Medical billing and coding certificates are some of the most popular credentials sought by students joining the field of medical billing and coding. Medical billing and coding certificate programs, which can last from nine months to a year, provide the training, and often the connections and post-graduate resources, needed to enter the field.
These programs are offered at career and community colleges, and build on existing education by focusing on career-oriented skills rather than general education. Typically an existing degree is needed to enroll in a certificate program.
The course material of most medical billing and coding certificate programs focuses on the job skills of medical coding and billing. There are few, or no, general education requirements in medical billing and coding certificate programs. However, certificate programs still provide a relatively broad education through introductory-level and 101 courses.
Medical billers and medical coders in certificate programs learn topics such as:
- Medical Terminology
- Insurance Claim Procedures
- Medical Procedures
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Typing Skills
- Computer Applications
- Medical Office Administration
For example, the medical billing and coding certificate program at Kaplan University covers writing composition, medical terminology, healthcare software applications, anatomy, physiology, medical office management, and medical insurance practices. Specific courses vary from program to program.
While exploring medical billing and coding certificate programs, it is important to make sure the program you choose is properly accredited.
Medical billing and coding school accreditation is important to becoming competitive in the job market. It is even more important if you plan on pursuing medical billing and coding certification after graduation. Most certification agencies prefer you graduate from a program accredited by an agency they acknowledge.
The two most trusted accreditation agencies in the US are the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Reputable programs may also be accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies.