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), and the history of the U.S. healthcare delivery system.
Graduates of medical billing and coding certificate programs can apply for entry-level positions in medical and healthcare offices. Program coursework can help prepare to become certified or enter the workforce with some additional on-the-job training.
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How to Get Into a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate Program
You typically need a high school or GED diploma to pursue a medical billing and coding certificate. Most certificate programs do have stringent admission requirements. However, applicants should check all requirements for each program.
What is the Difference Between a Certificate and a Certification in Medical Billing and Coding?
Certifications and certificates are different credentials. Certifications show that you passed a certification exam created by independent professional organizations. Universities and colleges award medical billing and coding certificates to students. Certificate programs can prepare you to take certification exams. Find out more differences between medical billing and coding certificates and certifications:
- Offered by universities or colleges
- Earned based on achieving good grades in required courses rather than passing an exam
- Awarded by higher education institutions
- Cost $4,200-$19,500 to complete the program
- Take 4-15 months to complete
- Required or preferred by employers
- Awarded by professional associations or independent organizations
- Earned based on passing a certification exam rather than achieving good grades in required courses
- Standardized credentials intended to show your skill and knowledge in medical billing and coding
- Cost between $199-$449 to take the exam
What Certifications Can I Get in Medical Billing and Coding?
The American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers two fundamental certifications that are required for most medical billing and coding roles.
Most medical coders must be certified professional coders (CPC). Most medical billers must be certified professional billers (CPB). If you find a role that combines both roles, consider getting CPB and CPC certification together.
The AAPC also offers advanced and specialty certifications for experienced medical billers and coders who specialize in areas such as inpatient, anesthesia, or practice management.
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
- Certified Outpatient Coding (COC)
- Certified Inpatient Coding (CIC)
- Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC)
- Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA)
- Certified Documentation Expert Outpatient (CDEO)
- Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM)
- Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO)
What Can I Do With a Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding?
Medical billers and coders may work anywhere healthcare services are provided or insurance claims are processed. Popular work settings for medical billers and coders include hospitals, physicians’ offices, nursing homes, and accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services
Depending on where you work and the exact responsibilities you have, your job title could be any of the following common entry-level positions:
- Medical Billing Specialist
- Medical Coding Specialist
- Medical Coding Auditor
- Medical Biller and Coder
- Medical Records Technician
Popular Continued Education Paths
How Much Money Can I Make With a Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding?
According to the BLS, medical records specialists earned a median annual salary of $47,180 in 2022. Professionals with certificates may earn about $6,000 more per year than the national average for medical records specialists, according to Payscale data from October 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
What is the best certification for medical billing and coding?
Most employers require or prefer medical coders to become certified professional coders (CPC) and medical billers to become certified medical billers (CPB). Both of these certifications are offered by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). AAPC offers a combined certification where you can get CPB and CPC certified at the same time if you find a role where you need both certifications.
How much does a medical billing and coding certificate cost?
The cost of a medical billing and coding certificate varies depending on the specific certificate and the organization that offers it. Certificates can range from $4,200 to $19,500, according to the American Associate of Professional Coders.
How long does it take to get a certificate in medical billing and coding?
A medical billing and coding certificate often takes 4-15 months to complete. However, completion times vary by program and whether learners enroll full-time or part-time.
Is medical billing and coding a good career?
Medical billing and coding can be a solid career choice if you enjoy working with numbers and want to enter the healthcare field. You don't need a college degree to become a medical biller or coder, but many professionals have a certification or certificate. Medical billing and coding jobs are also projected to grow faster than average.
Can you get a medical billing and coding job without experience?
Some employers may hire medical billers and coders without experience, but most roles require job experience and a certified professional coder (CPC) certification. Certificates can replace work experience in some cases, but those without formal experience may need to complete on-the-job training.