Ready to start your medical billing and coding career, but unsure how the necessary training will fit into your schedule? Many students who want to get their education while fulfilling job and family responsibilities are turning to online medical billing and coding courses. Online learning continues to grow in popularity, and with an ever-increasing number of schools adding online programs to their offerings, online education is rapidly gaining widespread acceptance among employers as well.
Benefits of Online Medical Billing and Coding Courses
Here are some of the top benefits of studying online:
- Attend class when it's convenient – While most medical billing and coding online courses will map out deadlines for assignment and exam completion, it's up to you to decide how to best fit the course work into your schedule.
- Study wherever you want – As long as you have an Internet connection, you can attend class. Whether you need to take your studies with you while you travel or you simply want curl up on the couch at home, online courses can accommodate these needs.
- Cover the same material as you would in a classroom – No need to worry that you'll be presented with a scaled-down curriculum if you choose to study online—most online classes cover exactly the same material as campus-based classes.
- Enjoy lots of interaction with instructors and peers – Contrary to what you might expect, many students find they actually communicate more with instructors and classmates than they would in a traditional classroom setting. Participating in class discussions via message boards or live chat sessions is often required, and exchanging emails with instructors is a given.
- Choose from a wide variety schools – Many schools offer online courses in medical billing and coding, which means that you will be able to choose the school that seems best for you instead of being stuck choosing between one or two schools that are geographically convenient.
How Online Medical Billing and Coding Courses Work
While the exact format of online medical billing and coding courses may vary somewhat from school to school, most courses will include the following elements:
- Reading, listening to, or viewing lectures – Instructors will either post written lecture materials to the class website, or will provide audio or video lectures that you can listen to or view online.
- Participating in class discussions – You'll communicate regularly with your instructors and fellow classmates via message boards or live chat sessions. In many cases, this is required.
- Completing assignments and exams – Most medical billing and coding online courses will require you to complete several written assignments, which you'll email to your instructor upon completion. Exams might be handled like any other assignment, you might log into your class website to complete tests, or you might take proctored exams at a local library or college campus.
Typical Classes in an Medical Billing and Coding Online Course
Medical billing and coding technicians assign a code to each patient's diagnosis and to any resulting procedures, a process which generally involves sifting through patients' charts to determine the main diagnosis, then researching the appropriate code using diagnostic manuals and specialized computer programs. They then complete the necessary paperwork and file claims with insurance companies.
In order to prepare for these responsibilities, the classes you'll take in an online medical billing and coding course might include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Insurance Claim Procedures/Insurance Law
- International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
- Medical Office Technology and Administration
- Medical Terminology
- Various coding workshops