Although some campus based institutions still teach medical coding classes in a traditional setting, it is becoming more and more common for this course to be taught online, via a home study course. Not surprisingly therefore, there has been an explosion of online medical billing and coding schools, or online institutions that offer this course as part of their curriculum.
On the surface, all this choice would appear to beneift you, the potential student, but you need to be careful; not all online medical and billing schools are accredited.
What does accredited mean? According to Dictionary.com it means, “officially recognized as meeting the essential requirements, as of academic excellence.” Or in other words, the course conforms to the accepted, recognized standards essential for this particular career.
Why Should You Care That Your Online Medical Billing And Coding Schools Is Accredited?
One word… employment. Your potential employer is going to care. He or she is going to want to feel confident in hiring a qualified professional. If you have received your certification from a school that does not conform to the “accepted, recognized” standards, how does your potential employer know you can do your job?
The truth is, she does not.
And if you make the mistake of not ensuring the school you choose is properly accredited, you run the risk of obtaining a worthless degree. This means the money, time and hard work you invested will all got to waste.
And, should you be lucky enough to have obtained a job on the basis of that worthless degree, you run the risk of losing it, should your employer discover the truth.
Determining If Your Chosen Institution Is Accredited
So how can you tell if the online institution you are considering is accredited?
The first step is usually to check out the institution’s web site. Since accreditation is important, most schools will make this informaton accessible. If it is not, you might want to ask yourself why that is the case. Why would they hide this information?
The most common accreditation is provided by the American Academy of Professional Coders, or the AAPC.
However, even if the online school you are looking into appears to be certified, you need to verify this information. There are tons of scams online, and it’s not unheard of for an online school to display a seal of accreditation when it is in fact not accredited.
So you need to double check.
Do this by searching through the Department of Education. They have an intensive listing of accredited programs and institutions. You can also use the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s database.
If this doesn’t answer the question, contact the school directly and demand to see proof of official accreditation. If they can’t provide it, or something just doesn’t feel right, it’s time to move on. After all, there are plenty of reputable online medical billing and coding schools to choose from.