What Degree Do You Need for Medical Billing?
Doctors, nurses and several other personnel are necessary to keep the health care industry running. A career in medical billing can be a productive and profitable option in the health care field that you can obtain in a much shorter time than medical or nursing school.
In this article, we will go over what are the different degree levels you can consider reaching to improve your job prospects in the path of medical billing.
Medical billing degree programs can generally be found at three different levels. You can select to get a certificate or diploma, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in Medical Billing. Since this field is very competitive, it will be very beneficial for your career to get the highest degree you can, which is a bachelor’s degree.
Certificate and diploma programs in Medical Billing focus totally on the professional skills needed to quickly graduate and begin working. Degree programs generally provide a wide educational experience. In any case of the track chosen, all of these programs are a great match for online learners.
Here I am going through in detail, describing below degree programs about medical billing. At the end of this, you will have a better idea about degrees in medical billing.
- Certificate or Diploma program in Medical Billing
- Associate Degree in Medical Billing
- Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Billing
1.Certificate or Diploma Program in Medical Billing
Unlike other healthcare field positions, starting a career in medical billing doesn’t require a student to carry out years of their life to follow a degree. Many entry-level positions only need completion of a postsecondary certificate or diploma program.
Generally, certificate or diploma programs in medical billing can be completed in nearly one year of full-time study if the program is in-person or online.
Certificate or diploma programs are offered by career colleges, community colleges, professional organizations, and standalone programs. Career college programs normally have a faster time to completion.
Typical details about the certificate level include:
Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, minimum scores on standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT.
Courses: Anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, patient privacy, disease classification, Introduction to Health Information Systems, Principles of Current Medical Terminology, Basics of Anatomy and Physiology.
Certification can help billing specialists obtain jobs or advancement, as many employers prefer to hire someone certified.
Here are some certifications offered by several associations.
The Healthcare Financial Management Association: The Certified Revenue Cycle Representative program and the Certified Healthcare Financial Professional program.
The American Academy of Professional Coders: The Certified Professional Coder credential.
The American Health Information Management Association: The Certified Coding Associate or Specialist certification.
2.Associate Degree in Medical Billing
An associate degree takes longer than a medical billing certificate or diploma. Both career colleges and community colleges offer associate degree programs. Students following a medical billing degree at the associate level can expect to finish school within two years when studying full-time.
These degree programs provide students with the career skills required to be successful while also introducing students to various other educational disciplines.
An associate degree in medical billing is an excellent way to gain practical education and training for your future career and make your application attractive to potential employers.
With an associate degree in medical billing, you will learn the latest software and procedures used in medical offices and earn a degree that demonstrates your knowledge and skills.
If your local colleges do not offer a program specifically in medical billing, you can still boost your resume with an associate degree in a related field such as anatomy and physiology, business administration or health information.
Typical details about the associate degree level include:
Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, minimum GPA (often 2.0 or higher). Some programs require prerequisite coursework such as anatomy and physiology.
Courses: Medical terminology, pharmacology, diagnostic coding, procedural coding, and ethics, Basic Computer Applications, Introduction to Health Care Delivery Systems
Advantage: If you plan to do more education, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you may be able to transfer credits from your associate degree. Which will save you money and time.
3.Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Billing
While entry-level careers in medical billing generally require job training or an associate degree, students looking for a more advanced degree may wish to complete their studies at the bachelor’s degree level.
A bachelor’s degree will qualify you for more advanced positions and higher payments. You will manage an entire billing department or take another higher, administrative position.
However, if you desire to move up to an administrative position, getting your bachelor’s degree is the first step toward that goal.
In addition to increased general education requirements and studying medical billing practices, bachelor’s degrees usually require an in-depth study of health care management as a whole.
These programs can be a perfect match for those already working in the field and looking for advancement.
A typical bachelor’s degree will take completely four years to complete when studying full-time. If you already have your associate degree, you can normally apply those course credits to your bachelor’s degree to graduate in a short time.
An in-person internship may be required before graduation, even for those following an online degree. These practical learning experiences are normally completed at local medical facilities.
Typical details about the bachelor’s degree level include:
Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED and minimum scores on standardized exams such as the ACT or SAT.
Courses: Health information management, healthcare delivery systems, medical terminology, Data management for healthcare, personnel management, anatomy, physiology, Financial Considerations for Health Care Management, Ethics in Health Information Management
Here I mention some additional programs that help start a career in medical billing.
Certification without training
If you already have career experience as a medical biller and looking to advance your career, you can skip job training or degree programs and just take an exam through a certifying board like the AAPC or AMBA.
This is a great opportunity for people who already have some work experience and need the official certification to build up their bio as they look for another career.
You can also think about this opportunity if you have related work experience and need to change careers. Keep in mind that if you have not worked in medical billing before, you have to spend a lot of time studying the most current codes and processes.
Vocational training and certification
For those without work experience, signing up for a medical billing course and then taking the certification exam after is a very good option. It’s more inexpensive and less of a time taking than going for a full degree, and it will make you a strong applicant when applying for jobs.
The training program is also very useful in helping you prepare for the job itself as you will have the chance to learn the terms, the codes and the practicals you will be doing as a medical biller.
Some programs even combine medical coding with medical billing training so that you can be qualified for both jobs. This can be a good chance when applying to smaller offices that are looking for one person to perform both functions.
How much time will it take to become a medical biller?
Most Medical Billing programs include about 40 to 80 hours of coursework, and people typically finish that within about three to six weeks. An associate degree will take one to two years, and a bachelor’s degree normally takes four years.
How can be the Experience is valuable to work in a Medical Billing career?
Experience increases the accuracy, speed and skills of medical billers. Experienced medical billers can expect to earn more and have more job opportunities than those without similar experience.
A Medical Biller or Coder gets more paid?
Salaries differ in general by an employer and geographic location. Medical biller salaries also depend on experience, specializations and certifications.
Can medical billers work from home?
Of course yes. Many healthcare providers outsource their work, so medical billers do not need to work from a certain office location.
Is Medical Billing hard?
Medical billing and coding can be hard at times, but it is by no means impossible. You cannot become a great medical biller overnight. But the correct education and training will build you like the best medical biller.
What are factors should I consider when selecting a degree program in Medical Billing?
You must enroll in a degree program accredited by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) for medical billing.