Looking for a career that is both rewarding and in-demand? If so, then you might consider pursuing a career in medical billing and coding. Not only is there a very high demand for medical billing professionals across the country, but the medical billing and coding industry is valued at 3.4 billion dollars and growing.
In order to work in this field, you'll need some formal education--and no two programs are exactly alike. As you explore your options for medical billing school, there are a few things you'll want to look for that will help you make a confident decision.
First and foremost, only consider medical billing schools that are accredited. Otherwise, your degree or certificate may not mean a whole lot when you begin applying for jobs. There are a number of accreditation bodies to look for, ranging from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to the Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Any accredited school should have proof available on their website or by request.
The Right Degree or Certificate
There are a few different options available to those looking to get into the medical coding and billing fields, so make sure the program you choose fits your needs. A medical billing and coding certificate is not an official degree and will take the least amount of time to complete, but will allow you to enter the field. To expand your job prospects, however, you may want to consider an Associate's degree program (which typically takes two years) or a Bachelor's degree program (which is designed to be completed in four years).
A Schedule That Suits Your Life
Medical billing and coding programs are offered online, in-person, and in hybrid form. You'll want to consider which type of schedule will best suit your needs. Some prefer the benefits of a face-to-face classroom experience, whereas others may find that their busy schedule is better accommodated by an online class that allows you to work more at your own pace.
Internships and Practicum Placement
Ideally, the program you end up choosing will assist you in finding internships and finding a placement for your practicum, which will be required as a part of any accredited medical coding and billing program.
With some diligent research and by knowing what to look for, you can ultimately find the medical billing program that's right for you. From there, you'll be one step closer to your new career!