How to Choose a Medical Billing & Coding Program

Medical Billing & Coding Program

When you’re considering a medical coding and billing career, it’s important to choose the best training so you’ll be prepared for medical coding certification and to succeed in the workforce. There are many factors you should consider.

Industry Reputation

When you’re choosing a medical coding school, you want to be sure your training will be respected after you’ve put in all the time and effort required for graduation. One of the best quality training markers is curriculum approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

As the largest industry association in the medical coding space, AHIMA is uniquely qualified to judge quality training programs. Approval is only given after a program has measured up to AHIMA’s model curriculum and faculty members have the required qualifications. Career Step’s Medical Coding and Billing program are AHIMA approved, as are several other programs.

Program Length and Breadth

Because medical coding job opportunities are increasing so rapidly, there is a growing number of scam training programs. Often these programs promise that you can complete your training and be working in the field in just a few weeks.

However, medical coding is a complex career that requires a great deal of accuracy and involves tens of thousands of codes. Learning how to assign the right codes successfully requires a detailed understanding of anatomy, medical terminology, the various code sets, and more.

Gaining the knowledge and skills needed to code medical records accurately takes time and a great deal of practice. Make sure you choose a comprehensive program and educate you on more than just coding software.

Hands-on Experience

Medical coding careers require a great deal of accuracy, and there’s a no better way to develop the skills you need than with practice, practice, practice! Choose a medical coding training course that includes lots of opportunities to practice on real medical records.

You don’t want to get to the workplace and realize that you’ve never even seen a medical chart, let alone coded one. Like Career Steps, comprehensive programs will require you to code hundreds of actual patient records and reports before you graduate.

Certification Preparation

Although not always required for employment, medical coding certification can make a big difference on your resume and provides employers proof of your skills. Choose a training program that will have you prepared to sit for the certification exams immediately upon graduation.

Career Step Medical Coding and Billing graduates are prepared to take the CCA exam through AHIMA or the CPC exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders. If you’re interested in pursuing a medical coding career, you must choose a quality training program. Make sure your choice measures up in all of these categories!