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MEDICAL CODING & BILLING SCHOOL IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Health Information Technology
Associate of Applied Science (AAS)




CAHIIM Accredited
100% Online Programs
Qualify for RHIT & RHIA Certification

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MEDICAL CODING & BILLING SCHOOLS

Herzing University
Insurance Billing and Coding Diploma
Insurance Billing and Coding AS
Health Information Management AS

Kaplan University
Health Information Technology AAS
Healthcare Administration BS

Ultimate Medical Academy
Health Information Technology AS
Medical Billing & Coding Diploma
Medical Billing & Coding AS

PROGRAMS DIRECTORY
Health Administration
Health Information Technology
Medical Assisting
Medical Coding & Administration

CAREER OVERVIEWS
CCA
CCS
Medical Billing and Coding
Medical Transcription
Health Informatics
Health Information Management
RHIA
RHIT

CAREER PROFILE
Health Information Certification
Health Information Management
Medical Coding

Medical Records / Health Information Technician Interview

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Medical Billing and Coding
Medical Assisting
Medical Office Administration
Medical Transcription
Nursing
Nutrition Science
Occupational Therapy
Patient Safety
Pharmacy Technician
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Public Health
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American Sentinel University
Grand Canyon University
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Rasmussen College
Ultimate Medical Academy
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AHIMA's CCA Certification Requirements

CCS exam candidates must have earned a high school diploma from a United States high school or have an equivalent educational background.

Although not required, it is strongly recommended that candidates have at least three years of on-the-job experience in:

  • Hospital-based inpatient coding for multiple case types (for example, circulatory, pregnancy, neoplasms, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, respiratory, and endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases, and immunity disorders)
  • Hospital-based Ambulatory/Outpatient Care coding for multiple case types (for example, eye, musculoskeletal, integumentary, ENT, injury and poisoning, cardiac catheter, interventional radiology, and pain management)
  • AND
  • Completed coursework in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, or demonstrated proficiency in these areas
Source: AHIMA 2011
AHIMA's CCS-P Certification Requirements

CCS-P exam candidates must have earned a high school diploma from a United States high school or have an equivalent educational background.

Although not required, it is strongly recommended that candidates have at least three years of on-the-job experience in:

  • Coding for physician services in multiple settings (for example, hospital, emergency room, operating room, and physician office or clinic) utilizing codes in the E/M, surgery, medicine and/or anesthesia, radiology and laboratory chapters of CPT and HCPCS II
  • AND
  • Completed coursework in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, or demonstrated proficiency in these areas
Source: AHIMA 2011
Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist
Diploma & Associate Degree




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AHIMA's Coding Specialist Certifications


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About Accreditation: Currently, there is no industry wide accepted accreditation for medical coding programs. Although AHIMA offers a small list of AHIMA approved coding programs (40 in the nation), many schools and institutions offer quality medical coding education and training, so their graduate are well prepared to sit for coding certifications through AAPC or AHIMA and to pursue careers as coding professionals.
Medical Coding, Medical Billing
Accredited online and campus based schools that offer medical billing and medical coding training and education.

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS, CCS-P)
Medical Coders and Coding Technicians

Alert: ICD-10 Transition
On October 1, 2014, the ICD-9 code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures will be replaced by ICD-10 code sets. The transition to ICD-10 is required for everyone covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA). The change to ICD-10 does not affect CPT coding for outpatient procedures and physician services.


Pathways to HIM Careers
(provided by AHIMA)

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS, CCS-P)

A Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) is a medical coding
professional who is highly skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in a hospital setting. The CCS-P credential is for an equivalent coding practitioner who specializes in physician-based settings, such as physician offices, group practices, multi-specialty clinics, or specialty centers. CCS and CCS-P coders review patients' records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure. They possess expertise in the ICD-9-CM and CPT coding systems and are knowledgeable about medical terminology, disease processes, and pharmacology. Certified Coding Specialists work in wide variety of facilities and institutions, such as hospitals, medical providers, research institutions, and public health agencies.

