Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding
Updated September 26, 2022
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Best Associate's in Medical Billing and Coding Programs Online
Medical billing and coding degrees help students learn how to keep hospitals running behind the scenes. Medical billing and coding — the processes used to communicate between healthcare providers and insurance companies, as well as patients — is a rapidly growing field within the healthcare industry. Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 11% between 2018-2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Medical billing and coding careers offer excellent pay. With just an associate degree, health information professionals earn a median annual salary of $40,350 per year. According to the BLS, the top 10% of earners bring home more than $66,260.
Dozens of online education programs have emerged to meet demand for skilled health information professionals. Included below is a compilation of the 25 best online accredited medical billing and coding schools. This ranking offers important information for prospective online students, covering curriculum content, course delivery details, and admission requirements.
What Is an Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Degree?
An associate degree in medical billing and coding is a two-year technical program designed to prepare students for entry-level careers in the growing field of health information. Online accredited medical billing and coding schools attract a variety of students, including high school graduates pursuing their first career-track jobs and adults looking to change occupations.
Degrees in medical billing and coding prepare students for national coding certification exams and entry-level positions. They do this through a combination of course lectures, readings, and practical assignments.
Throughout the program, students study medical terminology, human anatomy, and insurance plans and regulations, developing skills in medical ethics, patient account management, medical insurance claim processing, and diagnosis and procedure coding.
Choosing an Online Associate Program in Medical Billing and Coding
Deciding to pursue a medical billing and coding degree online may be an easy choice, but finding the right school requires careful consideration of factors like cost, program format, and required in-person components. Take a look at the guide linked below for comprehensive tips regarding online program selection.
What Else Can I Expect From an Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Program?
An online associate degree in medical billing and coding usually consists of 60 credits of coursework, including general education classes, major core classes, and electives. The curriculum prepares students for professional certification through study of medical terminology, procedure coding systems, and software applications in healthcare.
Featured Online Medical Billing and Coding Programs
Medical Billing and Coding Curriculum
- Anatomy and Physiology: A course on anatomy and physiology examines the twelve major systems of the human body, including the skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, and lymphatic systems. Students develop an understanding of appropriate medical terminology, cell and tissue structure, and how each system aids in maintaining human health.
- Health Information Systems: This course introduces students to information management procedures used in American healthcare settings. Topics include filing systems, data storage, electronic health records, and patient confidentiality. Health information management concepts and skills are applied to exercises and assignments throughout the course.
- Pathology: This course provides students with a better understanding of disease processes and how the human body functions. Coursework introduces research and evidence-based knowledge about common pathologies, diseases, diagnostic testing, and treatments of internal body systems. Students also learn medical terminology they're likely to encounter in the workplace.
Certifications and Licenses
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is the world's largest training and credentialing organization in the healthcare field, representing more than 190,000 members. Because medical coding regulations, requirements, and standards have become increasingly complex over the years, most employers prefer to hire medical billers and coders with AAPC certification, though they may allow new employees to earn certification shortly after being hired.
AAPC provides gold-standard credentials for medical billing and coding professionals, including the Certified Professional Coder and Certified Professional Biller. Certification exams consist of 150-200 multiple-choice questions that assess proper application of codes and procedures. AAPC recommends an associate degree but requires no specific educational attainment for test takers.
AAPC also offers specialized certification options like Certified Outpatient Coder (COC) and Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P). COC candidates must have at least two years of medical coding experience.
Continuing education is required to maintain AAPC certification.
Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Degree Programs
Keiser University Ft. Lauderdale
|Location||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Distance learners looking for a flexible online associate degree program in medical coding should consider Keiser University Ft. Lauderdale. Students in the AS in medical billing and coding program gain industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing them for the demands of careers in the field. Upon graduating, students can apply their course credits toward a bachelor's degree.
Enrollees benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. Distance learners can receive one-on-one guidance from virtual library services and academic tutoring resources.
Students can expect to receive financial aid or loans, as 89% of enrollees are awarded aid and 69% receive loans.
Keiser University Ft. Lauderdale at a Glance:
Type of School: Private not-for-profit, four-year
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1
Undergrad Tuition In State: $19,808
Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $19,808
Transfer Credit Accepted: Accepted
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, located in Media, boasts four online associate degree programs, including its highly ranked AS in healthcare management. Students in the program complete courses relevant to the medical coding field, preparing them for future careers. Upon graduating, students can apply their course credits toward a bachelor's degree.
Enrollees benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. Distance learners can connect with virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.
The college reports that 86% of students are awarded financial aid, with 94% receiving student loans.
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology at a Glance:
Type of School: Private, not-for-profit, two-year
Location: Media, Pennsylvania
Student-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1
Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,530
Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $10,530
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
|Location||Fergus Falls, Minnesota|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Distance learners seeking flexible study in medical coding should consider Minnesota State Community and Technical College's online diploma in medical coding and insurance. Students in the program prepare for the demands of the medical coding field through instructive study and industry-relevant coursework. Enrollees looking to advance in their studies can apply their diploma credits toward further undergraduate study.
