Medical coding and billing are one of the professions that have had the most demand in recent years in our country; in fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates job growth of up to 8% for health information professionals by 2029; this exhibits that every day more and more people are looking for their medical coding certification.
On the other hand, this percentage increase is twice the projected average rate for all jobs, which means that more universities and technical schools offer these studies both in-person and online.
If you are interested in learning more about this profession and how you can obtain your certificate, you have reached the right article.
What is a Medical Coding Certification?
A person who obtains a medical coding certification will be in charge of the organization of medical records for a particular hospital or clinic. This means you will be able to work with doctors, nurses, hospitals, and even nursing homes to keep quality control of all patients’ medical records and correctly submit payment requests to insurance companies.
Although they are considered independent professionals, medical billers and coders tend to work closely with healthcare employees. They must be careful enough and have the technical and analytical skills to organize medical records and billing documents thoroughly.
Some of the specific tasks that a professional has in this field are:
- Support doctors and nurses for better accuracy of patient data.
- Perform their work with the confidentiality required to safeguard patients’ privacy in their medical records and billing processes.
- They are in charge of everything related to billing to insurance companies.
- Checking patients’ medical records for office visits, medical exams, and surgical procedures performed to assign billing codes.
- Audit everything related to claims (verification of authorized signatures, forward the claim to insurance companies, attend to denied claims, etc.).
Steps to get your Medical Coding Certification
1. Complete a course or an “accelerated certification.”
Like any other profession, in order to obtain a medical billing and coding certification, it is necessary to complete at least an “accelerated certification”; these are studies that are shorter than university regular studies (there are up to 4-week courses that allow you to get certified).
However, everything will depend on the type of certificate or degree you want to obtain; for example, some employers require you to have a bachelor’s degree. For others, it is enough if you have a certificate in medical billing. So, based on this, you must make the decision of what type of course you will take.
2. If you have university credits, check if you can transfer them.
Now, if you have already taken courses before or have obtained university credits, it is possible that some of those credits would be transferred to you at the time of studying and obtaining the certification. You should check this policy with the university or technical school where you will study and present the necessary credentials to get the credits approved; everything will depend on the program you choose.
3. Evaluate your time and budget.
- If you are in a hurry to enter the labor field and do not have much time or money to pursue a degree, an online certification might be your best option, but you should bear in mind that you will need to organize yourself and have a quiet space to study.
- Now, if you have the time and financial resources to pursue a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, the best option for you is to enroll in a university.
The key to making the best decision is to recognize how much time you dispose of to obtain the medical coding certification and how many resources you have.
You should keep in mind that you should verify if the trade school or university where you will study issues an accredited certification. Many institutions offer medical coding certification, but the credits are not obtained from an accredited institution, which will prevent you from transferring credentials to a university.
➔ READ MORE:
Best online schools for Medical Coding and Billing
Due to the great demand from students wanting to obtain this certification, there are many universities and schools that now offer these studies. For your convenience, here we list for you the best online schools for medical billing and coding studies:
- University of Alaska – Fairbanks.
- Charter Oak State College.
- Northwest Technical College.
- Community Care College.
- Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.
- Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
- Lakeshore Technical College.
- Kennesaw State University.
These are just some of the universities and schools that offer this program, but if you are looking to obtain your online medical billing and coding degree, you can also visit this page to find the other options.