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Discover Medical Billing and Coding Online Schools in Illinois (IL)

IL-based medical billing and coding programs offer a path to a healthcare career tailored to your goals and passions. Use this guide to identify the top medical billing and coding programs that match your needs.

Editor: Mark Earnest

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Cityscape at dusk featuring Cloud Gate, also known as "The Bean," in Millennium Park, Chicago. The large, reflective sculpture is surrounded by illuminated skyscrapers and a vibrant Illinois sky. People are gathered around the structure, admiring its unique design.

Deciding on a career path in healthcare can be an arduous process. Whether you’ve already committed to explore the world of medical billing and coding online schools in Illinois or are just beginning to consider it, you’re taking a very important step towards a rewarding career in healthcare.

Before embarking on this journey, it is crucial to be well-informed about the various aspects of your online medical billing and coding education. Information related to program costs, curriculum, admission requirements, and accreditation can influence what you select for a medical billing and coding program in Illinois.

This profession may seem like a mysterious or obscure one, but dedicated medical billing and coding professionals play a vital role in modern healthcare. The complex world of healthcare reimbursement would quickly grind to a halt without these skilled specialists. Taking online classes in IL will help you confidently take the first steps toward a promising new career.

We have developed this comprehensive guide covering medical billing and coding online schools in Illinois to address some concerns you may have and provide you with information to make a decision that can accelerate your future.

Medical billing and coding specialists must possess a keen eye for detail to ensure healthcare services are accurately documented, coded, and billed. This is critical for providers to receive timely and appropriate compensation for their work. Thankfully, there are some excellent medical billing and coding online schools in Illinois.

College of Lake County

Students in IL interested in obtaining a career certificate as a medical billing and coding specialist should consider the program at the College of Lake County. This course focuses on teaching students the nuances of insurance codes and reimbursement techniques, and how to facilitate positive patient interactions.

The 21-credit-hour program costs $5,167 which includes tuition and fees. Students can complete the medical billing and coding career certificate in just three semesters or choose to apply these courses to the Health Information Technology Associate of Applied Science program if they would like to go a step further and become a Registered Health Information Technician.

The College of Lake County offers classes in three different formats to best meet the needs of their students. Classes typically begin in the fall and can be taken entirely online, in virtual live format via Zoom at a scheduled time, or in-person.

Southern Illinois University

Logo of Southern Illinois University Carbondale featuring the initials "SIU" and "Carbondale" written below in maroon. To the right of the text is a maroon graphic of a Saluki dog, which is the university's mascot. The design is outlined in rectangular frame.

Students can take an online medical billing and coding course at Southern Illinois University (SIU). The course is offered fully online and prepares students to take the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders.

Course curriculum includes medical terminology and healthcare law, and teaches students how to use the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System, which is critical for any medical billing and coding specialist to understand. Those looking to enter the medical field quickly can expect this certification course to take 12 months to complete. Tuition costs about $3,000 at SIU.

The only prerequisite for the SIU medical billing and coding online program is that students are based in the US. The course at SIU can be started any time and is self-paced. With its fully online format, comprehensive curriculum, and preparation for the CPC exam, SIU’s medical billing and coding course provides a flexible and affordable option.

University of Illinois at Springfield

Logo of the University of Illinois Springfield. The text on the logo is in uppercase letters, with "UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS" in a prominent font on the top line and "SPRINGFIELD" in a smaller font size below it. The text is in a blue color.

The medical billing and coding program offered at the University of Illinois at Springfield helps prepare students for industry certification. The course is offered completely online and is self-paced, making it an excellent option for people needing flexibility. Ongoing open enrollment allows students to begin classes at any time.

Classes will cover topics such as legal, ethical, and regulatory concepts central to the medical billing and coding profession. You can expect the online medical billing and coding program at UIS to take about 12 months to complete. The cost to attend the program is $2,995 which includes a voucher students can use for professional certification at the end of the course.

Students will need a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible for the national certification exam. Otherwise, there are no specific prerequisites required to enroll.

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Considerations when Choosing a Program in Illinois

Medical billing and coding online schools in Illinois have much to offer prospective students. Factors such as accreditation, certification exam preparation, cost, curriculum, and program format all work together to create an overall learning experience. Identifying your needs and goals is imperative to finding the right program that will set you up for success in the dynamic field of medical billing and coding.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a crucial factor to consider before selecting a medical billing and coding program in Illinois. It ensures that the institution meets rigorous standards for education quality, faculty, and student outcomes. Attending an accredited school may also impact your eligibility for financial aid, transfer credits, and professional certification.

Look for programs accredited by recognized organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education and the American Academy of Professional Coders.

Certification Exam Preparation

Many employers prefer or require medical billing and coding professionals to earn industry-recognized certifications. As you evaluate medical billing and coding online schools in Illinois, consider whether they provide adequate preparation for exams such as the Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), or Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CDCS).

Illinois Valley Community College includes a voucher for students to cover the cost of taking their choice of a professional certification exam.

