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Medical Billing and Coding Training and Certification
It's important that you receive your instruction from a reputable school, whether it's a community college, technical or trade school. Even though it is not required in most cases to earn a professional certification, the program you enroll in should be accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). The majority of colleges only require that you earn either a high school diploma or a GED to qualify. The quickest way to becoming either a medical biller or coder (or both) is to attain a certificate, which usually takes about one year to complete. An Associate Degree is an alternative for a more extensive education, which for most programs calls for 2 years of studies. Bachelor's Degrees in medical billing and coding are not widely available. After your education has been concluded, although not required in most states, you might wish to acquire a professional certification. Certification is a great means for those new to the profession to show prospective Alaska employers that they are not only qualified but committed to their occupation. A few of the organizations that provide certifications are:
- American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
- Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC).
- The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS).
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Completing an accredited medical coding and billing program, combined with obtaining a professional certification, are the best ways to accelerate your new career and succeed in the rapid growing Alaska medical care industry.
Medical Billing and Coding Online Colleges
If you are interested in flexibility and the convenience of attending classes from home, then choosing a medical billing and coding online course may be a great option. They can be particularly attractive to those living in Alaska who plan on attending school while still working or have additional responsibilities that make attending classes on campus difficult. And as an additional advantage, online programs are in many cases cheaper than the traditional classroom alternatives. Expenses for such items as tuition, study materials and commuting may be minimized or eliminated. But be cautious, as not all online programs are reputable. That's why it's essential to verify that any online college you choose is accredited to guarantee a premium education. We will address the advantages of accreditation in the next section. Just be sure to verify that any online college you are researching is accredited by one of the national accrediting agencies, for example the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. So if you are disciplined enough to apply yourself to this mode of learning, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.