Medical Billing Programs

Medical billers are a necessity in health care facilities, given the complex system for insurance and payment. Coders and billers are mainly responsible for translating a doctor's diagnosis or patient's medical records into a very specific code, so the insurance company can process the bill correctly, but their tasks can also include managing patient records for billing and being a liaison between health care providers and insurance companies. As jobs in health care grow, medical billing and coding jobs will grow along with them, but before you can get started in this field, you need to train. Here's a useful Q&A on medical billing programs.

Which postsecondary institutions offer medical billing degree or certificate programs?

It depends which kind of medical billing education you want. If you want an online program in medical billing, you have a lot of options, such as Heald College and Grantham University. Rather study on a college campus? Try Hunter College or California State University, Los Angeles. Because medical billing programs are often certificate or associate's degree programs, there's a good chance your local community college will have a medical billing program as well.

Are there financial aid resources to help medical billing students pay for their education?

As a medical billing student, you potentially have a lot of financial aid resources available to you. You can apply for scholarships, through websites such as Scholarships.com and Medical Billing and Coding Online. You can also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, to see which federal loans and grants you qualify for, or apply for private student loans. If you can't afford a medical billing program out of pocket, that doesn't have to be the end of the story.

Are there internships for medical billing students?

According to Medical Billing and Coding, you should inquire at the following places for medical billing internships:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctor's offices
  • Chiropractor offices
  • Physical therapy offices
  • Nursing homes
  • Mental health facilities
  • Drug facilities
  • Outpatient clinics
  • The Red Cross
  • Government medical facilities

After reaching out to those places, you can always look for medical billing internships on websites such as Internships.com and Intern Queen, or inquire whether your school has any established internship programs.

What is the job growth like for medical billers and coders?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the category of medical records and health information technicians -- which includes medical billers and coders -- is expected to grow 22 percent nationally between now and 2022, which is well above the average for all occupations throughout the country. Specific states are also expected to see particularly strong career growth between now and 2020, according to state data that Projections Central has collected. Those states include:

  • Louisiana: 30.2% growth
  • Utah: 28.3%
  • Texas: 27.9%
  • Colorado: 27.8%
  • Montana: 27.7%
  • Idaho: 27.7%
  • Alaska: 27.5%
  • Arizona: 26.7%
  • Tennessee: 25.8%
  • Alabama: 24.6%

Why are medical billing programs well-suited for working professionals?

Medical billing programs can be rigorous, but there are many accommodations available for working professionals, from online programs in medical billing, which allow students to complete the class work whenever and wherever they want to campus programs in medical billing which offer evening and weekend courses. If you're looking for a steady career with a flexible training option, these programs might offer great balance.

How can I receive additional information about medical billing schools or programs?

When you're looking for information on medical billing schools and programs, the Internet is a great place to start. If you already have specific programs or schools in mind, contacting their admissions offices for information on application deadlines and requirements is an excellent next step.

Sources:

Job Outlook for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 8, 2014,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm

"Medical Billing and Coding Scholarship Resources," Medical Billing and Coding Online,
http://www.medicalbillingandcodingonline.com/scholarships/

Long Term Job Outlook for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians through 2020, Projections Central,
http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm