It’s always a good idea to get a little extra cover whether it’s about healthcare or health scares. While doctors are possibly the most important part of that process, medical coders are a crucial counterpart.
You need the doctor to tell you what is wrong and how to fix it. But you also need someone to document those proceedings so that if you change doctors or need medical attention while you’re traveling or in a new place, the doctor needs to see your medical history. That’s done by medical coders.
They take the doctor’s diagnosis, record the tests and their results, convert them into universal medical alphanumeric codes and save them in the form of transcripts. This is an easy way for all medical professionals to keep track of your history. Coders also keep track of your visits and tests to create claims for insurance carriers.
That’s a pretty incredible job and something healthcare professionals will always need. And if you’re thinking about taking a course on the subject, you’ve come to the right place. Let's see what the best medical coder courses are.
Best Medical Coder Courses
Getting a medical certification, possibly from the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) is the best way to start the process. And for that, you need to pass their Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam. So how do you learn what you need to know? Below are the best medical coder courses that will help you learn.
University of Alaska—Fairbanks
This university has seven physical campuses but also has a host of online courses. The UAF, as it is referred to, offers access to over 175 degrees and certificate programs to more than 8,500 students across the globe.
It was founded in 1917 and started off as an agricultural college. The online programs range from bookkeeping to medical coding and billing. You will need 13 credits to finish the online medical coding course. You will learn about computer business applications and medical terminology with an emphasis on medical coding methods and human diseases. The course will prepare you to work in medical offices, hospitals, clinics and similar work environments. You will gain analytical skills with respect to record keeping and also have expertise in the medical reimbursement procedure.
You need to have a high school diploma and must be at least 16 years old to apply.
Charter Oak State College
This is a professional course for the students who want a certificate in medical coding. Once you finish the course, you will be able to efficiently collect and manage patient information. You will know all about the codes for diagnosis and various medical procedures. This will help in billing and reimbursement claims too.
You will be proficient in using medical coding software. You can analyze patient health records and communicate with physicians for clarification and interpretation of the information. You will also be able to identify ethical, legal and other compliance issues related to coding and reimbursement which is an added benefit.
Northwest Technical College
This is a specialist program for students who are looking to learn the procedures related to billing, account management, diagnosis, coding and processing medical insurance claims. The course aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of medical terminology, human anatomy and disease conditions as the college considers this information to be vital for all professionals in the field.
The coding itself is useful when handling different types of insurance claims. Plans like Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE will be examined. You will also understand the packages and disability coverage provided by third-party payers.
Cowley County Community College
The Cowley County Community College has a highly recommended online program that will help you learn at your own pace. You can choose a program that provides you with vocational training and a certificate in the end or with an Associate of Applied Science or AAS degree.
The instructors of both these types of programs have been in the field for decades and can help with job recommendations and general advice. There are limited scholarships for the residents of Kansas. Those applying for a bachelor’s program should know that all credits from Cowley can be transferred to Southwestern college.
This is one of the best billing and coding programs in the US. You can take it in person or online. But to enroll for it, you need to have 40-60 hours of practical experience. When you complete it, you will be ready for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam that is conducted by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
You will have the opportunity to participate in the Virtual Lab by the American Health Information Management Association. Here, you will gain exposure to the world of coding for reimbursement and research. You will also learn about the standards and regulations in terms of healthcare.
Here too, you can opt for an Associate of Applied Science or AAS degree in Health Information Technology.
Minnesota West Community & Technical College
The Medical Coding Specialist course offered by the Minnesota West Community and Technical College lets you work closely with healthcare professionals in the field. You will be better equipped to understand the coding and diagnosis as it is in the real world. You will base your understanding on actual medical records. You will be taught how to analyze them for completion of documentation processes and how to then work with insurance companies to figure out reimbursement procedures.
You will have to earn 34 credits to finish the one-year-long course. It is an added benefit if you already have knowledge of word processing, working on spreadsheets and databases along with document integration and how to work on graphics. To be able to handle telecommunications and the internet are also recommended skills in this field. The college recommends getting this degree along with the Healthcare Administrative Assistant, Diploma or AAS.
Wrapping Up: Medical Coding
Medical coding courses are very useful for those who are already in the field. But they’re also a pretty good entry point into the field itself. Whether you want to get into the medical coding field or are aiming to take the MCAT or become an EMT, knowledge of medical coding can be beneficial. And in times like these, when the world faces a pandemic, a few extra hands can be of great use.
You could pick any of these best medical coding courses, which are available for different levels of students, to get started and perhaps do your bit.