Medical billing and coding diploma programs are one of the shorter, less demanding training programs for medical billing and coding specialists. A medical billing and coding diploma will provide you with the basic skills you need to join the medical billing and coding job market and perform the essential job duties of medical billing and coding.
Medical billing and coding diploma programs are typically offered through career and community colleges. They can usually be completed in nine months to a year.
Unlike some degree programs, diploma programs do not focus heavily on general education courses. These programs are designed to quickly train students to qualify for entry-level work as medical billers and coders. They focus mostly on typography, medical knowledge, and other core courses. Unlike certificate programs, diploma programs do not usually require prior college experience.
Most diploma programs cover subjects such as:
- Healthcare Procedures
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Coding
- Medical Reimbursement
- Computer Applications
- Clinical Simulations
For example, the 10-month medical billing and coding diploma program offered by Ultimate Medical Academy includes healthcare basics, anatomy, medical terminology, healthcare payers and claims, ICD-9-CM coding, and practice management systems. Specific courses vary from school to school.
A high school diploma or a GED is normally required to enroll in a medical billing and coding diploma program.
Although not a requirement, some of the high school courses that will help you to succeed in this program include:
The most important step in finding the right diploma program is making sure the program is accredited.
Accreditation is a type of credential awarded to schools by regulating agencies that help ensure educational excellence. To keep their accreditation, schools have to prove that they adhere to a certain level of quality. They must, for instance, teach classes that meet basic industry standards. If you enroll in an accredited diploma program, you can be confident you will get the education you need to enter the field.
Another good reason to attend an accredited school is to obtain voluntary certification after graduation.
The three most trusted accreditations come from:
- The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
- The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
- One of the six regional accreditation agencies