Medical Coding and Billing Course

Is Medical Billing and Coding the Career for Me?

The medical coding and billing field offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Nationwide shortage

    Well-trained medical coders and billers are needed nationwide—in fact, it is estimated that 50% more coding positions are available than professionals to fill them! Needless to say, organizations are looking for people with billing and coding certification, and they're coming up short.

  • Healthcare security

    The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing in the country, and medical coding and billing gives you a chance to enjoy that security from an office setting with many opportunities for promotions and advancement.

  • Competitive salaries and benefits

    Medical coding and billing professionals enjoy competitive salaries as well as the potential for traditional employment benefits.

Improve your life with a new career as a medical coding and billing professional by starting online medical coding courses. Earn a great income, and possibly even do medical coding from home. Enjoy a successful career as a Certified Coding Associate (CCA) or Certified Professional Coder (CPC) in a growing industry, and better support your family with your medical coding certification. With the medical billing and coding online courses, you'll learn and develop the skills you need to land that critical job in the medical field.


Is Career Step the School for Me?

Over 100,000 Career Step students can't be wrong. Choose Career Step and learn medical billing and coding online from the comfort of your home. As one of the most trusted online schools for medical billing and coding, Career Step offers:

  • Employer-trusted curriculum

    Some of the largest and most respected healthcare employers in the nation are using Career Step’s curriculum to train their employees. Our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation. Choose training employers prefer!

  • Expert-designed training to help you stand out

    Our online classes for medical billing and coding are built by experts with decades of experience to ensure you gain the skills you need to stand out to employers and excel in this field, which is expected to enjoy new job growth of 15% by 2024.

  • Affordable, AHIMA-approved education

    Career Step's Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS training program is one of the only online AHIMA-approved training programs, and you can gain the skills you need to succeed for only $3,499.

Choose Career Step for the quality education you need to secure a successful medical coding and billing career as a medical coding and billing professional.

Medical Billing and Coding Job Description & Work from Home Opportunities

What Will I Be Doing as a Medical Coder and Biller?

As a medical coding and billing specialist, you will review patient medical records and assign codes to diagnoses and procedures performed so the facility can bill insurance and other third-party payers (such as Medicare or Medicaid) as well as the patient.

Most medical billing and coding jobs require professionals to work on-site for hospitals, clinics, physicians, and a variety of other healthcare facilities. However, it's possible to find medical billing and coding jobs from home as well. Many of these positions require a year or two of experience first, but Career Step’s relationships with employers have provided some of our graduates with the opportunity to work from home right after graduation.

Coders use 3 different code sets: CPT, HCPCS, and ICD-10. Career Step’s training will teach you to use all of these codes.

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program will cover the CPT, HCPCS, ICD-10-CM, and ICD-10-PCS code sets. Knowing both the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS code sets will give you a head start in the job market because most entry-level coding programs only teach students the ICD-10-CM codes, and with PCS knowledge you’ll be prepared to apply for positions in hospitals. With additional ICD-10-PCS training, you’ll be prepared for exciting career advancement opportunities. You’ll graduate with the skills needed to earn national certification and start working right away.

How Much Can I Make in Medical Coding and Billing?

Pay scales of medical coders and billers vary by employer, geographic location, and experience, and you can quickly increase your earning potential by earning industry credentials:

  • Competitive salaries

    The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the middle 50% of medical coding and billing professionals earn between $29,940 and $49,770 a year.

  • Certified coders earn more

    An AAPC Salary Survey reported that a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) earns over $7,500 more per year than their non-certified colleagues. The 2015 Salary Study reported that coders with 1 credential earn $46,899 a year.

  • Career Step certification prep

    Preparation for both the CCA exam (offered by AHIMA) and the CPC exam (offered by AAPC) exams is built in to your AHIMA-approved Career Step training so you're prepared to earn industry credentials right after graduation.

Career Step's Medical Coding and Billing program is approved by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), so you can have confidence that you'll have the knowledge and skills to maximize your earning potential in your medical coding job after graduation.

Medical Coding and Billing Training Programs & Classes Online

How Long Will the Training Take?

The medical billing and coding online program that Career Step offers is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study. However, the online format allows you to study on your own schedule and at your own pace, so your enrollment includes 12 months of program access in case you need extra time.

Associate Degrees vs. Certificate Programs

Many people wonder about the differences between earning a certificate compared to earning an associate degree. A certificate program consists of taking courses focused solely on a specific professional or technical field. Associate degrees, on the ohter hand, usually require the student to take additional courses in other subjects such as writing, math, or other general fields. Earning a certificate tends to be the more streamlined approach once you know what carer you want to pursue. So getting that medical billing and coding certificate is faster than purusing an associate degree, allowing you to focus on career training rather than spending time on unrelated courses.

