Medical Coding Specialist Training and Diploma Programs

Getting specialist training in medical coding is a viable option if you are interested in working in the healthcare industry. Read on to learn what skills are taught, available degree levels, common courses, and possible careers with this training. Schools offering Insurance Billing & Coding Specialist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Medical Coding Specialist?

As a medical coding specialist, you examine patients' records and charts and code their treatments into the computer. This allows your healthcare office to request the proper amount from insurance companies and other reimbursement agencies, such as Medicare. These codes also allow easier tracking of patient data and allow patient statistics to be gathered.

Skills Learned Examine patients' records and code treatments into system database
Degree Levels Certificate programs, associate's degree programs
Commons Courses Anatomy, coding, computer literacy
Possible Careers Coding specialist in doctors office, hospital, or ambulatory care service.

How Do I Become One?

Many community and technical colleges offer medical coding specialist programs, usually in the form of diplomas or certificate programs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most healthcare information technicians hold an associate's degree (, and some schools offer associate's degree programs in medical coding. Many programs are designed to last one or two years, and some may be offered mostly or completely online.

What Courses Will I Take?

Medical coding specialist programs typically focus on a combination of anatomy and coding courses. You learn to interpret patients' charts in order to code their records correctly. Some programs include computer literacy courses. You may take courses such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pathology, pharmacology and healthcare systems. You might be trained on specific software, and many programs also include an internship at a nearby healthcare facility.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Coding systems are used at virtually every healthcare facility, so you may be able to work in a doctors' office, hospital, ambulatory care services center or a long-term care facility. You may also be able to specialize in an area of healthcare, such as neurology, radiology, cardiology, surgery, pediatrics or mental health.

Many different organizations offer credentialing and certification for medical coding specialists. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) both offer basic certifications. If you specialize, you may be able to earn a certification within that specialty from the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS) or the Board of Medical Specialty Coding and Compliance (BMSC). BMSC also offers advanced certifications for those with more experience.

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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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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