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Medical Billing and Coding

Certificate/Diploma

Medical Billing and Coding

Fast Facts

National annual wage range:
$25,070 to $62,840*
Tuition and fees:
$15,230 to $16,855
Program length:
36 weeks

Providing quality healthcare requires more than excellent patient care. Professionals in medical billing and coding do not treat patients, but they handle operations that are vital to the success of medical practices. If you are detail-oriented with a desire to learn, you can train for a career in medical billing and coding in as little as nine months.

Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Program

The Medical Billing and Coding Specialist diploma/certificate program at Brightwood College is designed to prepare you for the field in a short amount of time. To enter this profession, you need the technical skills and know-how to accurately complete complex administrative duties. Our Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program includes hands-on training in classrooms that simulate real-world scenarios and actual work experience in an externship. Our goal is to prepare you for the field and give you a solid foundation for success, and our instructors and staff support you throughout the entire learning experience.

What Do Medical Billing and Coding Specialists Do?

Medical billing and coding professionals, often called medical records and health information technicians, organize and manage health information data. They ensure that the information maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories.

Hands-On Training for Medical Billing and Coding Jobs

Before you complete your diploma or certificate program, you will complete an externship in a physician’s office, clinic or related healthcare setting. An externship is a real job where you can develop your skills and learn from others who are working in the field.

During your externship, you will assign codes to patient medical files, fill out insurance claims and perform other billing and coding related documentation under the supervision of a health service professional. This gives you the opportunity to explore, learn and grow through actual work experience.

Possible Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Job Titles

With training from Brightwood College, graduates of this diploma/certificate program can be prepared to pursue entry-level jobs with job titles such as:

  • Health information technician
  • Medical billing and coding specialist
  • Medical biller or coder
  • Medical records technician

Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Job Description

Specific job responsibilities will depend on your work setting, specific job title and other factors, but many medical billers and coders have duties including:

  • Submitting claims to insurance companies
  • Managing account payments and invoices
  • Answering billing questions
  • Protecting the privacy of medical histories
  • Translating services into codes
  • Entering data into Electronic Health/Medical Record (EMR) software
  • Using classification software
  • Staying up-to-date on coding standards
  • Ensuring that coding accurately reflects medical care received
  • Passing codes onto medical biller to be converted into claims
  • Following coding guidelines and legal requirements

Growth of Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Jobs

Employment of medical billers and coders (and related job titles such as medical records technician) is expected to increase 15% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 The recent 100 Best Jobs report from U.S. News & World Report (based on salary, employment rate, growth, stress level and work-life balance) ranks this profession at number 68.

How Much Do Medical Billing and Coding Specialists Make?

According to the latest national data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay is $38,040 per year (or $18.29 per hour). Salary will vary based on experience, location of employment and the specific job title and duties being performed. 1

Earning Medical Billing and Coding Certifications

Becoming a certified medical coder or biller can demonstrate your knowledge and training to potential employers. Certification may not be required for employment, but as the competition for jobs increases, it may help you stand out from other candidates.

This program is intended to help eligible students prepare for exams such as the following:

  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) exam, sponsored by National Healthcareers Association (NHA): www.nhanow.com
  • Certified Coding Associate (CCA) sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): www.ahima.org
  • Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exam or Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-Based (CCS-P) exam sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): www.ahima.org
  • Certified Professional Biller (CPB) exam offered by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC): www.aapc.com/certification
  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC): www.aapc.com/certification
  • Nationally Registered Certified Coding Specialist (NRCCS) offered by the National Association of Health Professionals (NAHP): www.nahpusa.com
  • Insurance Coding Specialist certification offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT): www.ncctinc.com
  • Certification and licensure exams vary by location. Please see your campus' course catalog to determine which certification or licensure exam(s) may be available to you.2

    Finding Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Jobs

    The Brightwood College Career Development team is available to help you develop job-finding skills. Our career placement services include reviewing your resume, supplying interview tips and helping you start your job search. We are dedicated to helping you pursue your medical billing and coding career.

    How Do I Pay for College?

    The right combination of financial aid programs could help you manage the costs involved in obtaining your degree. Determine the types of financial aid available, how to apply for aid and what you can do to make school more affordable.

    Get Started Today

    Connect with us to take the first step toward a new career and a brighter future. Request more information or give us a call to learn more about our Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program.

    1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm (visited August 20, 2017). Expected 15% growth rate through the year 2024. National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth or any particular salary. Median pay is the wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

    2 The College makes no representation, promise or guarantee that completion of this program either assures passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board. Prospective and current students, as well as graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration or licensure requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed or employed. Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or career advancement.

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