Importance of CCS and CCS-P Certifications

Most employers value CCS/CCS-P certification when looking at job candidates. Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, certification has become an implicit industry standard. Accordingly, the CCS/CCS-P credentials demonstrate a practitioner's tested data quality and integrity skills, and mastery of coding proficiency. The CCS/CCS-P credentials can provide a competitive advantage when seeking a new job, career advancement, and salary increase. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this certification. To pursue this certification, one should have at least three years of professional coding experience. AHIMA's Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) oversees testing and certification.

RHIT vs CCS Certification

Both the RHIT and CCS/CCS-P certifications are offered by AHIMA. The CCS certification shows that you are a master of medical coding. The RHIT certification will enable you to move beyond coding and into other health information jobs. For those struggling to decide on which of the two certifications to pursue first, educators, coding professionals, and AHIMA strongly recommend that candidates pursue the RHIT certification first. By completing a CAHIIM accredited HIT program, candidates will be eligible to sit for the RHIT exam. However, to sit for the more demanding CCS exam, candidates should have extensive coding knowledge and atleast three years of on-the-job experience.

Getting the CCS or CCS-P Certification

The CCS or CCS-P credential is not for entry level coders. Candidates must pass a national examination to earn the CCS or CCS-P credential. Although there is no education requirement other than a high school diploma or equivalent, these professionals have typically completed a coding education program and mastered coding through on-the-job experience. AHIMA strongly recommends completing at least three years of experience prior to sitting for the credentialing exam.

AHIMA's CCS Certification Requirements
AHIMA's CCS-P Certification Requirements

Medical Coding Career Advancement and Salary Potential

Medical Coding provides opportunities for career advancement and increased salary potential. Coders can advance and broaden their careers by meeting additional education, experience, and certification requirements.
>> Read Guide on Certification (pdf)

Average Medical Coder Salaries by Credential

Coding Credential Average Salary
CCA $40,196
RHIT $54,880
CCS-P $60,084
CCS $60,919
Based on 2010 AHIMA Salary Survey

Medical Coding Career Outlook

The future for skilled medical coders is excellent. There are two major economic forces that cannot be ignored that will push the need for medical care -- the ARRA stimulus plan passed by Congress in 2009 is pushing the healthcare industry to become more data driven and the growing senior population in the US will require more healthcare services. Both will fuel the increase in demand for qualified professional medical coders. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in medical records and health information to increase by 21% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

>> ICD-10 Transition in 2014 Fact Sheet (pdf)

About Accreditation and Certifications: AHIMA and AAPC are the leading credentialing bodies for the medical coding industry. AHIMA also awards credentials for health information management professionals. AAPC offers their own coding courses and does not accredit coding programs outside of their organization. AHIMA offers a small list of AHIMA approved coding programs (approximately 40 in the nation). CAHIIM is the accrediting body of AHIMA for undergraduate and graduate level health information programs. While relatively few medical coding programs are officially AHIMA accredited, many schools and institutions offer quality medical coding education and training that prepare students to sit for certification exams and start their medical coding careers.

Online Schools offering Medical Coding, Medical Billing

Kaplan University Online

Health Information Technology
Associate of Applied Science

CAHIIM Accredited
Qualify for AHIMA's RHIT Certification
Kaplan Commitment Program: Tuition-Free 3-Week Trial*

The CAHIIM accredited Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology program blends online coursework with on-ground clinical experiences. The objective of this degree program is to help prepare graduates with the knowledge, technical skills, and work habits required to pursue entry-level positions in the competitive and growing health information management field. Graduates of this program will be eligible to sit for AHIMA's RHIT Certification exam.

Kaplan University also offers:

*Kaplan University is committed to providing quality education and serving your goals. With the Kaplan Commitment, students can enroll and attend classes for the first 3 weeks with no financial obligation beyond the application fee. Kaplan Commitment is available to new students, online or on campus.

