If you perform an online search for Online Medical Coding Classes, you'll find hundreds of sites, each of which offer online medical coding classes, and each of which wants you to click on them. This is easily overwhelming.
Besides the sponsored sites (which always show up on the top of the page), there are a few good sites that offer online medical coding classes. But the question remains, how do you figure which ones are the best, and which ones are sub-par?
So how do you find a legitimate online coding class that will teach you everything you need to know, without spending a ton of money?
Our advice? Don't worry. If you know where to look what you're looking for, there are plenty of options. Each offers affordable, legitimate, real-world information.
To avoid spending hours poring over sites claiming to have the best online coding classes, you should first search for medical coding associations.
This will direct you to a number of legitimate associations, each devoted to the education and certification of certified coders and medical billing professionals. Because of this, they'll have online coding courses on their sites.
The most prominent of medical coding associations are the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
These are two legitimate, recognized, and very well-regarded coding associations. Both offer many different types of coding and billing certifications, and each one offers specialized classes designed to help you pass the certification exams.
If you decide to go with either of these associations, you can take their online coding courses. You can buy these courses separately from each other, or you can buy a number of them in a package, along with study guides, practice exams, and the certification exam itself.
You can also take a specified type of coding class to help specialize any skills that you already have.
Furthermore, in order to become a certified coder through either of these bodies, you can become a member of their organization. This involves paying an annual membership fee as well as undertaking continuing education credits to keep your certification once you've passed the test.
Both organizations offer multiple online opportunities for continuing education, in the form of online webinars, seminars, and other online forums. You don't have to be a member of the organization to participate in any of these online courses, so they are also great opportunities for learning about medical coding online.
The amount of money you spend on online medical coding classes depends on the program you choose. It will also depend on whether or not you decide to go all the way and register for the medical coding exam as well.
No matter what you do, taking online medical coding classes is going to be cheaper than actually attending face-to-face classes at a vocational school or technical college.
Be aware, however, that you usually get what you pay for.
If you decide to take inexpensive, fast, and easy online coding classes, then you'll probably be getting a watered-down version of a full education in medical coding.
In other words, if you only spend a couple hundred dollars on a few classes, you will not be getting a good enough medical coding education. It will be a waste of your time.
In order to receive the best coding education you possibly can, you should expect to pay at least $1000. This should be enough to get you into a decent program and to pay for a few good, basic classes. If you decide that you need further classes after that, you should be prepared to pay even more.
If you want to get your certification exam, expect to spend another two to three hundred dollars, as the exams themselves are very expensive. Luckily they usually come with one free retake!
No matter how you look at it, learning medical coding is difficult and time consuming. Be prepared to spend a lot of time learning the basics of medical terminology, anatomy of the human body, and the way the healthcare industry works.
You'll also learn a bit about medical billing in general, but if you are focused on medical coding, this may not be included in all programs.
In order to make sure you have signed up for a complete medical coding education, you should expect to learn medical terminology, diagnosis (ICD-9) coding, procedural (CPT) coding, and supply (HCPCS) coding. You may also learn about the ethical and business standards of the medical industry, as well as how medical offices work and are run.
If the courses you are looking at taking do not include at least a basic education in ICD-9, CPT, and HCPCS coding, they are not worth buying. These are the 3 basic texts of medical coding - without a basic education in them, you haven't received what you paid for!
No matter which online course you ultimately end up taking, remember that taking online classes is difficult. You have to regulate your own time, do the work, and make sure it is done right. If you are prepared to do what it takes to get an online education in medical coding, there are a great number of opportunities out there waiting for you. Good luck!
Once you've found a school, you should become familiar with your course's content; See: what will I learn in my medical coding classes?
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