Medical billing and coding degree programs are designed to prepare medical billing and coding students with the career skills and background knowledge they need to be competitive in the job market for medical billing and medical coding.
A degree can give medical billing and coding specialists an edge over others who have only on-the-job training. The background knowledge and skills taught in a medical billing degree program can also make medical billing and medical coding specialists more effective and more efficient on the job than specialists with other types of training. Thus, exploring your degree options is a good step to take as you prepare for this high-demand career.
Most medical coders get their medical billing and coding degrees from junior colleges and vocational schools, but degrees can also be attained by attending private and public universities or online degree programs.
Associate’s degrees in medical billing and coding are the most common form of education for medical billers and coders. These are 2-year educational programs that go beyond the career basics of medical billing and coding. In addition to learning all of the basic job skills, you will also have a substantial amount of general education course credits to fulfill. A major benefit to having an associate’s medical billing and coding degree is that you can more easily advance your education in the future. If you should decide to pursue a bachelor’s or a master’s degree later, the credits that you earned for your associate’s will apply toward those degrees. Medical billing and coding associate’s degrees can be found at career and community colleges.
Bachelor’s degrees in medical billing and coding are 4-year programs that cover a substantial amount of general education and advanced background knowledge in addition to the basic medical billing and coding job skills. Other bachelor’s degree programs can be helpful in entering this field as well. Many people have used bachelor’s degrees in health information management or health care administration to enter the medical billing and coding field. Like associate’s degrees, bachelor’s medical billing and coding degree programs give you a much broader educational background. They can also afford you opportunities to advance into management positions in the future. Medical billing and coding bachelor’s degrees are offered by universities and colleges.
Whether you decide on an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a certificate or diploma program, you must make sure the program is accredited. This is especially true if you plan to take the highly recommended step of becoming certified later. The two agencies responsible for accrediting these programs are the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Alternatively, a school is still reputable if it is accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies.
Associate’s Degree Programs
Bachelor’s Degree Programs