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How do I get Medical Billing and Coding Training?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 26 May 2018
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There is no one defined path for the person who wants medical billing and coding training. It can certainly be said that there are many schools including community colleges and trade or vocational that offer certificate programs in both of these subjects, often in a single overhead program. Not everyone pursues formal education through one of these programs, but it can be to people’s advantage to do so. There are professional certificates that can be earned in billing and coding, which might be of use to those just starting out in either profession.

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The other option for people who would like to pursue a career in coding or billing is to train on the job. This may be the more difficult of the two paths, since it requires home study of codes from the ICD-9 and ICD-10. This is the International Classification of Diseases, and 10 will debut in 2013. Those training as coders need to know this front to back, and good billers should have extreme familiarity with it too, since they create bills to insurance companies and patients based on the codes it contains and need to be able to spot errors. Billers may also need to be aware of fee schedules for the various insurance companies they bill, and learning how to bill multiple insurance companies may be a chore. Not all doctor’s offices are willing to take on a person to receive billing and coding training, though some doctors or medical facilities might consider offer an unpaid internship.

Typically, it is easier to obtain medical billing and coding training by attending a professional program, and as mentioned there are many types to attend. Students should look to schools that are accredited, and they might want to speak with some of the billing and coding professional agencies, like the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the Medical Association of Billers to see if a training program investigated will meet standards required to take exams; many of these professional associations offer their own medical billing and coding training courses too, but don't necessarily require people take the courses first.

Investigating professional organizations can get a little confusing because there are several of them. They may all administer exams, and one exam isn’t necessarily superior to another. Most organizations are recognized by others in the field, and usually membership or ability to pass exams in one is sufficient for starting off a career.

Aside from understanding code and billing procedure, medical billing and coding training of other types could be needed. This includes training in computer software, especially any that applies these two fields. Those employed in this industry are also best off if they understand office organization, and possess strong written and spoken communication skills. Medical knowledge is useful too, particularly for coders who may have to do lots of investigation before creating diagnostic codes. Classes in business English, speech and medical terms could thus be important.

Medical billing and coding training is certainly not difficult to find, but each program may vary. There are many on campus and online schools that may help complete this training. Some do swear by in office education when they can get it, because it immediately demonstrates exactly what type of a career a person in either of these fields can expect. Yet this is not always possible, and more formal training environments can prepare people to work in these professions quite well.

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