According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for qualified health information management and technology workers is on the rise. That’s why we’ve created this list of the best online medical billing and coding schools in 2017.
By 2024, the job market in this field is expected to rise by as much as 15%, which is much faster than the national average. The median pay in this field is $17.84 an hour, and the median annual salary is $37,110. Individuals in this field are important to medical companies because of their ability to review medical documents and translate them into standardized codes in order to bill patients and reimburse insurance companies.
To earn a job in this rising industry, it is required to earn either a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree in a medical coding and billing program. Many schools across the country offer these programs online, making it possible to get the education to start a new career while at home.
Here are the Best Online Medical Billing and Coding Schools in 2017
1. Davenport University
Davenport University focuses on developing their students and giving them the knowledge and skills necessary to take the CPC exam for certification and earn an entry-level position in the field of medical billing and coding. The course takes 80 credits to complete, the amount required by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has a solid curriculum to ensure students are prepared to get a job after they earn their degree. Their course curriculum will help students to understand the importance of coding, explain and determine levels of E/M services, and understand and explain the official ICD-10-CM coding principles.
Davenport students are able to work with the latest technology and software designed for accessing, managing, and storing medical records and healthcare information. A unique aspect of Davenport is that it allows its students to participate in the Health Information Technology program at any of their campus locations as a complement to their online studies. However, Davenport’s medical billing and coding program can be completed entirely online.
- Tuition Per Credit: $450-$707
2. Moraine Park Technical College
One of the best and one of the oldest medical coding and billing schools online is Moraine Park. The school has been around for more than 100 years and over 90% of their students find a job in the field within six months of graduation, which is something they take pride in. Many of its students are also active in the military, and the school was an early adopter of distance learning technologies, providing online classes for over two decades.The university allows for students to earn their Medical Coding Specialist Technical Diploma completely online and in less than a year. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to review medical documents and translate them into codes and be prepared to take the Clinical Coding Associate (CCA) and Clinical Coding Specialist (CCS) assessment tests in order to receive national credentials. The curriculum at Moraine Park includes classes on health records, human diseases, human anatomy, and health data management.
The university allows for students to earn their Medical Coding Specialist Technical Diploma completely online and in less than a year. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to review medical documents and translate them into codes and be prepared to take the Clinical Coding Associate (CCA) and Clinical Coding Specialist (CCS) assessment tests in order to receive national credentials. The curriculum at Moraine Park includes classes on health records, human diseases, human anatomy, and health data management.
- Tuition Per Credit: $130-$372
3. Ultimate Medical Academy
The Ultimate Medical Academy offers online options for both diploma programs as well as an associate degree in medical billing and coding. Diploma programs run between 42 to 52 weeks while the associate degree runs for 74 weeks. UMA is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools and is also a member of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, as well as the National Healthcare Association. The curriculum at UMA includes classes on accounting, anatomy and disease, billing and coding, and interpersonal professional communications.
- Tuition Per Credit: about $680
4. Minnesota West Community and Technical College
In just a year, a student can earn a Medical Coding Specialist diploma completely online from MWCTC. The program is 34 credits and broken up into 3 semesters. Students take 12 credits the first semester, 15 credits the second semester, and 7 credits the third semester. MWCTC recommends that students have prior experience or knowledge of the basic elements of word processing, spreadsheets, database and document integration, telecommunications and the internet. Their curriculum includes classes on medical insurance and reimbursement, microcomputers, disease conditions, and coding.
Even though it’s recommended for students to have prior knowledge of spreadsheets, databases, and word processing software, there are options for students that have difficulties in these areas. For example, there are program courses such as “Introduction to Microcomputers” which can help them learn these skills quickly and efficiently. MWCTC also offers a free, non-credit course called “Intro to Online Learning” to help students get acquainted with the online learning system and see if it’s the right fit. The college is also designated as a “military friendly school.”
- Tuition Per Credit: $184.03
5. Northwest Technical College
Founded in the 1960’s with only a carpentry and automotive mechanics program, Northwest Technical College has grown to offer 32 fields of study in seven different career paths. The college offers three different options for earning an education in medical coding. They offer a medical coding certificate which can be completed in 26 credits, a medical coding diploma which can be completed in 42 credits, and a medical coding Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree in 60 credits. Regardless of which track a student completes, all three options are comprehensive programs that cover topics such as diagnosis and procedural coding and patient account management.
The degree program requires students to complete an internship, which gives students practical experience before starting their careers. The college is also partnered with Bemidji State University and provides on-campus with a true college experience such as health services, dining and fitness facilities, and on-campus housing. Before enrollment, students must take an Accuplacer assessment to determine if the student must take additional math or writing courses.
- Tuition Per Credit: $206-$304
6. Alexandria Technical and Community College
In just 5 semesters, a student can earn their diploma in medical coding at Alexandria Technical and Community College, including an internship. As part of the program, they offer classes on human anatomy and medical reimbursement, as well as job seeking/keeping skills. The program is comprised of 45 credits total. The first year, students learn foundational knowledge and skills, including entry-level coursework in pharmacology, medical reception, pathology, and anatomy and physiology. Second-year students learn about CPT, ICD coding, medical law and ethics, and other specialized areas of the job. At the end of the program, students are required to complete a two-credit internship, which usually happens in the summer semester. Besides the internship course, every other part of the program is available completely online. They offer a $200 scholarship to students who keep a 3.0 GPA or higher.
- Tuition Per Credit: $199
7. Dakota College at Bottineau
As one of the best medical coding and billing schools online, Dakota College at Bottineau gives students the opportunity to finish the medical and coding program in just one year. Each course lasts about 8 weeks and can be completed entirely online. However, students should check the authorization status of the state they live in because the university is unable to offer online courses in 14 states.
- Tuition Per Credit: $144.54
8. Drexel University
The Medical Billing and Coding Certificate at Drexel University is only 6 classes long and can be taken in less than a year completely online. Because of this, the program is only a part-time program. The purpose of the program is to prepare students to take three different credentialing exams, which are the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS), and the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exams.
- Tuition Per Credit: $1,116
9. Weber State University
Weber State University offers a certificate in Healthcare Coding & Classification that can be earned online. The program is completed in 27 credits and students are required to earn a grade of “C” or higher. When the program is completed and the certificate is earned, students will be prepared to take the Certified Coding Association (CCA) credentialing exam.
- Tuition Per Credit: about $200
10. Cowley County Community College
An associate of applied science degree in medical coding is just one of the many accredited online programs Cowley County Community College offers. As a vocational community college, Cowley prepares its students for entry-level positions in medical facilities, such as in public health departments and outpatient care centers.
The college’s medical coding program provides students with real-world coding experience by using the same electronic mediums used in the field, making it easier for students to transition into their careers once they graduate. Unlike other medical billing and coding programs, CCCC has instructors that, in addition to boasting three decades of work experience, are available for career consultations even after the students graduate.
Students are required to complete 65 credit hours and complete a coding practicum in addition to a coding exam prep course. Full-time students can expect to finish in four semesters.
- Tuition per credit: $267-$579