Online medical billing and medical coding programs are typically grouped together at colleges, but the skills learned in these programs are used for distinctly separate functions in the workplace:
Medical billing and coding degree programs fall under the umbrella of health information technicians, who perform a wide range of key functions in health care settings. Similar to medical billers and coders, the primary duty of a health information technician is to use classification software in assigning clinical codes for physician and healthcare services so that providers are reimbursed from insurance providers.
While these occupations differ from healthcare informatics, medical coders and billers do compile and analyze patient data on a smaller scale. However, healthcare informatics requires a graduate degree and is different from health information technology in that it focuses on patient records stored in electronic form as well as compliance, billing and coding for these records.
The sections below contain a wealth of data about the top medical billing online colleges, medical coding and billing profession, also known as health information technology, from commonly asked questions and projected job growth to enrollment requirements and how long programs usually take to complete. Keep reading to dive deep into this growing and important career path.
The rankings below can help you compare and contrast 10 of the top medical billing online colleges. We compiled a wealth of information about each institution, including academic focus, key resources and program highlights so you can potentially find an online medical coding school that fits your needs, whether it's one of our top medical billing colleges listed below or not. Additionally, we targeted each top medical billing online colleges's online offerings to help you learn more about how classes are delivered and the level of support you can expect to receive from each institution.
NTC's Academic Focus Focus: Northwest Technical College is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, which includes 37 state colleges and universities. Students can take courses from NTC or one of many partner schools as they work to complete program requirements.
Featured Resource: NTC students receive no-cost online support seven days a week with extended hours. Resources include help with academic planning, registration, admissions and success coaching.
Medical Billing and Coding at Northwest Technical College
Certificate in Medical Coding
Diploma in Medical Coding
A.A.S.in Medical Coding
WITC's Academic Focus: WITC is a highly regarded institution serving residents of northwest Wisconsin from multiple campus locations. Its career-focused degree and certificate programs are designed to help students quickly enter the workforce.
Featured Resource: First-year students work closely with academic advisors to help with scheduling, course sequencing, registration and more. Advisors also can assist with career opportunities and to answer any questions that may arise.
Medical Billing and Coding at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
Technical Diploma - Medical Coding Specialist
Associate Degree in Health Information Technology
LCCC's Academic Focus: LCCC's main campus serves residents of Wyoming's capital city, but its online campus serves distance learners throughout the state and beyond. The college offers 85 programs that culminate in associate degrees and 29 certificate-based programs.
Featured Resource: LCCC students receive no-cost online support seven days a week with extended hours. Resources include help with academic planning, registration, admissions and success coaching.
Medical Billing and Coding at Laramie County Community College
Diploma in Medical Office Essentials
Certificate of Completion in Medical Claims Coding Assistance
A.A.S.in Health Information Technology Management
RC's Academic Focus: Rasmussen College has a large national footprint, including six campus locations throughout the Sunshine State so students can complete degree programs on campus, online or a blend of both. The college's flexible learning options include virtual and on-campus labs, field experience and interactive sessions with faculty.
Featured Resource: Rasmussen College provides many ways for students to accelerate their certificate or degree programs, including competency-based education, credit for prior learning and self-directed assessments.
Medical Billing and Coding at Rasmussen College - Florida
Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding
UAF's Academic Focus: UAF's eCampus programs range from occupational certificates to online master's degree programs. The university's online programs have been recognized for their exemplary support for distance learners.
Featured Resource: UAF's eCoaching department includes specialists in registration, financial aid, academic success, technical support and more to help students navigate different aspects of their academic journeys.
Medical Billing and Coding at University of Alaska - Fairbanks
Endorsement in Medical Billing
Occupational Endorsement in Medical Coding
Certificate in Health Care Reimbursement
RC's Academic Focus: Rasmussen's online programs emphasize the career-focused educational skills students need to enter the workforce. The college has campus locations in seven states, as well as its online campus.
Featured Resource: Competency-based online health information technology degree programs offer credit for prior learning. Self-directed assessments can help students complete their educational requirements more quickly.
Medical Billing and Coding at Rasmussen College - Minnesota
Certificate in Medical Coding
Associate Degree - Health Information Technician
ATCC's Academic Focus: ATCC states that their retention, career placement and graduation rates all rank among the highest in public two-year colleges in Minnesota. Nearly half of all ATCC students live outside a 50-mile radius of the main campus in Alexandria.
Featured Resource: Transfer specialists help students earn the maximum amount of transferrable credits. All Minnesota Transfer Curriculum transfers to any public four-year college or university in the state and are also widely accepted at private colleges as well.
Medical Billing and Coding at Alexandria Technical & amp;Community College
Medical Coding Specialist Certificate
Medical Coding Specialist Diploma
HUK's Academic Focus: Founded in 1965 as a small computer training institution in Milwaukee, this private nonprofit institution now has nine campus locations in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as its online campus. The average student-faculty ratio is 14:1.
