Medical billing and coding require healthcare professionals who are skilled in IT and possess a high level of eye-to-details. This is because they review patient data for completeness and accuracy, key in information into databases, and process payments.
These professionals can acquire the education and training required to excel in the field online but it does not come cheap. Hence, this article will detail the top medical billing and coding online courses cost. You will also learn about online medical billing and coding schools that offer scholarships, affordable medical billing and coding online schools, and free medical billing & coding courses.
Check the table of contents below to view the highlights of this article.
What is medical billing and coding?
Medical billing and coding involve recognizing diagnoses, medical tests, treatments, and procedures contained in clinical documentation and then reproducing this patient data into standardized codes to bill government and commercial payers for physician reimbursement.
In simple terms, medical billing and coding is the process of sending information to insurance companies and processing patient payments.
Whenever a patient receives medical services, the medical coder takes the patient’s file and translates the services into universal codes for insurance companies. Once the insurance company gets these codes, medical billers communicate the amount owed to both the patient and the insurance company through a bill. Sometimes, the bills come in the form of physical letters or emails.
What is the cost of medical billing and coding certification?
The cost of acquiring a medical billing certification online is $749. If you wish to study in a local trade school to acquire a certification, it will cost between $1,000 and $2,500. On the other hand, pursuing an associate medical billing and coding program in an accredited college will cost $8,000 to $19,000.
How can I obtain a medical billing and coding certificate?
Acquiring a medical billing and coding certification opens the door to several opportunities such as a higher salary or better job prospects for you over people without certification.
To acquire a certificate in this career, the first step is to pursue a medical billing and coding program in an accredited institution. However, some persons may choose the traditional route of acquiring the certification online.
Below are the pathways for acquiring a medical billing and coding certification:
Certificate or Diploma Program
The first pathway toward earning a medical billing and coding certificate is through a certificate or diploma program. Both programs differ. Certificate programs can be completed in a shorter time and they have more restrictive curricula while diploma programs have more comprehensive curricula.
Students who wish to enter the workforce immediately can opt for the certificate program.
The cost of these programs ranges from $800 to $4,500.
Associate Degree Program
Pursuing an associate degree program in healthcare administration will set you up for a medical billing and coding certification. Although it is more expensive than the certificate or diploma program, the associate degree program is preferred by employers.
Additionally, professional certifications including the Registered Health Information Technician exam and the certified professional biller certification require candidates to possess at least an associate degree.
If you have an associate degree in healthcare administration, you can apply the credits toward pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
The cost of the associate degree ranges from $6,000 to $13,000 and it takes two (2) years to complete.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in health information management or healthcare administration will give you an edge while pursuing a career in medical billing and coding. This will give you the comprehensive education and training required to excel in the field.
It takes about four years to complete the program and the cost of the program is between $36,000 to $120,000.
A body like AAPC offers training courses to students who wish to sit for medical billing and coding certification exams. These courses are mostly taken online. They are designed for students who wish to become certified professional coders (CPC), certified outpatient coders (COC), or certified inpatient coders (CIC).
Alternatively, students can access AAPC courses in a traditional classroom setting in their neighborhood.
Students who take the AAPC courses and pass the certification exams can acquire certification and secure jobs using the certificate. They may choose to acquire a higher degree in the field by pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree through an accredited program.
Accredited Medical Billing and Coding Schools Online With Financial Aid
Students who wish to acquire education and training in medical billing and coding may not only visit the campus but can also acquire the education online. These online schools are accredited and some of them offer financial aids to students who do not have funding.
Therefore, the accredited medical billing and coding online schools that offer financial aids to their students include:
- Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology
- DeVry University
- Herzing University
- Ultimate Medical Academy
- Sullivan University
Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology
Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology is a private for-profit post-secondary institution in Delray Beach, Florida.
The institution prepares students for a successful career in the healthcare and information technology industries by offering them online medical billing and coding programs. Additionally, the school offers twenty (20) different specialty coding certifications for experienced coders.
Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology stands out as one of the schools that offer scholarships to their students. Statistics show that about 70 percent of the students at the institution receive financial aids.
DeVry University is a private for-profit university that was established in 1931.
The university offers medical billing and coding programs online. Here, students acquire hands-on experience in virtual laboratories using real-life medical records.
At the undergraduate level, the university offers AHIMA’s CCS certification exam to students. With this certificate, graduates can advance to pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree program at the university.
On the other hand, DeVry offers scholarships to students pursuing medical billing and coding programs. About 91 percent of students receive financial aids at DeVry University.
Herzing University is a private university whose headquarters is in Milwaukee Wisconsin and it has several campuses throughout the United States.
