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Although there are no formal training requirements for coding specialists, completing online medical billing and coding programs will make you much more likely to be hired.
Although medical billing and coding is a promising career in itself, many also see it as a stepping stone into higher-level medical fields, such as health services management. Although there are many different ways to train as a coding specialist, and no one way is right for everyone, many find that online medical billing and coding programs provide the best training for their cost. More Flexible Schedules– If you have to work, take care of your children, or fulfill other time-consuming responsibilities, you can plan your online classes around these commitments. Lower Cost– Online medical billing and coding programs often have lower tuition than in-classroom programs, and they also spare you from many indirect costs, such as transportation.
When deciding whether to study medical billing and coding, it’s important to go beyond costs and salaries and consider your own interests. By submitting this form, I agree that Southern Careers Institute may contact me via email, telephone or text message regarding its programs and offers. There is plenty of room for those interested in entering the medical assisting field, and while you can go to school, get a diploma or certificate, or an associate’s degree, you have a significant amount of choices to pursue a unique career that fits into your own personal goals. If you aren’t already aware, there are two specialized paths medical assistants can pursue. There are a number of steps to take as you apply for the CMA (AAMA) exam, and they can be found here, but to make it a bit easier to understand at first glance, a short summery is included with this article. Verify that you are eligible for the exam by ensuring you meet one of the following categories. Next, you will need to gather all appropriate documentation which is discussed in the handbook on the site. Ensure that you review all exam policies and information to ensure that your application is complete and thorough. Determine the start date for your 90-day testing period according to the graph listed on this page. You will receive your exam scores within 10 weeks of your exam date, so keep an eye out for any mail from the organization. As a final note, many students grow concerned about the difference in certification and registration.
Obtaining formal education regarding medical billing and coding procedures is one of the more popular certifications pursued by students who want to work in the medical field but do not want to spend several years in school. Medical billing and coding specialists also answer questions about claims, posts payments and remain in contact with patients and insurance companies concerning claims that have been rejected or are pending following a review of the services listed on the claim. Coding a health insurance claim involves attention to accuracy, detail and the ability to determine the correct code number for the patient’s injury, illness, disease and treatment rendered by the physician. Thousands of such codes exist to describe an extensive list of medical conditions, procedures and treatment plans. All online medical billing and coding schools will include classes about HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act enacted in 1996. According to a recent survey conducted by the AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders), respondents holding medical billing and coding positions reported that nearly 85 to 95 percent of their job consisted of coding insurance document. Penn Foster Career Schools offers a certification in medical billing and coding that takes only six months to complete, with low tuition rates, customized payment plans or 0 percent APR financing for students on a budget. Penn Foster is accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, which is a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. All students graduating from the Penn Foster medical billing and coding program (as well as other accredited online schools offering the program) are eligible to take the Certified Coding Specialist exam (given by the American Health Information Management Association) and the Certified Professional Coder exam (given by the American Academy of Professional Coders).
Other popular and accredited online schools offering certification in medical billing and coding include Colorado Technical University Online, Everest University Online and Kaplan Continuing Education programs. To determine whether a student is eligible for federal financial assistance, schools recommend you fill out and submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The school listed on the FAFSA in which a student plans to enroll is usually notified within six weeks of  a student sending the form regarding his or her eligibility. The most recent edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that as with all professions dealing with the healthcare industry, medical billing and coding jobs are expected to increase as much as 20 percent by 2018. Busy urban area hospitals and clinics will pay more for expert medical billers and coders than smaller emergency care establishments located in rural areas. Allied Professional Healthcare School is a leading, nationally accredited institution with industry-leading, hands-on programs in the health care industry. Eagle Gate College Give your career a boost with an education from Eagle Gate College. Kaplan University offers an amazing associate of applied science in medical assisting that you could use to work as a medical assistant. Herzing University offers an associate of science in medical assisting services that you could use to jump start your career.
Ultimate Medical Academy offers an associate of science in medical administrative assisting. Harrison College is one of the premier universities for medical assistant studies, and it now has a degree program online. Keiser University is a fully online college that offers an associate of arts in health services administration.