Featured Resource: Online classes start throughout the year. Online curriculum includes personalized learning technology so distance learners can capitalize on prior learning to master content.
Medical Billing and Coding at Herzing University - Kenosha
NTC's Academic Focus: NTC has provided academic programs geared to meet employer needs in technical fields and careers for more than 100 years. The college operates six campus locations across central Wisconsin and serves distance learners throughout the nation from its online campus.
Featured Resource: NTC's statewide Youth Apprenticeship program blends academic instruction with hands-on training for students who want to jump-start their careers. Apprentices work a minimum of 450 hours and take corresponding college coursework to enhance their on-the-job experience.
Medical Billing and Coding at Northcentral Technical College
Technical Diploma - Medical Coding Specialist
HUB's Academic Focus: Herzing University serves more than 6,000 students annually through nine campus locations in seven states and its online campus. The university's career-oriented degree and diploma programs provide the industry-specific skills and training students need to broaden their career opportunities.
Featured Resource: Each student is matched with a campus professional in their area of study to provide individualized support throughout their academic journey.
Medical Billing and Coding at Herzing University - Brookfield
Health Information Management
Bachelor 's Degree
Diploma in Medical Billing and Insurance
If you earn either an online medical coding certificate or associate degree in medical billing and coding you can expect to receive the proper training to enter the health information technology workforce.
Both online medical billing degree programs cover highly technical subject matter and train you to perform accurate data entry. Online medical coding certificate and associate degree programs include topics such as:
However, there are some key differences between the program levels.
Student outcomes from both online medical coding certificate and online health information technology degree programs include a deep understanding of the following subjects:
Medical Office Procedures for Medical Billing and Coding
Laws and Ethics for Medical Billing and Coding
The aging population in the U.S. is expected to drive demand for trained and certified medical billers and coders. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical records and health information technicians should jump 11 percent through 2028, an increase of 23,100 new jobs nationwide.
As millions of baby boomers get older, they are expected to access health and medical services more frequently, resulting in a spike in claims. And increased use of electronic medical records means trained medical billers and coders are need to manage data for this key component of the healthcare industry.
Here are some of the most common careers in medical billing and coding that you may begin after graduation. We'll discuss the requirements of each one as well as its job duties and responsibilities so you can determine your ideal career path.
Medical coders typically assign diagnostic and procedural codes to services rendered so that they can be properly billed. They also serve as a link between physicians' offices and other care facilities and billing offices. Coders also review patient information for preexisting conditions in order to properly assign medical codes to their records.
Most employers prefer to hire those who have taken courses in medical coding and billing, including those who have earned at least a certificate or associate degree. Certification can often be earned after a medical coder has earned a certain amount of work experience in addition to higher education.
Health Information Technicians typically record patient data and track patient outcomes to help generate quality assessments. They use one of the four main classification software systems to assign clinical codes to services so they can be reimbursed by insurance providers. They may work closely with registered nurses and other trained medical professionals to clarify diagnoses or ensure patient records are correct.
Most health information technicians need a postsecondary certificate or an associate degree, depending upon the employer's preference. Many employers prefer to hire those who hold certification.
Medical secretaries handle many responsibilities, including taking dictation for physicians, processing insurance payments, arranging care for patients, and recording simple medical histories. They must be well-versed in medical terminology, understand billing codes and medical records, and know the basics of laboratory procedures. A medical secretary also handles typical secretarial duties, such as taking calls, filing paperwork, preparing invoices, scheduling appointments, maintaining databases and the like.
Employers often look favorably upon candidates who have taken courses in related areas, such as billing and coding, or those who have earned an associate or bachelor's online medical coding degree.
Students have five hours and 40 minutes to answer 150 multiple-choice questions during a proctored test that assesses 17 core areas of knowledge. A score of 70 percent or higher is required to pass the exam. Membership to the Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is required for renewal, and coders must complete 36 units of continuing education every two years to verify their expertise. Coders must also have two years of documented work experience to earn the full CPC designation; otherwise, they are classified as apprentices (CPC-A). Students can find additional details here.
Eligible students have completed an approved associate degree program in health information management or are in their final semester of study. The 3.5-hour-long exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions (20 pre-test and 130 scored questions) that gauge core competencies in three areas. Renewal every two years requires completion of 20 continuing education units. Find additional details here.
Cancer registrars collect, document and manage cancer data to provide crucial insight into reducing the burden of cancer. Eligibility for the CTR credential includes completion of an associate degree program and a minimum of 160 hours of supervised clinical experience under the supervision of a registered CTR, completion of an associate degree and a CTR certificate program, or 1,950 hours work experience in cancer registry. The exam consists of 180 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. During the two-year recertification period, CTRs, must complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education. Find additional details here.
Membership in professional organizations can help you in online health information technology degree programs, as well as advance your careers through networking opportunities, continuing education and more. Here are some of the most prominent professional groups for the industry.