The university offers online medical billing and coding programs. Herzing University offers the program through two pathways (a diploma program and an associate & bachelor’s degree program). The diploma program can be completed within twelve (12) months and it prepares students to enter the workforce immediately. Students can enter the associate or bachelor’s degree program to acquire a more comprehensive education in the field.
Statistics show that about 97 percent of the students at the institution receive financial aids.
Low-Cost Medical Coding and Billing Online Programs
If you are not able to get into any of the online medical billing and coding schools that offer financial aids, you may opt for schools that offer online medical billing and coding programs at an affordable rate.
The medical billing and coding online courses cost less in these schools. Below are the schools that offer low-cost medical billing and coding online programs:
- Oconee Fall Line Technical College
- Central Texas College
- Ogeechee Technical College
Oconee Fall Line Technical College
Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) is a public community college that was founded in 2010. Its main campuses are in Sandersville and Dublin, Georgia.
OFTC offers an online medical billing clerk certificate program. This program requires 20 semester credits to complete over two semesters. The medical billing and coding online courses cost less at OFTC.
Central Texas College
Central Texas College (CTC) is a community college in Killeen, Texas that was established in 1965. It has branch campuses across Europe and on military installations all over the U.S.
The college offers more than 30 degrees on-campus and over 45 certificate programs are online. Among the online programs is the medical billing and coding specialist program. This program requires 340 course hours to complete over two semesters in less than a year. The medical billing and coding online courses cost less at CTC.
Ogeechee Technical College
Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) is a public technical college in Statesboro, Georgia that was founded in 1986.
OTC offers over 100 majors both on-campus and online. A medical coding certificate program is among the online majors that OTC offers. This program prepares students for certificate exams and it requires a minimum of 24 semester hours to complete over two semesters.
Free Medical Billing and Coding Courses
The free medical billing and coding courses below are for students who do not have money to enroll for a medical billing and coding course and students who could not enroll in any of the schools offering medical billing and coding programs with financial aids.
Upon successful completion, certificates are awarded for some courses while there are no certificates for others.
Thus, the free medical billing and coding courses include:
- What is Medical Coding and Billing?
- Cybersecurity in Healthcare
- Learn Medical Billing in One Hour
What is Medical Coding and Billing?
In this course, you will learn about the duties of a medical coder and medical biller, diagnostic coding, procedural coding, the educational options you have, and how to gain work experience.
This course is designed for students who are not sure of entering the field of medical billing and coding but are seeking remote jobs. It is offered by PPMC Academy via Udemy and it takes an hour to complete with no certificate awarded.
Cybersecurity in Healthcare
Cybersecurity in Healthcare is offered by Erasmus University Rotterdam via Coursera for free.
In this course, you will learn the social and technological aspects of cybersecurity utilized in keeping hospitals safe. You will also learn about the challenges of digitization in the healthcare sector.
The course comprises modules including hacking, cyber hygiene, data breaches, and human behavior. It will take you 15 hours to complete, afterward, you will be issued a certificate.
However, this course does not directly teach healthcare coding and billing. The good thing is that it can give you the backgrond IT knowledge required to succeed in the field.
Learn Medical Billing in One Hour
This free online course if offered by YouTube and Dr. Chrono.
Learn Medical Billing in One Hour conatins a video tutorial that will teach you how to use revenue management applications Apollo and Apollo+ to make billing processes perfect. By enrolling for this course, you will have the chance to access Dr. Chrono’s medical billing and medical records platform in order to gain more experience.
This video course takes one hour to complete and no certificate is awarded after completing the course.
Top Medical Billing And Coding Online Courses Cost
In this context, you will get to know the top medical billing and coding online courses and their cost. These courses are offered by reputable institutions online.
Therefore, the top medical billing and coding online programs are offered by:
- Central Texas College
- Northwest Technical College
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College
- Laramie County Community College
- Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
- Guilford Technical Community College
- Hazard Community And Technical College
- Northland Community and Technical College
- Metropolitan Community College Area
- Southwest Wisconsin Technical
- College Rochester Community and Technical College
- Highland Community College
- Indian Hills Community College
Central Texas College
Central Texas College (CTC) is a community college in Killeen, Texas that was founded in 1965. It has branch campuses across Europe and on military installations all over the United States of America.
CTC offers an online AAS program in medical billing and coding. The program comprises courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and pathophysiology. These courses give students knowledge of the medical field. In addition, the program explores coding and classification systems, insurance, and industry-specific software. Students also take classes in English, humanities or fine arts, and social science.
The medical billing and coding online courses cost $3,090 at CTC.
Central Texas College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Northwest Technical College
Northwest Technical College (NTC) is a public technical college in Bemidji, Minnesota, United States that was established in 1965.
