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How to Choose a Program of Study for Medical Coding and Billing

Certification may open the door to your new medical coding and billing career, but you need to understand the workings of the industry to succeed in the billing and coding business. That’s where your program of study comes in.

By attending classes and studying under professionals who know the ins and outs of the industry, you can have a competitive edge over job candidates who study independently for the certification tests.

Wherever you choose to enroll, make sure the institution offers classes in, at minimum, anatomy, medical terminology, ICD-9 coding, CPT coding, and billing practices. These subjects represent the minimum you must know to pass a certification exam and get a job in billing and coding.

Ideally, full programs also offer classes that explain the different types of insurance, describe how clearinghouses operate and what their function actually is, and introduce you to the types of coding and billing software that medical practices commonly use. Your best bet is to make a list of these subject areas and keep them close by when you’re looking online at potential schools or speaking with school representatives.

The path to certification can be costly; it pays to research any and all programs before making a commitment. Whether you enroll at a community college, a vocational school, or an online program, you want to weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide what best fits your needs, goals, and lifestyle so that you can move on to the next big step — taking that certification exam.

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