Accredited Online Medical Billing & Coding Schools & Programs

Explore 20 of the top accredited schools that offer medical billing and coding programs online. Find out what to expect from an online program, how long it will take, and what types of careers you may be qualified for upon graduation. Schools offering Insurance Billing & Coding Specialist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Top Schools with Online Accredited Medical Billing & Coding Programs

When students are looking for an accredited online program in medical billing and coding, there are various factors to consider such as cost, flexibility, program length and degree awarded. Twenty of the top accredited schools with online medical and billing programs are listed below.

1. Herzing University-Minneapolis

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
St. Louis Park, MN $14,000 97%

Herzing University offers several medical billing and coding programs for diplomas and associate's degrees. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers some scholarships to online students in medical billing and coding programs. Students can pursue medical billing and insurance, earning a diploma in 8 months (28 credit hours) or an associate's degree in 20 months (61 credit hours). Students can also pursue a diploma in medical coding (12 months) or an associate's degree in medical coding (20 months). All programs prepare students for the coding associate certification and have a tuition rate of $580 per credit.

2. University of Alaska Fairbanks

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Fairbanks, AK $6,657 84%

University of Alaska Fairbanks is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and has a low tuition rate of $223 per credit for in-state residents. The school has three programs for students interested in medical billing and coding, and these are open to students who are at least 16 years old. The medical coding occupational endorsement program consists of 13 credits and prepares students for coding duties. The medical billing endorsement program consists of 12 credit hours and readies students for various billing and related tasks in medical facilities. Students can also earn a certificate in healthcare reimbursement, which combines medical billing and coding in the 33-credit-hour curriculum, and is structured to allow students who've completed one or both of the endorsement programs to waive many of the required courses.

3. Dakota State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Madison, SD $9,276 95%

The health care coding certificate program at Dakota State University is offered completely online and includes instruction in Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classifications of Diseases (ICD). At the end of the program, students complete a supervised internship, through which they reinforce and demonstrate their developed skillset. The program consists of 30 to 31 credit hours and has a tuition rate of $351 per credit hour. DSU was founded in 1881 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

4. Assumption College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Worcester, MA $40,958 99%

Assumption College is a Catholic college that emphasizes thoughtfulness, intelligence, and compassion. The school is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and offers 7.5-week classes, enabling students to progress through their curriculum more quickly. Students can earn a certificate in medical coding and billing by completing two classes, which include instruction in both ICD-10 and ICD-9 coding systems. All students have a per-credit tuition cost of $424 and practice program skills using medical office software.

5. Drexel University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Philadelphia, PA $53,244 100%

Drexel University has a fully-online medical billing and coding certificate program that is completed through 10-week quarters (4 per year). The program consists of 30 quarter credits (equal to 20 credit hours) and is only offered in a part-time format, taking around 18 months to complete. The program has a tuition rate of $855 per credit hour and prepares students for certification exams such as medical reimbursement specialist, coding associate, coding specialist and outpatient coder. Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers study-abroad opportunities to online students.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Fisher College Boston, MA $31,384 97%
7 Purdue University Global-Mason City Mason City, IA $14,343 N/A
8 University of Northwestern Ohio Lima, OH $11,350 94%
9 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL $20,208 88%
10 Pittsburgh Technical College Oakdale, PA $16,801 96%
11 Great Basin College Elko, NV $3,128 75%
12 Kent State University at Tuscarawas New Philadelphia, OH $5,834 94%
13 Weber State University Ogden, UT $5,859 89%
14 Jackson College Jackson, MI $6,298 87%
15 Montana State University Billings Billings, MT $5,928 87%
16 Peirce College Philadelphia, PA $15,060 100%
17 Midland College Midland, TX $2,670 62%
18 Madison Area Technical College Madison, WI $4,407 61%
19 CUNY Graduate School and University Center New York, NY $6,730 N/A
20 Charter Oak State College New Britain, CT $8,301 N/A

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. Tuition & fees represent the 2018-2019 school year.

