Best Online Medical Coding Training Programs: Guide to Online Courses for 2023

Prior to the onset of the COVID–19 pandemic, the healthcare industry was already witnessing gradual growth in the number of jobs being offered, particularly administrative ones (Thompson, 2018). This trend is expected to continue, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) forecasting an 8% rise in medical secretaries, medical billing and coding specialists, and other related fields from 2019 to 2029. It is thus understandable that online certificate and associate programs in fields such as medical billing and coding and health informatics have been increasing in popularity in recent years.\s\sEnrolling in an associate degree or certificate program in medical billing and coding can help individuals gain the skills needed to work in the healthcare industry. 

Through these programs, students can learn how to manage medical records, apply codes, submit invoices and assist with other business tasks. Upon completion of one of these programs, individuals can pursue a career as a medical billing and coding specialist, transcriptionist, or medical assistant.\s\sFor those considering taking an online course, this guide provides a list of accredited medical coding programs and other useful information to consider before enrolling. By researching the best online programs in terms of quality and affordability, individuals can make sure they select the program that best meets their needs

Is an online associate’s degree as good as a regular degree?

Companies treat associate degree programs completed online just as seriously as those completed on-campus. Employers don’t care whether candidates obtained their degrees on-campus or online. In fact, 71% of businesses have employed a candidate with an online degree in the last year (Northeastern University, 2019).

While online degree programs help non-traditional populations who are unable to enroll in traditional face-to-face degree programs to fill their growing demand for higher education, the study “Online Degree Stigma and Stereotypes: A New Instrument and Implications for Diversity in Higher Education” found that negative stereotypes about online programs are still pervasive. These stigmatizing experiences may also serve as psychological impediments to online degree holders’ academic success, employment, and career advancement (Kizilcec et al., 2019).

The study also emphasized that as the number of people with online degrees rises quickly, these unfavorable stereotypes would gradually go away. While presenting their educational experience to an employer, online degree holders might stress their discipline and time management abilities.

What to Expect from an Online Medical Billing and Coding Program

Aspiring healthcare professionals have a clear route into the industry thanks to online certificates and associate’s degree programs in medical coding and billing. Students can often earn an online medical billing and coding certificate in less than two years, while those who enroll in an associate program can finish in two to three years, though the credit requirements vary by program (All Allied Health Schools, n.d).

Specialists in medicine and coding require knowledge in a variety of fields (Gray, 2021). In spite of this, the education for medical billing and coding schools could incorporate a blend of technical material, medical expertise, and commercial issues. Students who take this combination of courses will have the knowledge base necessary to start a career in medical billing and coding. Courses in medical coding and billing might cover:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Insurance Claim Procedures
  • Medical Coding
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Medical Office Technology
  • Medical Terminology

Best Online Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs

Many students enroll in the certificate in medical billing and coding program online because it is largely memorization-based, as is the case with the healthcare department’s courses (Tressler, 2021). This enables students to learn at their own pace and in a setting of their choice. The best online colleges with medical coding training programs are listed below. Remember that this particular program does not require enrollment in some of the greatest and simplest medical schools.

1. Cosumnes River College

  • Credit requirements: 18/36 credits
  • Tuition: $335 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Students can enroll in one of two online training courses for medical billing and coding offered by Cosumnes River College. The first credential is for specialists in health information coding and takes two years to finish. The second certificate is for specialists in medical insurance billing and takes one year to complete.

The 36-credit program for the health information coding specialist certificate consists of core courses, occupational courses, and electives and can be completed entirely or partially online. The medical insurance billing certificate, on the other hand, comprises of 18 credits and is intended to prepare students for entry-level insurance billing work in an outpatient medical practice.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), respectively, have both accredited the programs.

2. Davenport University

  • Credit requirements: 24 credits
  • Tuition: $241 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

A coding and billing certificate program is offered by Davenport University in Michigan. It is intended to equip students to analyze, manage, and use patient care data and health information resources. This 24-credit program consists of three semesters of seven courses, covering medical terminology, reimbursement administration, and healthcare coding.

The coding and billing certificate program at Davenport University has earned CAHIIM accreditation.

3. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

  • Credit requirements: 24 credits
  • Tuition: $151 – $549 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University provides a medical coding certificate program that consists of a 24-credit-hour curriculum divided into 15-week online courses to help students acquire the fundamental knowledge required to work as entry-level coders. The CAHIIM-accredited program covers topics like anatomy, healthcare coding, and medical terminology.

4. Hutchinson Community College

  • Credit requirements: 46 credits
  • Tuition: $116 – $147 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

A healthcare coding program is provided by Hutchinson Community College in Kansas with the goal of giving students a strong foundation in healthcare informatics and preparing them to take certification exams in the area. Course subjects covered in this two-year, 46-credit curriculum include pharmacology, CPT coding, reimbursement strategies, and health information processes.

5. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

  • Credit requirements: 28 credits
  • Tuition: $399 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

Pathophysiology, pharmacology, coding, and medical reimbursement are the main topics covered in the 28-credit Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis online medical coding certificate program. Unlike other certificate programs, IUPUI’s online medical coding certificate program starts with required coursework in anatomy, physiology, and health information. Despite the fact that it may seem like a lot of work, credits obtained via the program can be used to complete a bachelor’s degree in health information management.

The CAAHEP has accredited the online medical coding certificate program.

6. University of Cincinnati

  • Credit requirements: 32 credits
  • Tuition: $251 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

The University of Cincinnati is offering a fully online, asynchronous certificate program in medical billing and coding that students can tailor to meet their schedules and learning styles. Health information ethics, insurance and billing, and medical terminology are some of the topics covered in this 32-credit curriculum.

