Medical Billing Coding - Best Online Schools/ Associates Degree or Certificate?, cpt, codes
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Thread Topic: Best Online Schools/ Associates Degree or Certificate?
Topic Originator: Adam Burchett
Post Date June 15, 2008 @ 12:53 AM
Best Online Schools/ Associates Degree or Certificate?

Adam Burchett
June 15, 2008 @ 12:53 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hello, I'm rather new to this Career Field but already I'm very Intrested in it. So I'm looking to become a Medical Coder and I wanna take the classes Online. Back in High School my Teacher told me that for my Future a Calculator would be my best friend. I'm really that pathetic at Math from the most easy to mid -level. Hence the Associates Degree Vs Certificate.  I did poorly in School and taking general ed classes like Math, Science, English scares me to be honest. On the other hand a Certificate takes less then a year  ( No Math ) but it doesn't seem like enough experience to go for my Bachelors if I chose to and I wanna make more then 10- 12 a hour at some point. I kinda doubt I would wanna pursue a entry-level position after I achieve my Associates I think I'd rather begin cranking on the Bachelor degree. I'm nervous about making a decision because making 10-12 a hour would be totally fine with me but at some point I know I'd highly consider going for another degree. Kaplan University accepted me ( Certificate ) but I cant make up my mind and theirs a bunch of Coding Associate Degrees that catch my eye. It's just Time, MATH! and I wanna make like 15 an Hour atleast. I have to be prepared and have the experience to take the Certifications also.

Michelle M. Rimmer,CHI,CBCS
June 15, 2008 @ 6:05 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Adam,

Yes, it seems like you are a bit confused :-)  

While I am all for degrees!!!, to become a medical coder, an Associate's is not necessary.  What is necessary is that once you complete your program, you sit for your CPC or CCS exam. You need to get certified!!

Kaplan is a good program, the developer/instructor of the coding program is an author colleague of mine.  She actually co-developed my Certified Test Bank for my 'Medical Billing 101' Book.

Good Luck to you!

Michelle Rimmer, CHI,CBCS
President-Professional Medical Billers Association
Owner-Learn Medical Billing Online

Michelle Rimmer,CHI,CBCS
June 17, 2008 @ 12:06 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Dee,

Well, that you want to get certified in billing, coding, or both?

For coding, you could sit for the CPC or CCS, both are highly recognized.

If you'd like to get certified in billing, there are also several exams to take.  The exam through my site is the CPMB(Certified Professional Medical Biller).  Upon passing with a minimum grade of 80%, you are awarded the CPMB credential.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Good Luck!
Michelle Rimmer, CHI,CBCS
President-Professional Medical Billers Association
Owner-Learn Medical Billing Online

Tammy Harlan
June 26, 2008 @ 12:26 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

There are no certification requirements to perform medical billing.  
There are no "state or national" standard courses or examinations or credentials.  So..  your certificate, your knowledge and your credentials are only as good as the course you have taken.

For medical coding (medical billing and medical coding are two separate fields), we refer our students to the AAPC.  For billing education and certification, you have some shopping and research to do.  Of course, anyone offering education and certification in medical billing feels they are the "best"...   but I don't believe you should be mislead to believe they are the "only source" for medical billing education and certification.  And I don't believe that they should lead you to believe that they offer a national, state, or standard examination for certification .

Go to Google and search:  medical billing course

then...  do your research and request references.  Make sure you are provided with 10-20 references to call...  if not more.

Tammy Harlan
Medical Billing Course, LLC
(865) 286-9124

February 3, 2010 @ 1:16 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi...I am in the process of interviewing schools for Medical Coding/Billing in the Atlanta Ga area.  This is all new to me and I would greatly appreciate any tips, information etc that anyone can give me.  I am looking to make a career change due to lay-off's as I have several years banking, accounting experience and am looking to get into the medical field that will hopefully provide job stability/security (hopefully that still exists) Again, any feedback such as what type of school to look into etc will be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!!

June Dwy
April 21, 2011 @ 8:42 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I have been coding for many years and I am quite impressed
with your response.  Please contact me via my email.  Thanks, June

June 15, 2008 @ 11:48 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Michele,
Thanks for making yourself available to answer question. I am about to graduate with an associate in medical billing and coding. I am a bit confused as to which certification exam to take, which is accepted more readily? Thanks again

June 18, 2008 @ 9:13 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Ashford University has a great BA program in the health care industry. From what i see all the course consentrate on the health care policys and the rate range from $250- 300 per credit... which i much better that Pheonix university which i am now enrolled in.. I found out about Ashford after i started.

Liz Jones
June 19, 2008 @ 2:46 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

An Associate's Degree in billing and coding is different from a Certification. Many schools are now offering both an Associates Degree and a Certification. A certification proves to a prospective employer that you have passed a qualifying examination and have demonstrated competence in the subject.  As mentioned above, there is a difference between billing and coding certifications. Each certification below is accepted throughout the country, however in certain areas of the country one may be better known than the others are. Here are some of the certifications available:

Certified Professional Coder is given by the American Academy of Professional Coders and is an excellent coding certification for provider offices. The 5-hour exam is multiple choice.

Certified Coding Specialist  Provider is given by American Health Information Management Association and is also an excellent coding certification for provider offices. The exam is based on coding scenarios.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist is given by the Medical Association of Billers and is a blend of coding and billing concepts. It is an excellent place to start. Many people get their billing certification before their coding certification because they can perform more tasks in the doctors office from scheduling, front desk registration, coding, preparing the claim, analyzing an EOB, to appealing inappropriate payments.

Liz Jones
Academic Director
Medical Association of Billers

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