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Medical Coding Training Cost


How Much Does Medical Coding Training Cost?

 
low costOnline Courses: $1,000-$4,000average costCertificate Preparation Programs: $2,500-$12,000high costDegree Program: $20,000-$30,000
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Medical coders work with standardized healthcare coding systems used for billing of patient services and procedures. Medical coders are tasked with deciphering patient charts to assign the proper codes to ensure reimbursement from private and federal insurance providers. Medical coders work in all areas of healthcare -- most frequently in doctors' offices and hospitals. Medical coding and medical billing are frequently paired, both in training and in career paths.

Typical costs:

  • Medical coding training courses are available online for $1,000-$4,000 total. American Association of Medical Coders offers an online standard certified professional coder preparation course[1] for $1,495. Career Step, an online medical training center, packages two medical coding and billing programs that cost $2,095-$2,495.
  • In-person medical coder certificate preparation programs offered at technical schools and community colleges cost $2,500-$12,000 depending on residency status of the student. Tuition for the medical coder certificate program[2] at St. Petersburg College, in Florida, is $3,196 for residents and $11,594 for non-residents.
  • Medical coding is taught as part of larger healthcare management associate degree programs at some schools. The associate degree programs take 18 months to two years to complete and cost $20,000-$30,000. Colorado Technical University has a health administration services degree program[3] that costs $27,260 and can be completed in 18 months.
Related articles: Medical Billing Training, Medical Transcription Training, Community College

What should be included:
  • Medical coder programs should include comprehensive training in one or more of the standardized medical codes including CPT (Current Procedure Terminology), HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System), and ICD-9 (and soon ICD-10).
  • In addition the learning standardized medical coding systems, programs should include training in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, HIPAA compliance and insurance compliance.
Additional costs:
  • There are a variety of certification tests for medical coders which cover various skill levels and occupations. The American Health Information Management Association, the leading organization in health care management, has coder certification[4] for both medical coding associates for $200-$300 and for medical coding specialists for $300-$400. Associates[5] can be certified after completing training, specialists[6] need on-the-job experience to qualify for testing.
  • The American Association of Professional Coders provides certification for various coding areas of expertise including for certified interventional radiology cardiovascular coder[7] for $400 and various coding specialties[8] for $245.
  • The Association of Registered Healthcare Professionals offers testing to become a registered medical coder[9] for $285. Becoming registered is voluntary but can lead to higher paid positions.
Discounts:
  • For degree-based programs, such as those at junior or community colleges, financial aid is available to qualified students. Students can apply for federal financial aid[10] online.
  • Fastweb[11] , a subsidiary of Monster, is an online search engine for scholarships and grants.
  • The American Health Information Management Association awards scholarships[12] annually for students pursuing careers in health information management.
  • Sarah Lincoln Bush Health System[13] provides scholarships to medical coding students.
  • American Association of Professional Coders offers discounts on membership and certification testing[14] for students who complete AAPC training.
Shopping for medical coding training:
  • The Health Information Careers provides information for finding an ideal coding program[15] .
  • The American Association of Professional Coders provides a search of classes for CPC and CPC-H training[16] across the country.
  • There are many reputable companies that offer legitimate and rigorous medical training, but be cautious about programs which makes promises of guaranteed jobs or at-home work that sound too good to be true. HomeWithTheKids.com describes common medical transcription/billing/coding scams[17] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.aapc.com/training/cpc-online-medical-coding-training-course.aspx
  2.  www.spcollege.edu/courses/program/MEDCD-CT
  3.  www.coloradotech.edu/Degree-Programs/Associate-Degree-In-Health-Administration-Services
  4.  www.ahima.org/certification/examfees.aspx
  5.  www.ahima.org/certification/cca.aspx
  6.  www.ahima.org/certification/ccs.aspx
  7.  www.aapc.com/certification/circc.aspx
  8.  www.aapc.com/certification/specialty-credentials.aspx
  9.  mmi-classes.com/collections/arhcp/rmc-test.html
  10.  www.fafsa.ed.gov/#
  11.  www.fastweb.com/
  12.  www.ahimafoundation.org/education/default.aspx
  13.  www.sarahbush.org/patients-visitors/lab-test/
  14.  www.aapc.com/training/medical-coding-training.aspx
  15.  hicareers.com/Toolbox/recognition.aspx
  16.  www.aapc.com/training/medical-coding-classes.aspx
  17.  www.homewiththekids.com/scams/medical.php
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