Medical Billing Associate Degree Program

Medical billing specialists work on the administrative side of the healthcare industry and handle patient billing and insurance claims. Learn about associate's degree programs in medical billing and coding, and find out if these programs are available online. Get information on salary potential and employment prospects after graduation. Schools offering Insurance Billing & Coding Specialist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Find in a Program?

Medical billing programs may last for 12-24 months and often lead to an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Billing and Coding. In most programs, you'll take courses in medical terminology, anatomy, medical office procedures, medical insurance, electronic health records, CPT/HCPS coding and ICD coding. Some associate's programs in health information technology or health administration include a billing and coding emphasis. An externship at a school-approved healthcare facility is often required.

Certification Options ANIMA certification
Common Courses Anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, office procedures, insurance, medical coding
Online Availability Online programs available
Career Outlook 15% growth (2014-2024)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why Do I Need an Associate's Degree in Medical Billing?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most billing and coding specialists - also known as health information technicians - have an associate's degree. To find a relevant program, you can search the online school directories maintained by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, as well as the National Center for Education Statistics.

The BLS also notes that employers usually prefer to hire coding specialists who are certified. A few different organizations offer certification, including the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). However, you'll need to complete an associate's program before you can sit for AHIMA's Registered Health Information Technician certification exam.

Is Online Learning an Option?

Some schools offer programs in a distance learning format. As an online student, you'll use a Web-based course management system to view lectures, submit assignments and interact with classmates or professors. You'll need a computer with high-speed Internet access in order to participate. A few of these programs may require completion of an externship at an approved facility in your area.

What's My Job Outlook?

The BLS projected that employment opportunities for medical records and health information technicians would increase by 15% from 2014-2024. Job growth in this field may be due to an increase in the number of medical tests, procedures and treatments being developed. As of May 2014, the median salary for medical records and health technicians was $35,900.

An associate's degree in medical billing may also lead to work as a medical assistant. Some of these professionals have billing and coding responsibilities, in addition to other clerical duties, like bookkeeping or scheduling appointments. The median salary for medical assistants was $29,960 as of May 2014, notes the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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