What Will I Be Learning?

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program has been designed by experts with decades of experience working in and teaching medical coding. This experience has led us to a 3-part program design:

  • Foundations

    This first section of the program will teach you things like computer fundamentals, the health information management process, and reimbursement methodologies to ensure that you thoroughly understand how medical coding fits within healthcare and that you have the basics down.

  • Biomedical sciences

    In order to correctly assign codes, you’ll need a good understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, and this section of the course teaches all of that from a coding perspective.

  • Code training

    In the final section of our medical coding classes, students are introduced to all of the different code sets and taught how to use them. You’ll practice coding actual medical records and reports (provided by our employer partners) and use the 3M encoding software so you have lots of hands-on experience and graduate ready to earn your credential(s) and start working.

We’ve specifically designed this medical coding training program to ensure you gain exactly the skills you need to start working as a certified billing and coding professional, and with our applied PCS training you’ll stand out to employers.

Some of the largest and most respected names in healthcare (including the leading provider of healthcare services in the U.S. and one of the nation's largest managed healthcare companies) use our curriculum to train their employees. Some of our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation as a Certified Coding Associate (CCA) or a Certified Professional Coder (CPC). Choose training employers prefer. Start your medical billing and coding classes online now!

Want more details about exactly what's included in the program? Download a brochure or the program learning objectives to learn more or review the learning objectives for each module.

Medical Billing and Coding Online Courses with Tuition Assistance

How Much Does the Medical Coding and Billing Training Cost?

Everything you need to succeed is included in one, low tuition payment of $3,499.

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS online course is Career Step’s premier medical coding and billing program because it teaches you both ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS. This will help you stand out in the job market because most entry-level programs don’t cover PCS codes, and you’ll also be prepared to apply for positions in hospitals and other inpatient settings. With Career Step's online program, you’ll graduate prepared to earn your industry certification and start working right away.

The tuition fee entitles you to an initial 12 months of access to the course. The program is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, and we provide you 12 months of access to ensure you have the time you need to complete your training and prepare to pass the CCA or CPC exam.

Are Payment Plans or Tuition Assistance Available?

Career Step is committed to providing you with an affordable educational experience. To provide flexibility, several payment options are available.

What is Included With My Training Course?

Everything you need to succeed as a medical coder is included with the Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program. You’ll have:

  • Complete online access to expert-created curriculum
  • Ebook textbooks
  • Access to 3M encoding software
  • ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS industry codebooks
  • AHA ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Handbook
  • AHMA ICD-10-PCS Coding: An Applied Approach
  • One-on-one support from your instructors and our technical support team
  • Graduate support designed to help you turn your education into a job
  • A voucher to take the CCA or CPC national certification exam upon graduation (a $325 value)

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program includes 640 hours of curriculum. Start your course online now!



CNBC

CNBC reported on the growing need for medical coders and the current shortage.

Watch the Report

Medical Coding and Billing Program FAQs

Get answers to the most common and important questions about enrolling in a medical billing and coding program at Career Step. Our FAQs section provides answers to help you make an informed decision about your education.

What is medical coding and billing?

Medical coding and billing is the process of translating information from patient records—treatments, tests, procedures, and diagnoses—into the standardized codes used to bill patients and third-party payers such as insurance companies and Medicare.

See for yourself what a career as a medical coder looks like! Career Step graduate Adam talks about his medical coding and billing career.

What is the job market for medical coders and billers?

The U.S. Department of Labor's 2016-2017 report on the medical records and health information technology field, which encompasses both medical coders and medical billers. The report predicts:

  • A growing job market as industry employment is projected to grow by 15% from 2014 to 2024. In addition to these new jobs, there will also be open positions as people retire or leave the profession.
  • A high demand for coding services, sustained by an aging population and the increasing number of tests, treatments, and procedures.

In addition to this growth, there is also already an existing shortage of medical coding professionals. This shortage is estimated to be about 30% and is expected to increase to at least 53% with the industry’s shift to ICD-10.

Career Step’s training is trusted by many employers, including the leading provider of healthcare services in the U.S. and one of the nation’s largest managed healthcare companies. Some of our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation. Choose the training employers prefer!

CNBC

CNBC reported on the growing need for medical coders and the current shortage. Watch the Report»

What is ICD-10 and how has it affect the medical coding industry?

