While the past decade may have been rocky for many industries, the healthcare industry has continued to grow rapidly through economic turmoil. The demand for healthcare professionals has continued to rise and projections indicate the demand will only continue to increase. In fact, the BLS indicates the number of jobs available in the healthcare field will increase by 20% over the next several years.
Although most people think of the healthcare jobs as primarily being a doctor, nurse, or surgeon, most people forget about the behind the scenes work that needs to be done to keep our healthcare system running. One of the most in-demand jobs in the medical field is actually for medical coding.
Thousands of medical coding jobs are available nationwide that offer a very generous salary and comprehensive benefits. For many people pursing a new career, medical coding is an appealing option.
What is Medical Coding?
Medical Coding is the first step in the medical billing process. Every time a patient receives care at a physician’s office, hospital outpatient facility, or ambulatory surgical center, the facility administering the care must document the services provided. The medical coder takes information from the provider’s documentation, assigns the medical codes, and creates a claim to be paid.
Although this process may seem easy on the surface, a medical coder must have extensive knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology. It’s also a bonus to understand insurance plans, regulations, and compliance, as well as the medical coding’s three main resource books: CPT®, ICD-9, and HCPCS codes.
Online Medical Coding Certificate Programs
In order to obtain this knowledge, many medical coders prefer to obtain their medical coding certificate through an online format, like the medical coding certificate program offered by Allied American University.
A certificate program is a course designed to teach you the necessary skills and information you’ll need to succeed as a medical coder. The skills and information you learn will help prepare you to take the Certified Professional Coder Exam (CPC Exam), which may enable you to demand a significantly higher income once you pass it.
Certificate Program Requisites
Most online medical coding certificate programs last six to twelve months and they require you to pass five or six classes. For example, in Allied American University’s medical coding certificate program, there are six classes you need to take to pass:
· Eng160: English Composition 1 - This course helps students prepare and support a thesis using specific evidence. The course also helps students understand basic grammar rules, as well as how to format and write the standard five-paragraph essay.
HIT107: Medical Terminology – Medical terminology is the main course to learn the basics of everything related to the medical field. Students learn how to use, define, spell, and pronounce medical terms in the healthcare field. Students also learn how to link standard diagnostic tests and procedures to a range of normal and abnormal health conditions.
BIO106: Anatomy and Physiology – Anatomy and Physiology teaches students in-depth information about the human body so they can interpret medical language used in the field. Students will learn how to identify, pronounce, locate, and understand every part of the human body, as well as understand how major organ systems relate to each other.
HIT260: Basic Diagnostic Coding - HIT260 teaches students the basic guidelines and rules for medical coding. You’ll learn the most basic rules for ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding.
HIT270: Basic Procedural Coding I – HIT270 teaches coding rules for CPT and Level II HCPCS medical coding systems. Students will learn how to code for various services conducted in hospitals, emergency rooms, or operating rooms, as well as know the codes for surgery and various parts of the body.
HIT280: Basic Procedural Coding II – HIT280 goes beyond HIT270 to teach students how to code for other healthcare services related to things like the digestive system, genital system, radiology, and nervous system.
These courses are standard among most online certificate programs and are largely what you will need to pass the program. If you decide to obtain your medical coding certificate from Allied American University, then you’ll put yourself in a fantastic position to receive a respectable career in a high-growth industry.
Career Benefits of a Medical Coding Certificate from Allied American University
There are several career benefits to obtaining a medical coding certificate from Allied American University, including:
Demand a higher salary: Students who complete a medical coding certificate program demand a significantly higher salary than those who don’t. Simply completing the program can enable you to earn up to 20% more than if you did not complete a certificate program. In a job that regularly pays $30,000+ per year, that extra 20% can enable you to earn over $6,000 more.
Find a job faster: Companies are more likely to hire job applicants who have completed a certificate program because they already have the skills and knowledge to be a medical coder. This saves the company time and money because they will not have to spend a few weeks or months on training. Therefore, many companies prefer to hire job-ready applicants versus applicants who will need to be trained.
Climb the corporate ladder faster: Obtaining your medical coding certificate from Allied American University puts you in the perfect spot to climb the corporate ladder. If you work for a larger medical facility, you’ll be much more likely to be promoted once you have a medical coding certificate as your skills and knowledge should exceed those of your peers. This means you can take on more responsibility, earn more money, and achieve greater success throughout your career.
Overall, obtaining a medical certificate is a great way to put yourself in a job-ready position in one of the most in-demand careers in any field. Not only will you be viewed as more hirable in the eyes of employers, but also you’ll be able to command a higher salary and benefits as a result of your medical coding certificate.
Why Allied American University?
If you’re preparing to obtain a medical coding certificate, then you’ll be on the path to a successful, high-paying career. Allied American University offers a comprehensive medical coding program that not only has direct career benefits, but other benefits as well. Here are some benefits you’ll receive when you enroll in Allied American University’s medical coding program:
1) Convenient Online Access
AAU’s online programs were designed for the working adult, and provide the flexibility you need to achieve your educational goals from the comfort of your own home. Unlike brick-and-mortar schools, you are not required to take your classes on a campus, which allows you to complete your coursework conveniently, on your own schedule.
2) Financing for Students
Most people trying to get a medical coding certificate are on a tight budget, which means they can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars in tuition. Allied American University offers affordable tuition and low, interest-free, pay-as-you-go payment plans for students. Students can also apply for financial aid to cover the cost of their certificate program at AAU. Active military, veterans, and military spouses can apply their benefits towards the cost of tuition.
3) Textbook Grants for Active-Duty Military and Veterans
Active-duty, veteran, and military spouse students receive a textbook grant, which covers the cost of textbooks. This means there are no extra out-of-pocket costs for our military members and their families.
4) Personalized Student Support
Every Allied American University student receives personalized attention from a Program Success Advocate (PSA), who is committed to keeping you motivated and helping you succeed in every Allied course. Taking the medical coding certificate program will enable you to access one-on-one support through phone, email, or even fax during business hours.
Allied American University’s medical coding program will provide you with all the training and knowledge you need to succeed as a medical coder. The demand for medical coders is only going to increase and right now is the perfect time to make the switch into a stable, high paying career.