The institution offers a 60-credit medical coding program both in-person and fully online. This program prepares students to be skilled in medical coding and work in a variety of healthcare settings.
NTC’s partnership with Mayville State University lets its graduates to transfer up to all 60 of their AAS credits toward an online Bachelor’s of Art or Bachelor of Science (BAS) in business administration.
The medical billing and coding online courses cost $5,654 at NTC.
Northwest Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) is a public community and technical college founded in 2003. It has multiple campuses in Minnesota.
The institution offers an online 64-credit AAS degree program in Health Information Technology/Coding. However, students will be required to undergo in-person internships during the course of the program.
While studying online, students have access to an electronic library, counseling, advising, and tutoring. This helps them to gain hands-on experience in medical coding systems.
Through M State’s partnership with several universities, AAS graduates can transfer to a bachelor’s program in health information management or health services administration.
The medical billing and coding online courses cost $5,560 at M State.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College hold accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The institution’s HIT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
Laramie County Community College
Laramie County Community College is a public community college in Laramie County, Wyoming that was established in 1968.
LCCC offers a practical fully online 63-credit AAS program in health information technology and information management. The program comprises three advanced certificates.
Once students pass the first semester, they will acquire a diploma in medical office essentials and this certificate can qualify them to work in a medical office while completing the HIT program. Completion of the next two semesters will qualify students for certification in medical claims coding. Students will be awarded the AAS degree when they complete the program in two years.
The institution holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
Keiser University is a private university in West Palm Beach, Florida that was founded in 1977. Its main campus is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Keiser offers students an AS degree in medical administrative billing and coding online and in-person at the university’s campuses in Florida. This program is administered both in English and Spanish languages.
Students take lectures and practicals that help them to acquire the knowledge and skills required for medical billing and coding as well as healthcare administration.
Guilford Technical Community College
Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) is a public community college in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina that was established in 1958.
GTCC offers an AAS program in medical office administration both online and on-campus. Students are offered in-depth training in industry-specific standard coding systems and office administration.
Guilford Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Hazard Community And Technical College
Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) is a community college in Hazard, Kentucky that was founded in 1968.
HCTC offers an AAS program in medical information technology online and on-campus. Students can choose to specialize in medical coding under this program. They acquire the skills and knowledge required to enter the healthcare field as certified medical support professionals. It takes two years to complete this program.
Northland Community and Technical College
Northland Community & Technical College is a public community and technical college in Minnesota, United States.
This two-year college offers an online 60-credit medical coding AAS program. The program prepares students for national coding certification exams. Additionally, students acquire a working knowledge of health information management.
Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Metropolitan Community College Area
Metropolitan Community College (Metro or MCC) is a public community college in Omaha, Nebraska that was established in 1971.
Metro offers a 100.5-credit health information management systems AAS program online. Students at MCC take healthcare administration courses and undertake an in-person internship. They also take the billing and coding option of the program and it lays emphasis on insurance, pharmacology, and disease processes.
Southwest Wisconsin Technical
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (Southwest Tech)is a technical college in Fennimore, Wisconsin that was founded in 1967.
The institution offers students an associate degree program in health information technology online except for professional practicals.
This program cuts across five semesters and it prepares students for entry-level work in many medical administrative careers including billing and coding. Students will take courses including coding, statistics, digital literacy, and diversity studies.
Rochester Community and Technical College
Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) is a public community college in Rochester, Minnesota that was established in 1915.
The college offers a 64-credit health information technology AAS program. Through this program, students are administered medical and administrative courses and these courses prepare them to take the American Health Information Management Association national exam. Once they pass the exam, they earn the registered health information technician credential.
Graduates of the AAS program can transfer all the credits to four-year colleges. The health information technology AAS program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.
Highland Community College
Highland Community College is a public community college in Highland, Kansas that was established in 1858.
HCC offers a 65-credit AAS program in medical coding online.
Students can complete HCC’s 65-credit medical coding degree in two years of full-time enrollment. A core of practical career training courses prepares graduates to take the Certified Coding Associate and Certified Coding Specialist exams.
Distribution requirements in communication, humanities, and social science build soft skills relevant to medical administrative work. Learners study entirely online, with the exception of a capstone practicum. For the practicum, students engage in clinical training at an approved coding facility.
High Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Indian Hills Community College
Indian Hills Community College (IHCC) is a public community college in Iowa that was founded in 1966.
IHCC offers an AAS program in health information technology (HIT) fully online. The program comprises of a curriculum including medical billing and coding, healthcare management software, transcription, etc. It takes about twenty-one (21) months to complete the program.
The program allows students to undertake a dual major thereby giving them the opportunity to earn an AA degree transferable to universities.