Medical Billing Training Online. What to look for when selecting Online Training. You don't necessarily have to spend a fortune - see how you can train yourself and save.
Benefits of Medical Billing Online Training
Downside of Medical Billing Online Training
Don't Be A Scam Victim
When I started a medical billing career, I wanted to know what training was needed and how much it was going to cost. Silly me thought the more you spend, the better the training.
After shelling out a lot of money for what was basically junk, I still didn't know much about medical billing or coding. This was basically general information on medical billing that you could find on the internet. I know now I could have gotten much better training for a fraction of the cost.
Medical billing and coding is not rocket science, but it is important to have a good understanding of reimbursement and coding basics and to keep abreast of industry trends and regulatory guidelines.
What kind of Medical Billing and Coding Training do I need to get a Good job or Start a Business
If you’re going for a corporate job, generally the more training the better. Even if you’re planning to stay strictly in medical billing, having some coding training looks good on a resume. A good knowledge of coding makes you more valuable to an employer and justifies asking for more $.
But unless you have rich parents or large savings account, you probably want to know how to get the most training for the least dollars.
What's Your Goal?
The amount of training you need depends on your goals – getting a good job at a hospital, large practice, or insurance company - or starting a medical billing business.
Smaller practices will usually not be as stringent for certification or training. The downside is they probably aren’t going to pay as well or have the benefits of a larger employer.
One of the nice things about a smaller practice is they tend to be more informal. A couple of my practices close down on Friday afternoons. You usually can’t do that working at a larger employer.
I’m sure if you’ve done a search for medical billing training online you’ll find an almost overwhelming response. There are good medical billing training online programs available from vocational schools and community colleges.
Medical Billing Training Online - How Much Does it Cost and How Long Will it Take?
Medical billing training online can run the whole spectrum from associate’s degree to do-it-yourself. Here's a general summary of the range of options. Course offerings will vary depending on the school but this give you an idea of the spectrum of courses offered for medical billing online training.
On the longer end is an associate’s degree in Healthcare Reimbursement. Some schools may describe this degree slightly differently. This is the most comprehensive medical billing coding training.
Time to complete: 18 months to 2 years
Estimated cost: $12,000 to $15,000
The curricula would typically cover:
The associates program would prepare a student to take a certification exam by either American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). If certification is important or necessary for your career goals, this is the way to go for medical billing training online.
This is a more abbreviated medical billing training online compared to an associate program. This type of program would include more detailed training in procedures and the nuances of healthcare billing. Approximately twice as many courses as a certificate program.
Time to complete: 9 months to 1 year
Approximate cost: $6000
The curricula would typically cover:
This is basic medical billing training for those with no previous medical experience. Establishes a basic foundation in medical billing necessary for an entry level job.
Time to complete: 6 to 9 months
Approximate cost: $3000
Typically curricula covered:
If you purchase a medical billing training online course or package, make sure it comes from a reputable source that has been around a while. The material should be written by someone with extensive experience in the field. You should also receive a Certified Medical Billing Professional certificate upon successful completion.
As I've learned the hard way, you really don’t have to spend a lot to get a good background in medical billing. When I got started I bought a course in medical billing for about $800. They had a fancy web site and the sales pitch was so convincing.
After I forked over my money I got a notebook full of pretty much useless information I could have found on the internet for free. With some hokey “marketing materials.” Oh – and I wont even mention what I spent on software.
My point is you don't have to spend a ton on training to be successful. You can do what I did and train yourself; I found some good reference materials and learned on my own. I then worked part time from home for a friend’s medical billing company, learned the ropes, and built the confidence to start my own medical billing business.
Here’s two excellent economical alternatives to the more traditional and expensive medical billing coding training:
1. Business In A Box
If you are looking for good medical billing and coding references without spending a lot of money, I recommend Medical Billing Home Business in a Box! - a collection of books written by Alice Scott & Michele Redmond available for under $200. If I could have purchased these when I started it would have saved me a lot of grief and money!
This package combined with Understanding Health Insurance available on Amazon for about $65 is hard to beat for the price.
I’ve purchased several of their books and found Michele and Alice's advice to be right on the money. These practical books are based on their experience operating an growing a successful business over the last 15 years. These are the same keys to a successful medical billing business that I've learned over the years written in a detailed - easy to read & understand format. If you want to be successful – learn from those who are.
If you want more structured medical billing and training, medicalbillingcourse.com is a good and reputable online course starting for around $500 and no more than $700. They also have an active forum of users that provides a great support system.
If you want to start your own business, there’s no program or book that will make you successful – that comes from you. Your drive, passion, and perseverance will make you successful. However these recommended will teach you everything you need to know to get started in medical billing for a very reasonable price.
You can get an idea of how thorough their course is by checking out their course outline here.
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