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Online Medical Billing & Coding Degrees

Medical billers and coders help translate complex procedures and diagnoses into accurate records and bills, relying on their knowledge of body systems and medical terminology. Professionals in this field play an important role in health care, generally without taking part in patient care. An online medical billing and coding degree can help you join the ranks of these administrative specialists.

Billers and coders study health care laws and insurance billing procedures in order to protect patient confidentiality and ensure spotless records. Specializations in the field include reimbursement, cancer registry and insurance coding.

Medical billing and coding: education and training

An online medical billing and coding degree or certificate can help you enter this technology-centered career, and an associate degree is the most common path toward entry-level jobs. Training may cover document management tools and classification software like American Medical Association CodeManager, as well as physiology, pharmacology, and health care law and ethics.

Employers may prefer to hire credentialed medical records technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so you can ask if training prepares you to sit for certification exams. Medical billers and coders may go on to earn a bachelor's or master's degree and move into health information management positions.

Career outlook and salary

Medical records and health information technicians earned a mean annual wage of $35,010 in 2010, and the BLS reports the top levels of employment in the following industries:

  1. General medical and surgical hospitals
  2. Offices of physicians
  3. Nursing care facilities
  4. Outpatient care centers
  5. Federal executive branch

In 2010, the Department of Labor projected a bright outlook for health information technicians, including coders, with new job openings between 2008 and 2018.

What's affecting the field of medical billing and coding?

The days of handwritten patient invoices are numbered, as U.S. law mandates a move to electronic health records, with rules for the secure, confidential exchange of health information. Projected job growth for medical billers and coders reflects an increasing number of medical tests and procedures, along with more sophisticated record-keeping. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, also expands demand for skilled records technicians to keep hospitals and physicians' offices up to date.

Medical Billing & Coding Schools

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