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Fast Careers in Health Care: How to Work in Medical Billing and Coding

In 2020, 91.4% of Americans had health insurance in some form or another, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.1Those who use health insurance may not think about how the cost of an office visit is processed and ultimately asks them to make their copay, but for doctors and other medical professionals, it’s incredibly important that office visits, tests and other medical procedures are properly processed and sent to insurance carriers so that they can be paid for their labor. Often, doctors are too busy to handle this themselves. That’s why there is an entire industry of medical billing and coding where workers handle these processes.

If you want to work in health care fast, but are not too excited about patient care, there are plenty of opportunities for you to succeed. One option for those who are interested in the business side of medicine is medical billing and coding. Learn more about this career, how to work in this field and more.

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What is Medical Billing and Coding

Medical billing and coding is a part of the medical reimbursement cycle, and actually encompasses two separate jobs. Medical billing is the process of invoicing, submitting and following up on claims with health insurance companies, either private like major health care providers Aetna or UnitedHealthcare, or public such as Medicaid. Medical billers need to keep track of patient procedures and billing records to make sure they receive payment.

Medical coding, on the other hand, is the process of translating medical procedures into common medical codes used in the health care industry. Medical codes help summarize the medical services a patient receives. Those codes then document a patient’s health records and describe procedures that are performed to treat those conditions.

What Does a Medical Billing and Coding Worker Do?

Both medical billers and coders use languages like Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®),2which is a uniform language for coding medical services and procedures to streamline reporting. Other medical coding languages include International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)3and HCPCS Level II.4这些代码有助于把医生可能会注意到的链球菌性咽喉炎测试变成医疗保险公司可以理解的精确过程。


Medical billers’ duties may vary depending on where they work. They can include both front- and back-office jobs such as gathering patient information, verifying health plan coverage, checking prior authorizations, collecting copays from patients, and ensuring medical codes are accurate before sending them to payers.

Why Work in Medical Billing and Coding

Medical billing and coding is a growing career with high demand.5预计保健职业所增加的工作比任何其他职业类别都多。医疗岗位的增长归因于美国人口老龄化,需要更多的医疗服务。随着对卫生保健需求的增长,对支持卫生保健从业人员的需求也在增长。

The BLS does not track medical billers and coders but there are a number of occupations that include medical billers and coders.67

Start Your Career in Medical Billing and Coding


How to Become a Medical Biller and Coder


  • Research the profession.医疗账单和编码并不适合每个人,所以要确保你知道你需要什么样的技能,并评估你是否是合适的人选。
  • Find the right medical billing and coding program.Assess schools to make sure they meet your needs, be they financial or just a schedule. Some medical billing and coding programs are offered online for convenience.
  • Choose if you want to pursue a certificate or an associate degree.There are pros and cons to both options. A certificate can get you into the working world fast, while an associate degree can give you a more well-rounded education.
  • Complete medical billing and coding training.Depending on if you chose a certificate or degree program, this can include courses on medical ethics, anatomy, or more.
  • 考虑AAPC医疗账单和编码认证。The Certified Professional Coder examination is one way to show to employers that you have mastered the craft of medical coding.11

How Long is a Medical Billing and Coding Program?

Depending on if you want to pursue an associate degree in medical billing and coding, or if you just want to get a certificate, medical billing and coding programs can be fairly quick. If you only want to get a certificate of achievement, it can take as few as nine months. At Carrington College, an associate degree in medical billing and coding can be completed in as few as 16 months.

Can I Study Medical Billing and Coding Online?

Not only can you study medical billing and coding online, but there are also benefits to doing so. Online programs can be more flexible, especially if you have prior commitments like childcare or another job. Some students also find the format of online learning is better suited for their needs.

When evaluating medical billing and coding schools, be sure to consider if you think an online or on-campus format works best for you.

How to Find Medical Billing and Coding Jobs

Medical billers and coders work in health care, but there are many different options for where you can work. Basically any medical provider who bills insurance may have a need for medical billers and coders, this includes hospitals, physicians offices, home health care services, residential treatment facilities, dental offices, and every other medical office you can imagine.

When looking for medical billing and coding jobs, first check for major medical groups in your area. This will vary by state and city. The next best place to look for jobs would be major listing sites like Indeed, or industry specific boards like the AAPC.12

What to Look for in a Medical Billing and Coding Program

Choosing the right medical program for you is a big decision. The right training can open doors for better jobs and possibly salary down the line. While many institutions may offer medical billing and coding classes, it’s important that you look for the one that fits your goals and lifestyle.

A few core things to look for when considering medical billing and coding programs include:

  • Small class sizes.When learning to be a medical biller or coder you want individual attention from your instructor.
  • Program format.选择适合自己学习方式和生活方式的课程是很重要的。Deciding between an on-campus or online medical billing and coding program will be a big part of choosing the right school.
  • Externships or career training.Most programs include an opportunity to learn in the real world before you even graduate! You’ll earn an impressive experience that looks great on your resume.
  • Cost.Education is a major investment, but it’s an investment in your future. At Carrington College and many other institutions, we participate in most financial assistance programs, both federal and state, as well as private financing. Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify. For complete information on current tuition costs, please see theacademic catalog.

Medical Billing and Coding Certificate vs Associate Degree

Another major decision you’ll make when considering medical billing and coding school is if you want to pursue an associate degree or a certificate. Both options provide you with the skills you need to start working in medical billing and coding. The major difference is the length of the program. With a medical billing and coding certificate program, you will focus on medical billing-specific courses. If you were to pursue an associate degree option you may take additional coursework including:

  • Computer literacy
  • English writing and composition
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social sciences

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What Will I Learn in Carrington College Medical Billing and Coding Programs?

Some courses you would take if you were to enroll in the Medical Billing and Coding program at Carrington College include:

  • MBC 10 Medical Billing and Coding Theory 1This course provides an overview of medical insurance, medical ethics, confidentiality practices and the life cycle of an insurance claim. Anatomy, physiology and terminology units including levels of organization, anatomical position, planes and body cavities and related medical terminology are presented. An overview of the musculoskeletal system is presented, as are associated coding and medical terminology.
  • MBC 30 Medical Billing and Coding Theory 3本课程的重点是日常医疗财务实践,病人报表,收集技巧和沟通技巧。它涉及文化多样性、艾滋病毒和艾滋病。解剖学,生理学和术语单元介绍了胃肠道,泌尿生殖系统和生殖系统。
  • MBC 40 Medical Billing and Coding Theory 4本课程让学生了解各种管理医疗模式,包括医疗保险、医疗补助和加州医疗保险。主题包括联邦和州指南,资格要求,福利,管理护理影响,参与提供者,服务指南的预先批准和逐步索赔表格说明。它包括广泛的ICD-10编码、CPT编码以及授权和转诊。解剖学,生理学和术语单元介绍了心血管系统和相关编码和医学术语。
  • MBC 501 ExternshipThe externship provides students with field experience in a professional setting. Students practice acquired skills under direct supervision. This is a credit/no credit course.

Find Carrington Medical Billing and Coding Programs Near Me

Carrington College offers medical billing and coding in both a certificate and an associate degree program, both on-campus at 16 locations inArizona,California,Idaho,New Mexico,Nevada,Oregon, andWashington, andonlinefrom wherever you are.

Carrington College employs a skilled faculty who are experts in their field. Learn anatomy, physiology, coding languages, medical ethics and more with our program.

Learn more about theMedical Billing and Coding online programor ouron-campus program.


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