How Long Does It Take To Get Medical Coding Certification

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Start Your Career As A Medical Coder

How Long Does It Take to Get Certified as a Medical Biller

Earning certification lets hospitals and physicians know you understand the latest coding protocols. This ensures they are paid for their services and do not face fines or penalties for incorrect coding. Consider an externship to get hands-on experience. Then, create a resume that highlights your training.

Career Step: 4 Month Medical Billing & Coding Program

Career Steps 4-month medical billing and coding program supplies students with skills-based, interactive content to ready them for careers in the medical field. Boasting a consistently updated curriculum to reflect changes in the industry, youll have access to multiple certifications to enhance career options.

During this online certification prep program, students complete 577 hours of coursework. Course delivery is asynchronous, and you have access to course materials for one year. In addition to extensive certification prep, three main topics foundations of health information management, biomedical terminology, and medical record coding are also covered.

Alongside a consistently updated curriculum, Career Step offers various student support options, including access to one-on-one support with experienced instructors and a 24/7 technical support team through phone, live chat, and email. Youll also have access to career advisors and a mentor program to assist you in securing your first medical billing and coding position.

Certification options available upon completion include certified professional coder, certified outpatient coder, and certified billing and coding specialist. Prospective students must have a high school diploma or GED to enroll.

Top features of this program include:

  • Job Ready in 4 Months

Students tackling this program like a full-time job can complete it in about four months, but you can access course content for up to one year.

  • Student Assistance

Skill Sets From A Medical Billing And Coding Certification

Students who pursue medical billing and coding certification develop many in-demand skills. They can continue improving these skills on the job.

  • 1

    Knowledge of Medical Terminology

    Coders and billers must know common medical terms relating to body systems, injury, and disease. This knowledge helps them match terms with the right software codes. It also helps them communicate with patients, peers, and medical professionals. Many programs require a medical terminology class in the first module or semester.

  • 2

    Computer Literacy

    Medical coders and billers spend much of their day on computers. They must keep up with industry software and the latest best practices. Computer skills help workers troubleshoot problems and recognize incomplete data. Students learn these skills in coding basics classes.

  • 3


    Medical billers apply their bookkeeping skills daily. Bookkeeping involves processing financial information, such as patients’ bills and payments. Workers also use bookkeeping to determine insurance obligations and payouts. Experienced bookkeepers recognize errors affecting their employer or patients. Mastering bookkeeping skills involves paying close attention to facts and figures.

  • 10

    Strong Organization Skills

    Many medical billers and coders work from home. This setting requires strong organization skills. Professionals should create a dedicated workspace and create a digital filing system to keep documents organized.

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    Should I Get A Certificate In Medical Billing And Coding

    These programs teach learners the skills needed to excel in the job, and a certificate demonstrates to employers that students have mastered the field’s fundamentals.

    Although professionals can pursue a career in medical billing and coding without a certificate, earning a certificate offers several key advantages. These programs teach learners the skills needed to excel in the job, and a certificate demonstrates to employers that students have mastered the field’s fundamentals.

    As the BLS projects8% job growth for medical records and health information technicians between 2019 and 2029, graduates can look forward to ample opportunities. Medical billing and coding remains a competitive field, making certificate-holders the most desirable candidates.

    Although program lengths vary, students typically spend 4-15 months earning their medical billing and coding certificates. Learners can also pursue an online certificate in medical billing and coding, which is an especially convenient and flexible option for working professionals.

    What Does A Medical Coder Do

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    Medical coders are analytical in nature. They enjoy turning sometimes complex medical terms into universally recognized codes. After a patient receives care, they analyze their medical chart, converting the services they received, whether an X-ray or a type of treatment, into codes.

    These professionals require a highly specialized skill set. They should also expect to continue their education to stay current on changing codes associated with payer regulations. Earning additional certifications can also lead to career advancements.

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    Phase Two: Exam Component

    Attaining a medical billing certification demonstrates to employers that you can uphold a high standard of competency and professionalism, ensure proper claims documentation, achieve deserved reimbursement, and avoid penalties. Before reaching this milestone, however, youll need to pass a credentialing exam.

    If you choose the CMRS exam, you can obtain a study guide on the American Medical Billing Associations website. Then, you will take the exam online via a secure Learning Management System. Youll have 45 days to access the system to complete the exam. Once you have completed the exam, your final score is available immediately, and confirmation of certification arrives in three to five business days.

    To earn CMBS certification, you must complete one of the following preparation options before the exam: finish a series of six online courses at your own pace, enroll in a condensed ìPower Weekendî course which culminates in taking the certification exam, or test out of taking a preparatory course at a proctor site to become eligible to take the exam. .

