Whether you’re just starting your career or you’re looking for a change, pursuing a career in the field of medical billing and coding can be a perfect step toward independence, a good salary, and the chance to help people in the healthcare field. But how do you get started? First, you need to gather as much information as you can to make sure this career is a good fit for you. Once you’ve determined that, you’ll need to find a program that fits your needs.
To help you get started on gathering the information you need, we’ve created this comprehensive guide of everything you need to know about online medical billing and coding classes in Ohio. We’ll highlight some of the most popular programs in Ohio, the skills you’ll need to be successful in school and beyond, and tips on how to find the right school. We’ll also address some of the pros and cons of medical billing and coding, your prospective salary in Ohio, and more.
Popular Medical Billing and Coding Programs in Ohio
There are a lot of things you need to consider when finding a good program, and taking a look at some real programs can help you see the bigger picture. Factors you’ll need to consider include a program’s format (whether it’s online or on campus), its duration, and its accreditation(s). Let’s take a look at a few of the top medical billing and coding online programs currently offered in Ohio.
Rhodes State College
Rhodes State College offers a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate program that is designed to prepare students for the national certification exam. Students are trained in medical anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and reimbursement practices. They also learn to manage insurance claims, handle electronic health records, and utilize the ICD-10-CM, CPT, and HCPCS coding systems. This program can be taken entirely online. The certificate consists of 22-23 credits and can be completed in just two semesters, although those with previous healthcare experience can gain credit by exam and complete the program in even less time. Tuition at Rhodes State College is $190/credit, with several scholarship opportunities available to offset the cost of attendance. Once they complete the program, students are prepared to take the AAPC national certification exam of their choice and become medical billing and/or coding professionals. Rhodes State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Terra State Community College
Terra State Community College offers an online Medical Billing and Coding program that prepares students for entry-level positions in the healthcare field. Students learn how to use the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPS) and the CPT Category II and ICD-10 codes. The curriculum includes topics in insurance claims, medical terminology, the legal aspects of health insurance and reimbursement, pharmacology, and commercial insurance. Upon completion, students receive a voucher for one of three certification exams: Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), or Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS). Students can earn the certification in one year, but may have to study for up to three years if they wish to pursue an associate degree. Tuition for in-state residents is $194/credit, and out-of-state residents pay $388/credit. Terra State offers scholarships, grants, and student employment opportunities to help students finance their education. Terra State Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
It should come as no surprise that the best online medical billing and coding classes in Ohio are offered at the best schools, like Franklin University which offers a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist certificate that can be completed 100% online. One of the fastest programs, students can finish all of their classes and obtain their certification in just three months. Students study the major laws and regulations around medical billing; learn to accurately complete insurance claims; familiarize themselves with insurance coverage, carriers, and plans; and learn how to prevent fraud and abuse in medical billing. This program costs a total of $2,000, with payment options available. Upon completion, students are prepared to sit for the Medical Coder and Biller Certification (MCBC) exam. This program is offered online through a combination of virtual scenarios, traditional textbook readings, interactive games, and 3D animations. If students choose to continue their education, they can apply credits toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Medical Billing and Coding Skills for Student Success
Before you commit to a career, it’s important to know exactly what it takes to succeed. While education will provide you with knowledge, you’ll also need to develop and practice skills that will help you excel in your medical billing and coding classes in Ohio and later as a medical billing and coding professional. Below we’ve listed and explained a few of the most useful and relevant skills.
Attention to Detail
Medical billing and coding requires meticulous attention to detail. You’ll be dealing with bills and payments that keep the healthcare world running. Employers will be looking for efficient and accurate billing and coding professionals who can handle information for insurance companies, healthcare providers, and patients.
Adaptability to Technology
The medical field is constantly changing, especially when it comes to technology, and billing and coding is no exception. Medical billing and coding professionals are constantly having to adapt to evolving coding and billing software systems. Since this is a career where remote work is not only possible but common, it’s essential that you’re familiar and comfortable with technology.
Commitment to Confidentiality
Medical billing and coding professionals have access to a significant amount of sensitive patient information, which they need to be able to handle with discretion. If you pursue a career in this field, you will be directly responsible for obtaining, handling, and delivering confidential information securely to protect yourself and your employers from liability, as well as patients’ privacy.