Medical assistants take on the tedious tasks in the medical field that other professionals need to work efficiently. These pay rates will change by location, employer, and educational background, but they should give you a good idea about the kind of potential you can look forward to. Perhaps the best reason of all to become a medical assistant is the fact that you may be able to transition your education to other jobs in the future. You will already have knowledge of medical forms and terminology, which will give you a head start over the competition. Online medical assistant programs are run much like the campus programs they’re built from. The average medical assistant program takes approximately 9 months to complete, though some can last as long as 2 years. Note that you can work as a medical assistant right after high school if you find an employer willing to train you. You will learn about the paperwork and filing systems used regularly in the medical field so you can provide assistance to other professionals. The great thing about going to school online is the fact that you get to set your own schedule.
Note that a lot of online medical assisting programs are not set up like traditional degrees.
You will need textbooks for online medical assisting classes just like you would regular ones. To increase your chances of getting work when you get out of school, you need to become a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant.
We’ve listed the best online medical assistant schools for you here, but you still have to decide which one you want to go through. Compare the costs, timeframes, admissions requirements, and other factors for each school you’re thinking of attending.
Why Medical Assisting?Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Realize your professional goal of working in a medical office or starting your own coding business. Our staff includes a team of employees that are dedicated to the success of all of our students in every Allied course. Note: NY, ME, MN and TN students will enroll in Professional Development courses in lieu of an Externship. Successful coding starts by establishing a strong foundation in advanced medical terminology. Enroll in Allied’s online Medical Coding course and start your future off right with on-the-job knowledge. After you complete your medical program, take the next step - prepare for your certification exam. The externship will provides the opportunity to practice newly developed skills under direct supervision in an actual work environment.
Enter the health care industry with a competitive career advantage - combine Allied’s Medical Terminology for Coding, Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Coding courses.


Electronic Health Records - Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the current presidential administration aims to digitize patient health records within the next five years. Prepare for your medical coding career at an Accredited online medical coding School that backs your education with a CPC Pass or Don’t Pay Exam promise. The next decade is expected to bring the largest employment growth to the medical industry, more than any other industry in the U.S. Use official coding guidelines to convert a medical symptom, diagnosis or procedure into codes. Forward information to insurance providers to get compensation for the health care provider.
Luckily, modern colleges and vocational schools provide their students with a wide range of choices, allowing them to choose the major that is most likely to help them succeed.
The number of positions for coding specialists is projected to grow by 22% over the next decade.
Formal training will make it easy for you to become licensed as a Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) and as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). By training and working as a coding specialist, you’ll get a sense of how good you are at administrative and health services, as well as whether you will find the work enjoyable.
If you understand a concept better than the average student, online classes will allow you to quickly speed through that concept and move on to other material.
It's full of information about different grants, federal programs, and other tips that will help you spend less on school and get the assistance you need. Many of the options discussed in this article are not abundantly clear to those entering the beginnings of their career, and even those already established. These programs are a type of education that generally lasts 9 months to a year, but you do not become a certified medical assistant.
Administrative medical assistants focus on the clerical side of the medical office, with a focus on paperwork, billing, insurance, and appointment setting.
You will need to be a completing student or recent graduate of a CAAHEP or ABHES medical assisting program, the fee is $125. Make sure your Name, E-Mail and postal address are all current and if they change update them immediately. The certificate will be valid for 60 months and recertification will be required throughout your career. While the CMA (AAMA) is what you are currently learning about, there is similar information about the RMA offered through the American Registry of Medical Assistants.
A medical biller and coder handles administrative tasks for a healthcare provider or medical facility that involve submitting accurately coded insurance claims to health insurance companies in order to receive payment from the insurance company. In addition, they may also be in charge of turning unpaid accounts over to collection agencies after a certain amount of time has elapsed between the patient receiving the bill and the last payment received, if any.
However, because it would be nearly impossible to remember them all, people working as medical billing and coding specialists have access to the CPT 2012 book (Current Procedural Terminology) published by the American Medical Association. This act affects anyone who is employed in some way with the healthcare industry because it is meant to protect a patient’s privacy. Cost of the program is $730 when paid in full and $800 to $890 when choosing a payment plan. Although graduates are not required to take these examinations following certification, successfully completing one or both of these tests demonstrates a person’s excellent coding skills along with other administrative qualities that are attractive to potential employers. The school is state regulated and the price of tuition includes everything a student will need to successfully obtain certification in medical billing and coding procedure. For those with incomes below a certain level, the federal government may provide students with Pell Grants that will pay for the cost of attending an online medical coding and billing school.
