In most career colleges and trade school programs, medical coding and medical billing are combined into one program, since the professions are very similar in nature. (See: What’s the Difference between Billing and Coding?)
Programs usually focus on a combination of medical knowledge, computer software and Web applications, hospital and insurance policy, and ethics with regard to medical records. The ultimate goal of these programs is to prepare students for entry-level employment as medical coders and billers, whether it is in a medical setting or in a home office.
Medical Coding Course Content
Some common professional skills taught in a medical billing and coding course can include:
- Registering and recording patient information
- Verifying patient insurance, referrals and pre-authorization
- Recording transactions, processing payments, and managing patient accounts
- Billing, coding, and reporting insurance claims
- Collecting payments from patients and insurance companies
The background knowledge needed for these tasks can be considerable, requiring in-depth medical knowledge and technical skills. Some of the more fundamental topics covered in a medical billing and coding program can include:
- Medical terminology
- Medical coding systems
- Medical law & ethics
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Medical records administration
- Database management
- Business skills
A typical medical coding and billing course will likely follow a standard progression. First, the laws, regulations and code of ethics that all workers in the medical profession must adhere too. Second, the basic medical terminology and procedures, and the “language” you’ll need to speak to get by in the medical world. Finally, the courses will cover different medical procedures and the coding and billing practices associated with them. See our list of recommended medical coding programs to find out more, or learn about a specific program by requesting information from a school.
More information on medical coding programs can be found at Medical Coding Training.