Strong Communication Skills
While you may not be interacting with patients in a very hands-on way, you will still be playing an integral role in their care by communicating with healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients themselves when they have questions or concerns. Because medical billing and coding professionals need to communicate detailed and confidential information clearly to multiple parties, written and oral communication are both essential in this career.
Finding a Medical Billing & Coding Program in OH: What to Consider
As you probably know already, researching online medical billing and coding programs in Ohio involves sifting through lots of information. While almost all of it is valuable, there are a few special factors you should prioritize before making your final decision.
Accreditation is an acknowledgment by an independent third party that a program or school meets a certain standard of quality. When you’re looking for a medical billing and coding program, you’ll want to make sure it’s been accredited. If it’s not, you can’t be confident you’ll receive quality education or earn a certification that will be recognized by future employers. The University of Cincinnati, for example, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
Cost & Financial Aid
It is extremely important to know the cost of your program upfront so that you don’t end up buried by a mountain of debt. The majority of schools, including Rhodes State College, have their tuition prices indicated clearly on their website, as well as individual program fees and expenses. It’s also worth checking what scholarships and grants are available, or if there are any student employment programs or work-study opportunities that can help you fund your education.
Curriculum & Certificate Preparation
When researching a program, pay special attention to the curriculum. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting a well-rounded education, like the one at the University of Cincinnati Online, that prepares you to take the certification exam of your choice. You don’t want to finish your medical billing/coding classes only to find out later that you haven’t met the requirements for certification. Additionally, if you are interested in a specific niche within medical billing and coding, look for programs that offer classes or cover subjects in that niche.
If your schedule is already jam-packed, checking a program’s formatting is a must. Taking medical billing and coding classes online, particularly in an asynchronous format, or part-time can help you manage your many personal, professional, and academic obligations and responsibilities. Alternatively, if interacting with your peers and professors in person is important to you and beneficial to your education, look for programs that are offered in traditional or hybrid formats. Miami University is a great example of a school that offers medical billing and coding classes online in Ohio.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Medical Billing & Coding Certification
Before committing your time and money to a program, you should consider whether it will be worth it. Every path has its costs and benefits, and you should be familiar with them before taking the first step. Below, we’ll go over a couple of pros and cons to give you an idea of what to expect from a career in medical billing and coding.
Answering Your FAQs About Ohio Medical Billing & Coding Programs
So far, we’ve covered program highlights, the skills medical coding and billing professionals need to succeed, and some pros and cons of the career. But there are always more questions to answer, right? Below we’ve compiled a short list of some frequently asked questions about medical billing and coding classes online in Ohio.
Are medical billing and coding classes ever offered online or part-time?
Yes, and yes. Most universities in Michigan offer their medical billing and coding classes online both synchronously and asynchronously. However, each school and program is different, so always be sure to check the program details when researching programs. Each school’s website should tell you whether the program is available online and whether part-time study options are available. For example, Davenport University offers its medical billing and coding program online.
Are there any prerequisites for medical billing and coding programs?
Each school will have different requirements for its programs, so it’s important to examine programs individually when checking for prerequisite requirements. Typically, earning a certificate or diploma won’t have many (if any) prerequisites besides age and a high school diploma/GED. However, if the program you are considering is embedded in a degree such as an associate or bachelor’s degree, it’s reasonable to expect some prerequisites. Central Michigan University doesn’t require any prerequisites for its online medical billing and coding classes.
How much do medical billers and coders make in Michigan?
The median salary for medical billers and coders in Michigan is $46,660, or $23.43/hour, but wages differ across specific positions. While you’ll likely come across positions that pay more/less than this, you can expect your salary as a medical billing/coding professional to be close to this amount.
What certification exam(s) do I need to take before I can start working?
In order to start working, you will need to receive certification. You can obtain certification by taking one of several options available in Michigan. The two most common certification exams are the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification and the Certified Professional Biller (CPB) certification. These are both offered by the American Association of Professional Coders. You must complete at least one exam before you can start your career in the healthcare field.
What is the process for applying to a medical billing and coding program?
Like everything else, this will depend on the specific program/university and its unique requirements for admission into its medical billing and coding classes. Some of the most common requirements are a high school diploma or GED, an ACT or SAT score, and an admission essay. As this is an undergraduate certificate, you will not need any kind of college degree. In fact, some schools only require certain biology courses to be completed, such as Washtenaw Community College.