That school will then contact the student to complete financial aid forms or discuss payment options if the student is ineligible for financial aid. Experienced medical records specialists have the potential to earn $50,000 annually, depending on where the position is geographically located and type of medical facility. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that this type of employment is one of the more stable occupations available and has  continued to project a high demand for certified billers and coders over the past decade.
The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, and it features three competency courses that prepare you for various tasks in your career. It’s been five years since I’ve been officially certified as a medical assistant and I don’t regret one single day of my medical assisting career! Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of medical assistants was $29,370 in May 2012†. Most students are able to complete the diploma version of the program within 12 to 20 months, and the associate’s degree lasts 16 to 24 months. The program is designed to prepare prospective students for a career as a medical assistant in various health care related positions such as hospitals and clinics. This degree involves 60 credit units of courses that take between 61 and 96 weeks to complete. You can use a degree like this to become a medical assistant, and you can get through the program in as little as two years with summer school. One is an associate of science in medical assisting, and the other is a certificate of medical assisting. Most of the work in this profession is clerical and clinical, such as scheduling patient appointments and writing down medical histories.
This may not be the most lucrative career around, but it is definitely better than minimum wage. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 31% growth rate for medical assistant jobs between 2010 and 2020.
You could become a nurse practitioner or even a doctor if you want to, as long as you keep earning the degrees you need. At the end of the program, you will either have an associate of science in medical assistance, or you will have a chance to earn a certification for medical assisting. It takes 5 years of experience as a non-educated medical assistant to apply for a certification exam, but it is something you can do if you must.
No matter how busy you may be right now, you can find time to work your classes into your life. Rather than having a spring, summer, and fall semester, you may have one or two classes that you take for a month straight. Some schools may ask you to purchase e-books instead of regular textbooks, just to save a little money. You can take an exam for this through the National Healthcare Association and the American Association of Medical Assistants.
This will make a big difference in your employment options and transfer credits (if you decide to do more later on).
You may want to read reviews of the schools or talk to former students if you truly want to go the extra mile with your research. With Allied’s medical coding online program, you receive high-quality program materials and personalized educational support to help your make your dreams reality. Allied’s medical coding externship experience will provide you the opportunity to practice your newly developed skills under direct supervision in an actual work environment. You can establish a solid base of knowledge that continually builds up as your course progresses at a pace that meets your personal learning style and schedule. This medical coding online course will allow you to obtain a comprehensive understanding of various body systems.
Health care is undergoing tremendous changes that will affect every medical professional, These changes include the transition to electronic health records (EHR) and implementation of the new ICD-10 coding system to replace the outdated ICD-9 coding system.
Our online prep will prepare you to pass the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) certification exam and become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Professional Coder - Apprentice (CPC-A).
Additionally, you’ll review the qualities needed to secure employment as a medical coder. You will receive the complete education you need to sit for the American Academy of Professional Coders’ Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam. Every medical diagnosis and procedure requires a code for a heath care provider to be paid by an insurance company. A diploma in medical billing and coding will prepare you for a promising career, and by earning it online, you can keep all costs and inconveniences to a minimum.
You can then determine whether it is worth your while to return to school, get a bachelor’s degree in health services management, and advance even further in your career.


Likewise, if you have trouble understanding something, you can take as long as you need to figure it out.
While the majority of this article will explain how you become a CMA, a portion will cover the reasons you would want to pursue this designation, and a few tips for finding the right path for you in the industry. To become a certified medical assistant you need to pass an additional exam offered by the AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants), and follow up with continuing education throughout your career. Clinical medical assistants have a focus on clinical duties such as sterilization of instruments and waiting rooms, taking vitals and test samples, discussing treatment plans and medications with patients and preparing patients for doctor visits. If you are a non-recent graduate you will need an official transcript, the fee for AAMA members is $125, for nonmembers it is $250. There is very little difference between these two designations, but check with local employers to see if they have a specific preference towards one or the other. Contact information, medical records, birth date and even benefit entitlements are all guarded by this act, whether it is an electronic, spoken or written record of the patient’s interaction with a medical facility. In addition, flexible class scheduling also allows busy students the ability to extend the six month program for as long as they need to complete assignments and exams. Pell Grants do not need repaid and any amount left over after tuition has been paid can be used by the student to purchase books and supplies. With the help of online medical assistant courses, you can get all the education you need without having to change your current lifestyle. Kaplan University is known for offering quality medical degree programs online, and that is no different for medical assistants. Both degrees prepare for certification exams issued through the American Medical Technologists Association.
