A guide to your options for medical billing and coding training. Do you have to go to school, get a degree, and get a certification to learn how to bill and code...?
You may be interested in pursuing a career in medical billing and coding. But where do you start? If you search for medical billing and coding careers in a typical search engine, your computer might explode with all the possibilities that come up.
Many of these results are websites that don't actually offer an education, degree, or certification in medical billing. Instead they offer to give you links to and further information about possible degree programs and possibilities... as long as you pay them a small fee.
Don't waste your money on these so-called helpful sites! Finding the right information isn't hard, as long as you know where to look.
Looking for ways to learn billing and coding? We recommend the ebooks published by Medical Billing Live.
But first of all, what should you be looking for? If you want a career in medical billing or coding, what do you really need??
Read on to find out...
To start in the medical billing and coding field, most employers require at least a high school diploma or equivalent, but a college degree may be preferred.
This means that although you may get hired with only your high school diploma or GED, your resume won't be as strong as it would be if you had a degree from any kind of post-high school facility.
In other words, yes, you do need some sort of post-high school education. This shows your employer that you're a committed individual, who is serious about medical billing and coding training, and who can follow through with a course of action.
If you're looking at a career in medical billing and coding, your best bet is to get a degree in healthcare administration or medical billing and coding. Depending on the type of job you want, you may also want to look at degrees in biology, anatomy, or human physiology.
The type of degree that you get and the amount of time it takes for you to get it will largely depend on the type of educational program that you choose.
There are many options to choose from, ranging from short, intense online classes, to a four year face-to-face college degree. Some programs will offer full Bachelors degrees, whereas others may offer a medical billing diploma or associate's degree.
There are so many options that it is impossible to list them all here. You may find yourself doing an online search for more medical billing and coding training options.
Ready to find a school already? See our medical billing and coding schools directory.
If you're performing your own searches online, check the website you're looking at to make sure it's a credible information source.
Avoid sites that ask you to pay a finder fee, subscription service, or if they ask for anything other than your contact information. No site should ask for more than your contact details, so they can send you the information you're looking for.
Once you find a program you're interested in, answer these 3 questions:
If all of the answers to these questions satisfy you, then congratulations! You've found the right program for you.
(If not, and you need more help, see our article on choosing the right medical billing and coding school for you).
At this point, you don't really need to worry about the title of the degree or diploma that you'll get. What's important is getting good medical billing and coding training.
What is also important is your certification. This is separate from your formal education, and may help you get paid more if you have one.
While a certification in medical billing or coding may be nice to have, it's not usually a necessary part of getting a job. Because good medical billers are in high demand, and because certifications are hard to get and maintain, they aren't usually a requirement for hire.
That being said, having a certification allows you to demand a significantly higher salary than what you would be getting without one. Your employer may also require you to get certified at some point after you get hired.
But certifications aren't offered by the colleges, universities, or vocational schools that offer medical billing and coding training. There are a small amount of certifying organizations in the medical billing and coding industry, and they're separate from your formal education.
What your formal education will teach you is everything you need to know to pass your certifying exam. Depending on your program, they may also offer assistance in studying and paying for the exam as well.
Click for more information on getting your medical billing or coding certificate, or read about the benefits of becoming a certified medical billing specialist.
Start hunting for the perfect job!!
Once you take and pass your certification exam, you'll be a highly qualified and desirable candidate for hire in the medical billing and coding industry.
You'll also be able to demand a much higher salary than an untrained and non-certified biller or coder with the same amount of experience.
Getting real medical billing and coding training will help you in the long run. It'll show you the ropes, give you a heads up on the competition, and make sure you're trained in the correct medical billing and coding procedures and guidelines.
You'd be surprised how misinformed even the most experienced medical billers are. Getting the right education and certification is the best way to ensure a long, happy, and well paid career in medical billing or coding.
You might not even need certification - read how one of our writers got her medical billing and coding training for free.
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