Medical billing and coding can be a very rewarding career. However, having a proper education will provide you with better job opportunities. The minimum educational requirement for this field is a medical billing and coding certification, which should not take long to complete. If you are having difficulty finding an accredited school you should check with the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association). They can often provide you with a list of accredited schools in your area to choose from.
Online Medical Billing and Coding School Options
What do I do if I don’t live near one of the AHIMA accredited programs? If you do not live near one of these accredited programs then taking an online program may be an option for you to look into. Some of the colleges and universities that offer the AHIMA coding basics as a distance learning program include:
- Dakota State University
- Kaplan Continuing Education
- Lone Star College – North Harris
- Montana State University – College of Technology
- North Dakota State College of Science
- Santa Barbara City College
- Shoreline Community College
- Trident Technical College
While there are other schools that offer medical billing and coding certificates they may not be certified by the American Health Information Management. Now a question that you and many other prospective students may have is “does the college or university have to be accredited? No a school does not have to be accredited; however, accreditation means that the school has shown that they are teaching all of the skills required for you to complete your job accurately and effectively.
If you want a program that is more in-depth, there are programs that are offer associate and bachelor degree programs. These programs can generally be completed within 2-4 years, depending on which degree you will be attempting to complete. The CAHIMA is the agency that accredits the programs that offer these longer degree program options.
The schooling choices when you want to advance in your career within the medical field it can become overwhelming but it does not have to be difficult.
How do I contact the AHIMA?
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
233 N. Michigan Avenue, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-5809
Main Number: (312) 233-1100
Customer Relations: (800) 335-5535
Main Fax: (312) 233-1090
Product Orders Fax: (312) 233-1500
Office Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Central Time (Monday – Friday)
You can also contact them 24/7 via their customer support form.
An Investment on Your Future
When looking for schools, as difficult as it may be to do so, do NOT base your decision completely on cost. Granted you may not have a ton of money to spend on a school and there are some schools that can be quite expensive. However, your education is and investment in your future so it is not something you can afford to hold back on, as the old saying goes “you get what you paid for”.
Prior to becoming enrolled in a medical billing and coding program you should take into consideration, am I financially ready? And how much time am I willing and able to commit to obtaining my degree? As stated above, online medical billing and coding school are growing in popularity because of it availability, so if you are wanting to work full time and need more flexibility then online courses may be your best option and you can take the courses from the comfort of your own home. Another bonus to attending an online program is that you are able to continue making money working at your current job while taking the steps to improve your life.