Associate's Degree in Medical Billing

Knowledge of computers and common medical procedures is necessary for prospective medical billers. Read on for more information about associate degree programs that can help get you started in this career, and also learn about the employment outlook. Schools offering Insurance Billing & Coding Specialist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Medical Billing Associate Degree Programs Are Available?

Many community colleges and technical institutes offer associate degree programs in medical billing and coding, healthcare reimbursement and health information technology. Programs usually take 2-3 years to complete, but some schools offer certificate programs that can allow you to apply credits towards an associate degree program. An associate degree program in medical billing can prepare you for an entry-level job working at a hospital, insurance company or private practice as a medical billing or coding professional. Online options are available at for-profit schools, but non-profit institutions rarely offer online medical billing programs.

Degree Overview 2-3 years completion time, available at community colleges and technical institutes; certificate programs also available
Common Courses Database management, quality control, anatomy and physiology, coding methods
Certification Pass a voluntary certification exam and maintain certification through continuing education
Job Outlook 15% increase between 2014-2024 (for medical records and health information technicians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Once you've enrolled in an associate degree program, you'll take general education courses such as English, biology and math, as well as medical billing and coding courses. You'll need to learn how to use different software programs and understand a variety of medical terminologies, since medical billers are responsible for the digital filing of medical records, financial statements and patient histories. You'll also take classes in database management, anatomy, physiology, coding methods and quality control.

Most programs require students to participate in an externship program that can help you gain experience using medical office technology and interacting with patients. Developing communication skills during the externship is very important, since medical billing professionals must work with healthcare professionals, patients and insurance companies on a daily basis.

How Can I Earn Certification?

After you earn your associate degree in medical billing or coding, you might want to receive certification. Credentialing is usually voluntary, but it can increase your employment prospects, reported the BLS. You can become a Registered Health Information Technician with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) if you've completed an accredited associate degree program in the health information technology field. The AHIMA requires applicants to pass an exam and maintain certification through continuing education.

What Is the Job Forecast?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical records and health information technician positions were projected to rise 15% from 2014-2024, which was much greater than most other job sectors. The increase in job opportunities is due in part to a greater number of advanced medical procedures. The growing need for computerized record keeping has also created a demand for medical records and health information technicians.

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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  • Herzing University

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  • Indiana Wesleyan University

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