    To maintain your medical billing certification, youll need to earn a certain number of continuing education credits per year: 15 units for CMRS and 12 for CMBS. You can fulfill these requirements by attending association-approved conferences, taking approved billing courses, or participating in other approved professional development programs.

    Medical Coding Training And Resources

    Whether you’re a long-time coder who wants to brush up on your skills or a prospective student looking for the educational program that’s just the right fit, you’re not alone. There are plenty of groups, organizations, academies, and career services designed specifically for coders or those hoping to pursue careers in the field.

    • Explore Health Careers Medical Coding

      This is a good place to visit before you make any binding decisions about your education. Here you’ll find information about the different types of career paths and educational options, as well as a wealth of resources regarding the industry itself and what to expect along the way as you begin your journey toward becoming a medical coder.

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    What Is The Difference Between Certification Exams

    Obtaining a CPC, CCA, or CBCS certification implies that an individual has met competencies in the field of medical billing and coding. Certification is invaluable to the students career goals. Students have an opportunity to make confident, informed decisions about the national certification they prefer.

    The Certified Professional Coder exam is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders . It is the gold standard entry-level coding certification for physician, or professional fee, coders.

    The Certified Coding Associate is offered by the American Health Information Management Association . It is an entry-level medical coding certification across all settingsphysician practices and inpatient hospital.

    The Certified Billing and Coding Specialist is offered by the National Healthcareer Association and is currently an entry-level medical billing certification for physician practices. In the summer of 2021, the exam will transition to an entry-level billing and coding certification, with the inclusion of ICD-10-CM, CPT, and HCPCS Level II testing.

    Can I Study Medical Billing And Coding Online

    Prepare for the CPC Exam – Tips to Get Ready for Your Medical Coding Certification

    Yes, medical billing and coding schools and courses are available online. Many programs allow students to explore similar career paths or continue their education in other courses, with a range of affordable and flexible hours.

    For more information about what we offer, check out SJVCs programs and courses.

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    Is There A 4 Week Online Course For Medical Coding And Billing

    Some medical coding and billing courses last just a matter of months, and you can finish a select few within a handful of weeks. But is there a 4-week medical coding and billing course available online, and is it worth your money?

    James Mielke


    James Mielke is a freelance writer currently based in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to higher education topics, other areas of research and writing include food history, cooking, dining, and golf. James has a history degree from Belmont University and is an unapologetic fan of the Grateful Dead.

    Medical billing and coding are two of the fastest-growing careers in allied health. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 7 percent growth in job openings in the field between 2021 and 2031. Whats more, both medical billing and medical coding are fairly quick to enter. Many programs take between four and six months to complete, with students who graduate from an accredited program sitting for the required certification exam. But the question many students are asking today is, Can I earn my milling billing and coding credential even faster?

    Programs that might interest you:

    Online Medical Billing And Coding Course

    Train to be a Certified Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

    Medical billing and coding is one of the fastest growing work-from-home careers in the healthcare field! This 100% online course will prepare you for the Certified Professional Coder exam, offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders . Youll learn how to use the Healthcare Common procedure Coding System and the CPT Category II and ICD-10 codes.

    Job Outlook for Medical Billing and Coding Specialists

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , medical billing and coding specialists earn an average annual salary of $40,350 and work in one of the fastest growing professions.

    The BLS also estimates that at least 27,000 new jobs will be needed in this profession by 2026.

    FAQs About Medical Billing and Coding

    WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MEDICAL BILLER AND A MEDICAL CODER? Medical coders translate patient care into current procedural terminology codes. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that the medical services provided are accurately coded. Medical billers are responsible for creating a claim based on the codes a medical coder provides.

    WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING CAREER?Entry-level positions typically require completion of a certificate or an associate degree program in medical billing and coding. Additionally, medical billing and coding professionals must understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act .

    Course Objectives


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    Types Of Medical Coders

    Medical coders may work in outpatient settings like clinics or doctors’ offices. If you want to work in this setting, you may consider taking the CPC exam. Others focus on outpatient or inpatient coding and work in hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers. These coders may consider earning the certified outpatient coder or the certified inpatient coder certifications.

    Depending on the size of the medical facility or hospital, some medical coders may perform both inpatient and outpatient coding. The certified coding specialist certification can prepare you for this position. Some smaller facilities combine medical billing and coding, with one person performing both roles.

    Rasmussen University: 9 Month Medical Billing & Coding Certificate

    How Long Does It Take to Get Certified as a Medical Biller?

    Established in Minnesota in 1900, Rasmussen University now has 23 in-person campuses and is home to a deep roster of online degrees, diplomas, and certificate programs. Rasmussens medical billing and coding certificate is entirely online, and full-time students can complete the program in just nine months.

    Rasmussen uses virtual labs to keep learners engaged. Through interactive classes with instructors and peers, students tackle virtual labs, practical case studies, and real-world coding and billing situations. You also have access to a seemingly endless list of resources like redacted patient records and simulation activities designed to prepare you for your career in the medical field.