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Medical Billing & Coding Programs

Online medical billing and coding programs are offered at several degree levels, and can usually be completed completely online. Students can earn an endorsement, certificate, diploma or associate's degree in medical billing and coding. Many can be completed full-time and part-time, while some may be available as one or the other. Students should consider their time availability and desired program length when reviewing their program choices. Most online medical billing and coding programs are open to students with a high school diploma or an equivalent. Find out more below.

  • Endorsement Programs: These continuing education programs enable students to increase their skills in medical billing and coding without earning a degree. These programs may be completed in one semester, and aren't typically eligible for financial aid.
  • Certificate Programs: Programs can typically be completed in as little as two semesters of full-time study. Students gain foundational knowledge in coding and billing, and obtain a certificate that articulates their knowledge to potential employers.
  • Diploma Programs: These programs usually take around one year of full-time study, and consist of around 30 credit hours. Students who have already earned some college credits may be able to waive some of the required courses and finish even sooner.
  • Associate's Degree Programs: Associate's programs take around two years to complete if students do not have any transfer credits. Students who have earned a diploma with qualifying prerequisites may be able to finish their associate's program in half the time.

Although there are some online medical billing and coding programs that require students to complete an internship, most programs are conducted 100% online. Courses are usually hosted by a third-party website or learning portal. Students can often access most or all of their course resources and content within the learning portal, including discussion forums, emails, video lectures and assignments.

Depending on their program, students may be required to log in at specific times for synchronous course components, such as virtual class lectures or scheduled exams. Most course components are typically offered asynchronously, meaning students can access them at any time of the day. Students who prefer a more flexible course should look for programs with more asynchronous components, and students who learn better through collaboration and discussion may prefer programs with more synchronous elements.

Common Courses

Medical billing and coding programs typically cover a broad subject area that is applicable to billing and coding careers, but don't usually offer focus areas. Many courses that are commonly found in online medical billing and coding programs are listed below.

  • Medical Terminology - In this course, students learn terminology related to various systems of the body and medical practices. Courses will explore suffixes, prefixes, and root words, and may also cover common abbreviations and terms used in healthcare.
  • Medical Coding - This course explores various medical coding systems such as the internal classification of diseases (ICD) and current procedural technology (CPT). Other topics covered may include legal, ethical and medical implications of coding and coding systems in various medical settings.
  • Insurance and Billing - Students explore billing, records management, and health insurance topics as well as healthcare computer programs. Students may practice healthcare tasks and transactions in commonly used programs and learn effective communications strategies.
  • Computer Applications - Students review computer systems and programs, file management and office software in one or more computer applications courses, which may emphasize medical office computer systems and programs.
  • Pathophysiology - This course explores human diseases and their causes, symptoms and diagnoses. Students may learn about topics such as pathogenesis, common disorders, risk factors and the effects of development and aging.
  • Anatomy and Physiology - Students learn about various topics such as the skeletal system, nervous system and muscle system. Courses explore the relationships that systems have with one another and the functions and characteristics of each.

Accreditation for Online Medical Billing & Coding Programs

There are several accrediting organizations that accredit college programs online and on campus, some of which are listed below.

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

School accreditation means that an outside organization has reviewed the school and various school processes and confirmed that it meets specific quality criteria. Schools are monitored periodically by the accrediting bodies to ensure they continue to meet those standards. Earning your degree or award through an accredited school increases your chances of gaining a beneficial education. In addition, financial aid is not available to students pursuing a degree at a non-accredited school.

How to Choose an Online Medical Billing & Coding Program

There are several factors that should be considered when you're reviewing schools for an online medical billing and coding program.

Residency Requirements

One of the first things you should ask each school about would be any applicable residency requirements. Although many programs are entirely online, some programs may require some on-campus components or supervised practice experiences.

Programs Offered

The main deciding factor in your school search might be the specific programs that are offered. While different program levels can prepare you for coding certification exams, you may prefer one over the other. You may be able to earn a higher certification and/or position with an associate's degree than with a diploma, but a diploma program allows you to enter the workforce sooner.

Cost

Online medical billing and coding program costs vary by school, student and degree. Some programs may offer a flat-rate fee that includes all or most of the costs involved in earning a degree, while many schools separate costs into tuition and various other fees. When estimating your program costs, ask each school for a full list of applicable fees.