The courses include Intro to Health Professions, Medical Office Billing and Bookeeping, Medical Office Systems and Procedures, and much more. The associate of applied science in medical assisting here is a 96 credit program that lasts approximately two years.
The staff here works with students before, during, and after graduation to ensure they find jobs as quickly as possible. Both options can allow you to work as a medical assistant, but the associate’s degree is a little more involved.
A medical assistant may jot down a patient’s height, weight, and symptoms before a doctor assesses the patient. There were 527,600 medical assistant jobs in 2010, and that number is expected to jump to 690,500 by 2020. Finding work as a medical assistant should not be a problem at all. You can shorten that timeframe considerably if you simply look for a medical assistant school from the start.
This could be during a lunch break at work, late at night before bed, early in the morning before your shift starts, etc.
You shouldn’t need a ton of notebook paper or anything along those lines because you can type notes for video lectures on your computer.
Online schools have the ability to offer low tuition rates because they do not carry the same overhead that other schools have.
Some states will also offer certification exams on their own, which is something you should look into while applying for jobs. Do you want to go through an entire associate’s degree, or would you rather stick with a diploma? If your degree is not accredited, you are essentially completing courses that don’t mean anything.
Once you find a medical assistant program online, all you have to do is enroll and start attending. At Allied, we care about your success – we will help you complete your education and move into your new career.
Learn to recognize word structure and abbreviations and decipher a word based on its root word, suffix and prefix.
Whether you are a current medical professional or looking to enter the medical field, you can have the freedom to set your own hours and experience a career that is diverse, challenging and rewarding. Due to the increasing amount of claims, experienced medical coders will be in demand to streamline the claims process.
You may also be able to transfer some of your credits from online medical billing and coding programs and thus get your bachelor’s degree more quickly. Finally, if you are getting a CMA (AAMA) recertification, no documentation is necessary if you have provided your CMA (AAMA) certificate number, the fees are the same as those for non-recent graduates.
In most cases, the choice is yours to make and it should have little to no impact on your future career prospects.
It is especially important to medical coders and billers because they have immediate access to such personal information and are primarily responsible for not divulging this information to anyone but the insurance company and individuals specified by the patient. Learning digital record keeping procedures using software programs such as Access, Excel and different medical office software will enhance your chances with employers searching for the most skilled and knowledgeable medical billing and coding specialists. If you prefer learning on campus, there are classrooms available in Iowa, Maryland, and Nebraska. Herzing’s online medical assistant courses are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, a nationally recognized accreditation institution. Rather than taking four courses at a time for a third of the year, you take one or two courses at a time for five weeks each. Through the courses in this medical assistant program, you will learn about administering medications, running laboratory tests, handling office procedures, checking vital signs, and managing other tasks related to medical assistance. This would give you a better chance of finding work in the future, but either educational path will do. In fact, many students are able to start working while they are finishing their education because they have a high chance of passing their certification exams.
This will ultimately help you get through your degree quicker so you can start looking for a job. If your employer expects you to have a specific certification, make sure you take the test before you apply. There will be opportunities as an independent contractor or as part of a medical office team in a doctor’s office, hospital, outpatient clinic, and more. Thus if you’re seeking job security and a reliable income, becoming a medical billing and coding specialist is definitely worth it. All the important information will be covered through this article, but it is wise to bookmark that page for future reference. The testing process is essentially the same, but research your options through the AAMA to learn more about these specific processes.
The processes are similar, but the granting association is different and you may find the occasional employer that holds one in higher regard than the other. In addition to the online medical assistant programs this school has to offer, students may choose to enroll on campus in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wyoming. This allows you to get through your degree faster, and it gives you a chance to focus more on each of the classes you take.
As long as you get through your class work, you should be able to find a job shortly after graduation. SJVC has some of the lowest tuition rates around, and that’s why its degrees are considered among the best medical assistant programs online. You can talk to other medical assistants in your area to find out what life is like for them on a daily basis. No matter what your goals are, you can achieve them as you learn how to become a medical assistant. Thus your employers and other schools you may look into won’t know how much you really know. A little research will help you make the right choice for you, but either will set you well on your way to the income and career you deserve.
There are breaks throughout the year that you can utilize, but most students charge through the classes as quickly as possible. You could be a medical assistant in a little over a year if you planned your schedule correctly.



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