While enrolled, students can benefit from career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Distance learners can access virtual library services and academic tutoring.
Attendees benefit from financial aid opportunities, receiving an average of $4,649 in awards. Students can explore numerous funding opportunities, with 87% of enrollees receiving some form of financial aid and 33% opting for student loans.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College at a Glance:
Type of School: Public, two-year
Location: Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Student-Faculty Ratio: 23-to-1
Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,965
Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,965
Northwest Technical College
|Percent Online Enrollment||
Northwest Technical College, located in Bemidji, Minnesota, boasts 14 online associate degree programs, including its highly ranked AAS in medical coding program. Enrollees benefit from a robust course curriculum, preparing them for the demands of the medical coding field. Typically, students can apply their associate degree credits toward future educational endeavors, like a bachelor's degree.
While enrolled, medical coding students benefit from institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. Online students can receive further guidance through virtual library services and academic tutoring.
The college connects students with numerous financial aid opportunities, reporting that enrollees receive an average of $5,806 in financial aid. According to the school, 81% of students are awarded financial aid, with 36% receiving student loans.
Northwest Technical College at a Glance:
Type of School: Public, two-year
Location: Bemidji, Minnesota
Student-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1
Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,346
Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $5,346
Cowley County Community College
|Location||Arkansas City, Kansas|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
A leader in online education, Cowley County Community College supports an online associate program, a medical coding degree pathway. Students in the medical coding program gain knowledge and industry-relevant skills through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Learners seeking to advance to further studies can apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree.
Throughout the program, students can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. Distance learners benefit from virtual library services and academic tutoring.
Medical coding students can expect to receive an average of $4,836 in financial aid. According to the institution, 100% of all degree-seekers receive financial aid, with 27% receiving loans.
Cowley County Community College at a Glance:
Type of School: Public, two-year
Location: Arkansas City, Kansas
Student-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1
Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,040
Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,480
Online Associate in Medical Billing & Coding Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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Medical Billing and Coding Careers
Medical billing and coding accredited online schools prepare graduates for a number of entry-level careers in the healthcare industry. Prior to pursuing employment, most graduates obtain professional certification from AACP, AMBA, or AHIMA. Job openings can be found in hospitals, physician's offices, or outpatient facilities.
The majority of graduates with a medical billing and coding degree seek employment in billing and coding. However, they may choose to embark on careers as medical assistants, health information technicians, or data analysts. Additional education and certification may be required for upward mobility or placement in advanced positions.
Take a look at three career options for graduates below.
Medical Records Technician
|Median Salary: $40,350||Projected Job Growth: 11%|
Medical records technicians manage and organize patient records and other health information data. Using various classification systems, these professionals code and categorize information, assisting with insurance reimbursements, clinical database upkeep, and maintenance of patients' medical histories. They ensure the accuracy, accessibility, and security of both electronic and hard-copy files.
Education requirements can vary by position, but many employers prefer medical records technicians to hold an associate degree. Certification, such as the Registered Health Information Technician credential, is typically required. To excel in this career, professionals need keen analytical and technical skills, as well as a strong sense of ethics.
Billing and Posting Clerk
|Median Salary: $36,860||Projected Job Growth: 14%|
Billing and posting clerks compile, compute, and record numerical data related to the sale of goods or services. In a healthcare setting, medical billing clerks primarily work to prepare bills and invoices for medical services. The position involves frequent contact with patients to establish and follow up on payment arrangements.
Education requirements for entry-level positions vary, but some employers prefer candidates with a two-year degree and relevant experience in a billing office. Billing and posting clerks in the medical industry need to understand medical terminology and must have excellent communication and computer skills.
|Median Salary: $34,800||Projected Job Growth: 23%|
Medical assistants handle a variety of administrative and clinical tasks in healthcare facilities. Tasks may include recording patient history, measuring vital signs, giving injections or medication, and scheduling appointments. In larger practices, these professionals may specialize exclusively in administrative work, providing an ideal career for those with a degree in medical billing and coding.
Employers typically hire medical assistants with an associate degree or postsecondary certificate, though some have only a high school diploma and learn required skills through on-the-job training. These professionals need keen analytical, interpersonal, and technical skills.
Common Questions About Medical Billing and Coding Programs
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Program?
An associate degree in medical billing and coding takes approximately two years of full-time study to complete. Many online programs also allow part-time enrollment, which takes longer.
What Can I Do With an Associate in Medical Billing and Coding?
An associate degree provides students with the knowledge and skills required for entry-level careers in medical billing and coding. Top employers include hospitals and physicians' offices.
How Much Do You Make in Medical Billing and Coding?
According to the BLS, medical records and health information technicians — including medical coders — earn a median salary of $40,350. Wages vary by employer, location, and experience.
What Is Medical Billing and Coding?
Medical billing and coding is the process by which medical providers and an insurance companies communicate. They ensure that healthcare providers are properly paid for their services.
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