Cost and Financial Aid

The cost of attending a medical billing and coding program in Illinois will vary depending on the institution, duration, and format of the program. Consider your budget and be sure to explore financial aid options. Don’t forget to look into grants, scholarships, and loans as other avenues to help offset the cost of your education.

At Illinois Central College, more than 700 scholarships are available in addition to financial aid for students that qualify.

Curriculum and Specializations

Potential programs for medical billing and coding should cover essential topics like medical terminology, coding systems, and insurance practices as part of their curriculum. Some programs may offer specializations, such as inpatient or outpatient coding, to allow students to focus on a specific area of interest.

Northwestern College provides a comprehensive curriculum that includes industry-standard coding software and hands-on practice as part of a required externship designed to give students practical experience prior to graduation.

Duration and Flexibility

Medical billing and coding programs in Illinois range from a few months to a few years depending on the level of education desired, the institution, and the student’s pace. It’s important to consider your desired timeline to find a program that allows you to balance education with work and personal commitments.

Oakton College offers a medical billing and coding career certificate in just one year or as part of the Health Information Technology Associate of Applied Science program if students would like to obtain an associate’s degree.

Format

Modern technology allows medical billing and coding programs to be offered in various formats, including on-campus, online, and hybrid. Think about your learning style, schedule, and location when choosing a program format that best suits your personal and professional needs.

The College of Lake County offers classes in three different formats to best meet the needs of their students including online or in-person.

Medical Billing and Coding Salary in Illinois

Medical billing and coding specialists in Illinois can expect competitive salaries. The table below references salary data for medical record specialists, which is the closest available job match to medical biller and coders for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data. According to this data, the mean annual wage in the state is $54,070, which is slightly higher than the national average. Salaries vary depending on location and experience level.

Some of the highest salaries in the state can be found in Kankakee which boasts an average annual salary of $60,300. Less populated areas, like Bloomington and Decatur, have lower average salaries around $46,000 but also offer lower costs of living.

Medical billing and coding professionals in Illinois can anticipate earning wages that are on par with or exceed the national average, depending on their specific location and experience level. It’s important to consider the cost of living in each area against the potential salary to determine the most suitable location for your career and lifestyle.

Area10th PercentileMean Annual Wage90th Percentile
United States$35,080$53,690$77,810
Illinois$36,610$54,070$75,850
Bloomington, IL$30,370$47,760$65,830
Carbondale-Marion, IL$31,960$50,320$66,620
Champaign-Urbana, IL$31,200$45,400$61,950
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI$37,420$56,150$79,710
Danville, IL$36,550$60,100$82,910
Decatur, IL$35,130$47,130$61,490
Kankakee, IL$40,300$60,300$89,010
Peoria, IL$37,200$51,370$69,570
Rockford, IL$34,730$51,230$62,780
Springfield, IL$38,330$51,680$68,970

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2023

Breaking Down the Career Outlook for Medical Biller in Illinois

The data provided in the table below shows that the medical record field in Illinois is expected to have steady growth from 2020 to 2030. There are 570 new positions expected, translating to a 5.1% job increase. While this growth rate is lower than the national average of 8.5%, Illinois is still expecting a consistent demand for qualified professionals. Those interested in a career as a medical biller and coder in Illinois can look forward to a stable career outlook.

AreaNew JobsJob Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
United States28,6008.5%27,400
Illinois5705.1%860

Source: Projections Central, 2020 – 2030

Common Questions About Medical Billing & Coding Schools in Illinois

Don’t worry if you still have questions about pursuing a career in medical billing and coding in Illinois. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help you make an informed decision before taking the next step in your professional journey.

How do I become a medical coder in Illinois?

While many medical billing and coding online schools in Illinois do not require any prerequisites, a high school diploma or equivalent is often recommended. Next, you will need to complete a post-secondary education program in medical billing and coding. Completing this education can take months to years based on many different factors. Once you have completed your education, consider obtaining a professional certification, such as the CPC, CDCS, or CCA, to improve your job prospects and earning potential.

How much does medical billing and coding pay in Illinois?

Based on the latest information from ZipRecruiter, medical billers and coders in Arizona make an average hourly wage of $19.78. However, the pay in cities like Queen Creek and Scottsdale is slightly above this. Medical billers and coders in these locations earn an average of $22.91 and $22.86 per hour, respectively.

Is medical billing and coding worth it?

The short answer is yes. Medical billing and coding can be a worthwhile career choice for those interested in healthcare. The profession allows individuals to enter the medical field quickly while also offering stable job security and room for professional growth.

Is medical billing and coding hard?

While medical billing and coding can be challenging, it is a skill that can be learned with proper education and training. If you have a keen eye for detail, an interest in medical systems, and the willingness to learn how to navigate complex healthcare regulations then you are well suited for medical billing and coding. People who are natural problem-solvers may even find the challenges of the job rewarding and interesting.

Is medical coding a good remote job?

Absolutely. Medical billing and coding is an excellent choice for people seeking remote work. Today, many healthcare organizations and insurance companies offer remote positions. This can help promote a healthy work-life balance. The opportunities for remote medical coding jobs are expected to grow due to increasing adoption of electronic medical records and remote access technologies.