Healthcare facilities and providers were required to transition to the ICD-10 code set on October 1, 2015. This was a huge undertaking as the number of codes increased (from about 17,000 ICD-9 codes to over 155,000 ICD-10 codes), the specificity of the codes increased, and thousands of personnel had to be trained on the new code set in addition to updating all of the systems that are in place.

These big changes have intensified the need for medical coders nationwide. With Career Step’s Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to stand out in the job market and excel in this field.

How much can I earn as a medical coding and billing professional?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report—encompassing both inpatient and outpatient medical coders and billers—states that the middle 50% of professionals in the field earn between $29,130 and $48,510 a year. However, it is important to remember that as you gain credentials and experience, your earning capacity increases. Industry organizations have published the following average salary information.

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
This recent survey reports the average coder salaries by credentials offered by AHIMA. Career Step graduates are eligible to sit for the CCA credential directly after graduation. CCA certified coders have a reported annual salary of nearly $41,000.

American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
This recent survey is more focused on outpatient coding and reports that the average salary in 2015 for medical coders who hold 1 credential was $46,899.

Medical Coding Career Paths Infographic

For more information about what medical coding and billing professionals can expect to earn throughout their careers, check out Career Step’s Medical Coding Career Paths Infographic.

Do I have to be certified?

The Career Step courses are specifically designed to prepare students for national, entry-level coding certification exams, even though certification is not always a prerequisite for employment. The exams most commonly taken directly after graduation by Career Step graduates are the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Although graduating from a Career Step medical coding and billing training program does not automatically award you a coding credential, the courses are specifically designed to help you gain the foundation and skills you need to earn the appropriate credentials, and you will receive a voucher to take the exam of your choice upon graduation (a $325 value). In a recent Career Step survey, over 81% of respondents who had taken a certification exam after graduation reported passing the exam and earning their credential—which is 15 percentage points higher than the national average!

What are the advantages of training with Career Step?

Career Step has been providing quality healthcare education for over 20 years, and we’ve trained over 13,000 medical coding students since 2004. Our online training format allows you to study at your own pace and on a schedule that fits your busy lifestyle. Our Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS course is:

  • Employer trusted – Some of the largest and most respected healthcare employers in the nation are using Career Step’s curriculum to train their employees. Some of our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation. Choose training employers prefer!
  • Expert designed – Our program was built by experts who have decades of experience working in and teaching medical coding to ensure you gain the skills you need to excel in this field, and you’ll also be trained on ICD-10-PCS codes, which can help you stand out to employers.
  • AHIMA approved – One of the only online certificate programs approved by AHIMA, this approval assures you that Career Step’s program has been evaluated by the largest professional association in the industry and they determined that program graduates are well prepared to earn their credentials and start working at entry-level medical coders.

With Career Step’s Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program, you’ll train on the CPT, HCPCS, ICD-10-CM, and ICD-10-PCS code sets. Most entry-level coding programs don’t include training on the PCS code set, so this will help you stand out to employers. You’ll graduated prepared to earn national certification and start working right away.

Get a peek inside the Career Step training program and find out what sets our training apart in our quick information session video.

What kind of skills and experience do I need to enter the Career Step program?

In order to be admitted, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or a General Education Development Certificate (GED). There are no specific skills or experience that are considered prerequisites for entry into the Career Step training program.

Is Career Step accredited?
How is the Career Step program structured?

The Career Step program is offered entirely online, providing 24/7 access to all material and allowing you to progress through the curriculum on your own schedule and at your own pace. The program is broken into modules, or course subjects, and has been designed by experts with decades of experience working in and teaching medical coding. This experience has led us to a 3-part program design:

  1. Foundations – This first section of the program will teach you things like computer fundamentals, the health information management process, and reimbursement methodologies to ensure you thoroughly understand how medical coding fits within healthcare and have the basics down.
  2. Biomedical sciences – In order to correctly assign codes, you’ll need a good understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, and this section of the course teaches all of that from a coding perspective.
  3. Code training – This final section introduces you to all of the different code sets and teaches you how to use them. You’ll practice coding actual medical records and reports (provided by our employer partners) and use the 3M encoding software so you have lots of hands-on experience and graduate ready to earn your credential and start working.

We’ve specifically designed this medical coding training program to ensure you gain exactly the skills you need to start working as a medical coder, and with our applied PCS training you’ll stand out to employers.

Some of the largest and most respected names in healthcare (including the leading provider of healthcare services in the U.S. and one of the nation's largest managed healthcare companies) use our curriculum to train their employees. Our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation.

See what makes Career Step different in our quick introduction.

What type of student support does Career Step offer?