Flexibility

Another major consideration in choosing a program is flexibility. Depending on your time commitments, you may prefer a full-time or part-time plan of study. Would a fully-asynchronous class fit your schedule best or would you benefit more from a program with some synchronous (scheduled) components? Consider your learning style and time availability, and speak with your academic advisor to see if a program will fit your needs.

Certifications for Medical Billing & Coding Graduates

Although certification isn't always required for medical billing and coding positions, it is preferred by many employers. Individuals can earn certification through several organizations by taking and passing the required exam, and some certifications may require candidates to have graduated from a qualifying postsecondary program.

  • Certified Coding Associate - This certification is available to high school (or equivalent) graduates. It is recommended that exam applicants have completed a program with courses such as medical terminology, anatomy and coding or have qualifying work/educational experience.
  • Certified Coding Specialist - The CCS certification exam is open to candidates with qualifying work experience or educational experience. Those who are pursuing the educational route are required to have completed courses such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology CPT coding. CCAs with at least one year of coding experience are also eligible to apply for CCS certification.
  • Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based - CCS-P certification is for professional coding specialists working in physician's offices and other clinics. To qualify for this certification, candidates should have at least one year of CCA coding experience, other qualifying work experience, or have completed the required prerequisite college courses.
  • Certified Medical Billing Specialist - The CMBS certification from the Medical Association of Billers shows that a candidate can effectively review and code claims. Individuals seeking this certification must be members of MAB (see professional organizations).
  • Certified Medical Records Technician - The CMRT certification is available to MAB members who work in entry-level roles in physician's offices, billing facilities, or insurance companies. This certificate represents basic understanding of medical billing and coding and an interest in learning more.

Career Options for Medical Billing & Coding Graduates

Depending on the type of work that graduates wish to pursue, they may be qualified to pursue several different positions.

Medical Coders

Medical coders help to organize and maintain various healthcare information. They may review patient files, assign codes for procedures and diagnoses, and work with billing departments and healthcare practitioners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the medical records and health information technicians field is expected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, and the median annual salary for all positions was $40,350.

Medical Secretaries

Medical secretaries transcribe and prepare reports, articles and diction for healthcare practitioners and other medical professionals. They may also make hospital arrangements for patients, take patient histories and process payments from insurance companies. Medical secretaries should have familiarity with medical terminology and insurance practices. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for all medical secretaries was $35,760 in 2018, and the field is expected to grow 16% from 2018 to 2028.

Financial Clerks

Financial clerks complete administrative tasks such as maintaining and revising financial reports and records. Billing and posting clerks are responsible for calculating and sending out bills, reviewing hospital records, and contacting customers as needed. Billing and posting clerks in all industries had a median annual salary of $37,800 in 2018, and all financial clerks working in healthcare and social assistance industries had a median annual salary of $37,880, as per the BLS. The organization also expects the billing and posting clerks field to grow 10% from 2018 to 2028.

Professional Organizations for Medical Billing & Coding Graduates

There are several organizations available to medical billing and coding professionals, some of which are discussed below.

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

AHIMA offers several types of memberships such as student, new graduate and group memberships. Members are able to network and collaborate with more than 100,000 other health information professionals. Other benefits include continuing education resources, guidance and up-to-date information and news related to health information practices.

American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

This organization offers certification and educational resources to medical coders working in physician practices. Members have access to training, networking, continuing education and job opportunities. AAPC has more than 190,000 members, and offers standard membership and student membership, as well as memberships for corporations and fellows.

Medical Association of Billers (MAB)

MAB is a professional organization for individuals working in medical billing and coding, and seeks to help members continuously develop and improve their skills and expertise. Members have access to the latest news and information on insurance changes, healthcare regulations, accounts receivable and reimbursement methods, and various other topics.

Healthcare Billing & Management Association (HBMA)

The Healthcare Billing & Management Association provides valuable and vast networking, communication and educational event opportunities. HBMA has over 40,000 members and promotes cooperation, collaboration and personal development. After 3 years of regular individual membership and the completion of required continuing education credits, members can take the Certified Healthcare Business Management Executive (CHBME) exam.

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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