If enrolled full-time, the CAHIIM-accredited program can be finished in a year.

7. Weber State University

  • Credit requirements: 27 credits
  • Tuition: $230 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

A certificate program in healthcare coding and classification offered by Weber State University consists of 10 courses that focus on teaching students how to use medical billing and coding software. Classes including diagnosis coding, ambulatory and physician coding, pharmacology, and general medical terminology are all part of the 27-credit curriculum.

This program for medical billing and coding is entirely online, asynchronous, and CAHIIM accredited.

Is an online class as effective as a regular face-to-face class?

Online certificate programs offer students the same prospects for progress and have the same strict standards as their on-campus equivalents. According to a study entitled “Study of the Effectiveness of e-Learning to Conventional Teaching in Medical Undergraduates amid COVID-19 Pandemic” that was published in the National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy, and Pharmacology, online courses were about as effective as traditional classroom instruction, but they were not significantly more effective (Kaur et al., 2020).

The study’s findings also showed that while student performance is unaffected by the delivery method, some courses are more difficult for students to complete online than in a traditional classroom. Also, it should be highlighted that interactive knowledge building between teachers and students is somewhat lacking in online learning. Nonetheless, the study found that these restrictions give pupils a chance to develop their self-learning techniques and talents. Hence, online education aids in the development of a broad range of information and abilities in pupils.

Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs

Associate’s degree programs, in contrast to certificate programs, offer a general education curriculum that goes beyond information on medical billing and coding degrees. In addition, associate program credits can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s program in medical billing and coding is therefore the one for you if you are planning for the long term.

The best online colleges with medical coding training programs are listed below.

1. Central Maine Community College

  • Credit requirements: 60-62 credits
  • Tuition: $96 – $384 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

The associate of applied science in medical coding and electronic health records provided by Central Maine Community College is an option for those interested in a career in healthcare. An overview of medical terminology, CPT and ICD coding, health information technology, and healthcare statistics are provided through this online associate program, which may be finished in two years. It also emphasizes the necessary competencies for students to be eligible for coding positions at medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, home health agencies, and insurance firms.

2. Central Texas College

  • Credit requirements: 60 credits
  • Tuition: $95 – $248 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

An associate’s degree program in medical billing and coding is being offered by Central Texas College. The 60-credit curriculum is intended to teach students how coding technologies operate and how to apply them in typical medical billing and coding operations. It comprises general education classes in composition, humanities, and social sciences as well as business English. Also included in the curriculum are medical jargon, coding and categorization schemes, medical insurance, medical software programs, and pharmaceuticals.

3. Highland Community College

  • Credit requirements: 65 credits
  • Tuition: $55 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

The majority of the curriculum requirements for the associate’s program in applied science—medical coding—offered by Highland Community College can be completed fully online using an asynchronous method. A full review of medical coding, pathopharmacology, insurance and health information compliance, payment techniques, and legal and ethical issues in healthcare are all covered in the 65-credit curriculum, which can be finished in two years. Foundational subjects like composition, public speaking, physics, math, and the humanities are also covered.

4. Keiser University

  • Credit requirements: 60 credits
  • Tuition: $267 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

The Florida-based Keiser University offers an online associate in medical administrative billing and coding program that aims to prepare students to accurately assign medical codes for diagnostic procedures and other services provided by healthcare practitioners. Keiser University also has numerous satellite campuses both inside and outside of the US. The 60-credit curriculum consists of classes in pathophysiology, pharmacology, computerized medical office management, medical law, and ethics in addition to training in medical billing and coding. Students must also perform a virtual coding practicum as part of the program.

5. Metropolitan Community College

  • Credit requirements: 96 credits
  • Tuition: $66 – $99 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

The associate’s degree program in health information management systems that Metropolitan Community College provides, with a concentration in medical coding and billing, aims to give students the skills they need to land entry-level jobs at healthcare facilities and insurance firms. The clinical coding, illness processes, introduction to insurance, medical terminology, and overview of healthcare occupations are some of the topics covered in this program, which lasts roughly two years to finish.

6. Northland Community and Technical College

  • Credit requirements: 60 credits
  • Tuition: $199 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

An online associate’s degree program in applied science for medical coding specialists is offered by the Northland Community and Technical College, and it is intended to instruct students in common medical billing procedures such as patient account management, diagnosis and procedure coding, and insurance claim processing. This two-year, 60-credit program includes coursework in topics including medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, and human disease situations. The curriculum incorporates a medical simulation course in addition to the standard coursework with the goal of simulating an internship.

7. Northwest Technical College

  • Credit requirements: 60 credits
  • Tuition: $199 per credit hour
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous

Northwest Technical College’s associate of applied science in medical coding curriculum places a strong emphasis on giving students thorough instruction in widely used coding techniques. The 60-credit curriculum offers classes on anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical billing, and insurance in addition to college-level writing, general psychology, business communications, customer relations management, and bioethical challenges in contemporary society courses. Additionally, it prepares students for entry-level coding positions at medical facilities, clinics, insurance firms, nursing homes, and governmental organizations.

How to Choose the Best Medical Billing and Coding Program

Many schools and universities are offering certificate and associate’s degree programs in medical billing and coding to fulfill the rising need for professionals in this field. This provides prospective students with a wide range of possibilities, but it also makes it challenging to choose where to complete a diploma or degree.

One should take into account the program’s credit requirements, concentration options, teaching methodology, and cost when looking for the best medical billing and coding program. Anyone can be prepared for success in the workplace by enrolling in any authorized medical coding certificate program. Yet, those who seek more flexibility in their education can benefit most from an online medical billing and coding certificate or associate’s degree program.

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