Career Step student support includes access to:

  • Student Support Instructors and Advisors have professional experience in the industry and are uniquely qualified to answer questions about both the curriculum and the industry. They provide timely answers to questions about the program material and offer a number of personal consultations throughout the training to help students master important concepts.
  • Technical Support Advisors are knowledgeable, experienced, and available 5 days a week to help you work through any technical or computer issues encountered within the training program.
  • Graduate Support Advisors help you transition to the workforce after graduation. Your Graduate Advisors will help prepare the best resume, develop solid interview skills, and teach you valuable job search techniques.

Though the course is entirely online, you'll never be on your own. Career Step's student support team is available to offer personal, ongoing support all the way through the training program.

Meet your Career Step Medical Coding and Billing instructors!

How long does it take to finish the course?

The AHIMA-approved Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program includes 640 hours of curriculum. Since the program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will vary from other students. Some students are able to complete their training program in as little as 4 months (working on the course full-time, 8 hours a day 5 days a week) and others, who are more limited in the time they can devote to the course, take longer (for example, students who can devote about 20 hours a week may finish in about 8 months).

Every student who enrolls in Career Step’s Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program receives an initial 12-month period of enrollment. Though the programs are designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, you'll have a full year to complete your training. If you need extra time to complete the course after your initial one-year enrollment, we have 4-month extensions available for purchase.

Get an idea of how long the course took other students by checking out a few of the stories in our Graduate Success Library!

How do I find work after graduation?

Career Step offers personalized, post-graduation resources for your job search, including:

  • Personal consultation with a Graduate Advisor
  • New job opening notifications
  • Personalized interview tutorials and training
  • Individual resume and cover letter review, tips, and advice
  • A CCA or CPC certification exam voucher upon graduation (a $325 value)
  • Access to Career Step's help hotline for a full year after graduation

These resources offer the personalized help you need after graduation to transition to the workplace. With this individualized help and attention, the majority of our graduates are hired within a few months of graduation.

In fact, many employers prefer Career Step’s medical coding and billing training. Some of the largest and most respected healthcare employers in the nation are using Career Step’s curriculum to train their employees. Some of our graduates have even been hired to work remotely right after graduation, and with the additional ICD-10-PCS training included in Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program, you’ll be prepared to work in a hospital and take advantage of advancement opportunities.

Learn more about Career Step’s graduate support in this quick interview with several of our Graduate Advisors.

What materials and computer specifications are required to complete the course?

Enrollment in the Professional Medical Coding and Billing program includes:

  • Complete online access to expert-created curriculum
  • Ebook textbooks
  • ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS industry codebooks
  • AHA ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Handbook
  • AHIMA ICD-10-PCS Coding: An Applied Approach
  • Access to 3M encoding software
  • One-on-one support from your instructors and our technical support team
  • Graduate support designed to help you turn your education into a job
  • A voucher to take the CCA or CPC national certification exam upon graduation (a $325 value)

Since the course is completely online, your computer will play an important role in your learning experience. We recommend the following minimum computer system specifications:

Hardware

  • Active internet connection (High speed/Broadband connection recommended)
  • 800 X 600 minimum resolution (1024 X 768 or higher recommended)
  • Sound card and speakers (Earphones recommended)
  • Available USB port

Software

  • Adobe Flash Player (ver. 10 or higher)
  • Windows Media Player (ver. 10 or higher) or Quicktime Player (ver. 7 or higher)
  • PDF reader

Browser

  • Internet Explorer 9.x/10.x/11.x
  • Firefox 3.x or greater*
  • Safari 3.1 to 8.0 (Mac only)*
  • Javascript and cookies must be enabled

Operating System

  • Microsoft Windows (XP®, Vista®, 7 with latest service pack)
  • Mac OS X (10.4.11 or greater)*

*The Medical Transcription Editor program includes a third party software tool that makes the training only compatible with Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer.

Note: Mobile browsing devices are not currently supported. However, Career Step is investigating the implementation of mobile device support, and these specifications will be updated once a decision has been reached.

What payment options does Career Step offer?

We realize that one of the most important questions tied to education is how it will be paid for. Because this is such a big part of the decision of whether or not to go back to school, Career Step has designed several tuition assistance and payment options. Please visit our Tuition Assistance page for more information.

How soon will I receive my materials?

It takes 2-3 business days to process the application, depending on method of payment. Once the payment is processed you will be emailed your course login and password and can start training immediately. Additional course materials are shipped UPS Ground after the payment is processed. The average wait is about 7-10 days. Your coding reference materials will be sent after you reach a certain point in the training program to ensure that you receive the most up-to-date materials.

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