    Keeping up with changes in the industry, the program features coding and billing technology to provide foundational healthcare knowledge applicable to future academic and professional endeavors. Standard courses include coding foundations, health information law and ethics, and medical billing and coding practicum. Credits earned in this diploma track transfer seamlessly to Rasmussens other health-related undergraduate programs.

    Prospective students need a high school diploma or GED for admission. This program is not available to residents of all states, so check with Rasmussens admissions department before enrolling.

    Top features of this program include:

    • Interactive Online Program
    • Student Support
    • Transferrable Credits
    • Transferrable Skills
    • Flexible Delivery

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    Schools For Becoming A Medical Coder

    Whats great about medical coding programs is that many of them are offered via online degrees. Here are some of the best schools to attend if you’d like to obtain your medical coding certification.

    Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University offers an online Associate of Science degree with a specialization in Medical Administrative Billing & Coding. The program length is 6- credit hours, which includes:

    • 24 general education courses
    • 20 medical administrative billing & coding common core courses
    • 16 medical administrative billing & coding courses

    Students will learn about physiology, medical terminology, CPT-4/HCPCS Coding, and Basic ICD-10 Coding, among other topics.

    What Are The Requirements For A Medical Billing And Coding Career

    Entry-level positions typically require completion of a certificate and passing one of the certification exams or an associate degree program in medical billing and coding. Additionally, medical billing and coding professionals must understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act .

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    How Do I Maintain My Medical Billing And Coding Certification

    Certification in medical billing and coding is valid for two years.

    After that, to maintain the certification status, professionals should complete a certain number of continuing education units every two years.

    Each two-year period requires you to complete 36 CEU.

    Different certifications require education in various areas.

    CEUs should come from vendors approved by the AAPC.

    How Long To Do You Need To Go To School To Become A Medical Coder

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    The time it takes to learn medical coding varies depending on the training program used and whether you want to get certified or earn a degree. Billing and coding schools range include from for-profit programs to community colleges and vocational-technical schools. Most employers require certification but it is not required by law.

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    Medical Billing And Coding Program

    If youre detail-oriented and enjoy organizing and categorizing, consider a career as a medical programmer. As a specialist in medical billing and coding, medical procedures and descriptions of injuries and illnesses need to be recorded and converted into numeric or alphanumeric codes.

    Relies on accurate coding for on-time payments and proper patient treatment, especially when diverse professionals are involved. The medical coding and billing program prepares you for this vital role as a medical coder in a doctors office, hospital, or medical treatment centers such as a surgical center or an ambulance.

    Not only will you learn how to code exactly, but youll also become familiar with health information technology and compliance standards. You will also learn about anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and medical terminology that apply to medical coding. After completing the program, you will be entitled to national certification.

    Above all, the need for skilled medical coders continues to grow. Take the first step to a rewarding new career as a programming specialist by enrolling for the Medical Billing and Programming program today. how to use databases, industry software, along various reference materials as you train to take critical responsibility for the quick and accurate collection and reporting of patient information.

    Phase One: Study And Preparation

    To complete stage one of pursuing medical billing certification, you must complete three tasks. They are:

    1. Choose Your Acronym: First, decide on which medical biller certification you want to earn. Then, research how to fulfill the requirements of your chosen credential. Two of the major medical billing certifications are:

    To receive certification through either of these organizations you will need to pass a comprehensive exam. Both exams cover similar subject matter, such as:

    • medical terminology
    • Medicare and private insurance claim processing guidelines
    • handling denials and appeals
    • maintaining regulatory compliance and avoiding accusations of fraud or abuse

    2. Uncover Resources: Once youve decided on your desired certification, seek out relevant resources to help you prepare for the exam. Some students complete self-study with the help of textbooks, while others enroll in online courses or seek the guidance of classroom-based preparatory classes led by trained instructors.

    The average time frame for completing a preparatory course is three to six weeks, though you may find shorter and longer programs. Many online certification courses allow you to study at your own pace, so you determine the amount of time you have available to complete the coursework.

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    Take The First Step Toward Becoming A Medical Coder

    Now that youre more familiar with the path to becoming a medical coder, why wait? Theres no better time than now to join the ranks of the growing medical field and feel the ultimate satisfaction of a career that allows you to help others.

    Learn more about the career and the training ahead by visiting the Rasmussen University Medical Billing and Coding program page.

    1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, . This represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.2Time to completion is dependent on accepted transfer credits and courses completed each .Certified Professional Coder is a registered trademark of American Academy Holdings, LLC. CCA, CCS and RHIT are registered trademarks of American Health Information Management Association, Inc. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. EDITORS NOTE: This article was originally published in 2017. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2022.

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