Herzing University Online

Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist
Diploma

Complete in Just 12 Months
Prepare for AHIMA Coding Certifications

This diploma program is the first step in launching your career in medical billing and coding. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions as medical billing specialists, medical coders, and insurance claims analysts. The goal of this diploma program is to provide the student with a thorough understanding of the content of the medical record as well as extensive training in anatomy, physiology, disease processes, and medical terminology. This program will provide the student with the knowledge and understanding to analyze medical records and assign codes to classify diagnoses and procedures while applying the principles of professional and ethical conduct. The program will prepare the student for an entry-level position as a medical coder in a hospital, clinic, physician’s office, or other healthcare facility. This program is designed to prepare students for the following AHIMA certifications: CCA Certified Coding Associate, CCS Certified Coding Specialist, CCS-P Certified Coding Professional (physician-based).

Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist
Associate of Science

Complete in Less than 2 Years
Prepare for AHIMA Coding Certifications

This Associate level program offers the curriculum from the diploma program and adds the general education classes needed for an associate degree. This provides more career flexibility and better chances for advancement. The goal of this program is to provide the student with a thorough understanding of the content of the medical record as well as extensive training in anatomy, physiology, the disease processes, and medical terminology. This program will provide the student with the knowledge and understanding to analyze medical records and assign codes to classify diagnoses and procedures while applying the principles of professional and ethical conduct. The program will prepare the student for an entry-level position as a medical coder in a hospital, clinic, physician’s office, or other healthcare facility. This program is designed to prepare students for the following AHIMA certifications: CCA Certified Coding Associate, CCS Certified Coding Specialist, CCS-P Certified Coding Professional (physician-based).

Herzing University also offers:
Ultimate Medical Academy Online

Medical Billing and Coding
Diploma

Complete in Just 10 Months
Prepare to Sit for AAPC's CPC Certification Exam

The UMA Diploma program can be completed in less than 10 months and offers the core courses necessary for individuals seeking successful entry into the growing healthcare field. At 39 semester credits, the education and training focus is primarily on how to process healthcare claims, medical records, and the accurate coding of medical and surgical procedures using proper terminology. In addition, students will learn software systems used in the field.

Potential entry-level job position titles for Diploma graduates include Medical Billing Specialist, Medical Coder and Insurance Claims Analyst or other positions in private practices and healthcare providers or facilities. Students also prepare to take the Certified Professional Coding (CPC) exam offered through the American Academy of Professional Coding (AAPC).

Medical Billing and Coding
Associate of Science

Complete in Just 18 Months
Prepare to Sit for AAPC's CPC Certification Exam

The Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding degree program builds on the core courses of our Medical Billing and Coding diploma training program, adding further instruction in business, communication and healthcare to round out the career-focused curriculum. UMA’s associate degree program provides a comprehensive education that can prepare you to:

  • Process healthcare claims and medical records
  • Accurately code medical and surgical procedures using proper terminology
  • Understand the fundamentals of coding accuracy and their effect on cash flow
  • Apply financial and medical practice management skills
  • Use medical billing and coding software
  • Demonstrate ICD-9 diagnosis and coding procedures
  • Develop effective professional communication and time management skills

UMA’s Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding graduates may apply for entry-level positions as a medical billing specialist, medical coder or insurance claims analyst. Holding an associate degree may provide an advantage when applying for jobs and seeking future promotional opportunities in the field. Students also prepare to take the Certified Professional Coding (CPC) exam offered through the American Academy of Professional Coding (AAPC).

Health Information Technology
Associate of Science

Complete in Just 18 Months

Ultimate Medical Academy's online Associate of Science in Health Information Technology prepares you to use computer hardware and software for the collection, analysis and maintenance of digital patient information. Electronic health records (EHR) allow patient information to be easily and securely shared among various healthcare facilities. Health information technology professionals work closely with Health Information Management (HIM) and Information Technology (IT) departments to ensure EHR quality. They document how information will flow between departments and are concerned about the privacy and security of patient data.

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