Schools for Certified Coders

A certified coder is a medical health information technician. Read about finding a school for your medical coding training, and explore what you'd learn in a certificate program in this field. Check the requirements for becoming certified as a medical coder, and learn what certification options you could pursue. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Interested students who want to learn about medical coding can do so through various certificate programs. Through these programs, students can earn appropriate certifications. Associate's degrees are also an option.

How Do I Become a Certified Coder?

You can become a coder by completing one of a number of educational programs leading to a certificate in medical coding. Though certification is not legally required, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most employers prefer to hire certified coders. After you receive your educational certificate as a coder, you can become a certified coder by passing a certification examination administered by a professional organization.

Organizations offering certifications include the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS) and the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC).

What Certifications Are Available to Me?

The AAPC administers examinations that can lead to several credentials, including the Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H), Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P) and the Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder (CIRCC). You can also earn specialized credentials in areas such as cardiology, dermatology, pediatrics, urology or family practice.

The AHIMA administers examinations that can lead to a credential as a Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or Certified Coding Specialist - Physician-based (CCS-P). Specialty certification is also available through PAHCS and BMSC.

All credentialing agencies have requirements related to education and work experience that must be met before taking one of their examinations. All certifications are valid for a specific length of time and may be renewed upon the completion of a number of continuing education units.

How Can I Find an Appropriate School?

The National Center for Education Statistics' online database lists over 500 schools that may offer you programs dealing with medical insurance coding. In addition, both the AAPC and AHIMA websites contain searchable databases that list schools with programs that have met their standards of professionalism for medical coding certificates. You can find programs offered through community colleges or technical schools, or you can find them through universities' departments of technology, science or allied health.

Which Schools Offer Certificates for Certified Coders?

There are plenty of options for certificate programs in this field of study. Choose one that suits you best; these are just are few to consider.

  • St. Petersburg College offers a Medical Coder certificate program.
  • Pace University offers a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate program.
  • The University of South Alabama offers a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate program.

What Does a Program Entail?

The length of time it can take you to complete a program and the number of credits required can differ a great deal between schools. Programs commonly last 10-26 weeks, and they can consist of as few as 1-3 courses. You'll learn the use of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes, insurance forms, claims procedures and third-party reimbursement. You'll also look at medical terminology, office computers and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), health law and medical ethics. Some longer programs include courses in English composition, oral communication, human diseases and pharmacology.

Schools generally advise you that completion of their certificate program may at least partially qualify you to sit for a specific certification examination. Schools often allow you to apply the credits earned in the program toward an associate's degree in health information technology or management.

Which Schools Offer Associate's Degrees for Certified Coders?

Entering into an associate's degree program is possible for potential certified coders. Pathways include medical administrative billing and coding specialist.

  • Florida Technical College offers an Associate of Science degree program in medical billing and coding specialist.
  • Lone Star College offers a Health Information Technology Associate of Applied Science degree program.
  • Keiser University offers an Associate of Science degree program in medical administrative billing and coding.

Students can learn about coding via certificate and associate's degree programs. Various certifications will be covered through these programs.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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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