Medical Billing and Coding

I started a thread yesterday asking about proprietary colleges because I work near one that would be convenient to go to, and because it offers certifications and degrees in a field I am curious in trying, Medical Billing and Coding.

I’ve pretty much decided against going to the proprietary college because it’s nationally accredited instead of regionally and between the credit transfer problems that would invariably lead to, and the higher costs in general, I am more interested in taking classes at a community college.

However, upon researching medical coding and billing, I keep running into proprietary schools. If you are or were in the field, can you tell me your educational background, or just give general information on your experiences, share insights, etc? This seems like something I would like to do, but I’m still trying to research it before making a decision.

Well, I got into medical billing & coding accidentally, via a temp job, and just have still been at it for 10+ years. Now I get hired on my experience; I’ve never been to school for it.

However, I don’t know that the propriatory schools are a bad thing. If you’re really wanting to go that route (without trying to move your credits for a Bachelor’s degree or anything), consider going to a school accredited by one of the major billing professional organizations (the AAPC or AHIMA) so that you can get a certification.

I believe there are a number of community colleges/techincal schools which will offer either certifications or Associate’s degrees, also.

Hope this helps!

It does some! The college I am looking at going to is Virginia College, which is a nationally accredited college mostly in the Southeast. After looking into this a bit more, it seems that specialization in this field is either through experience like you have, or by getting some type of certification, which seems to be offered by proprietary schools only, at least that I am seeing.

Do you know if any of your colleagues have certification, and if they were through proprietary schools? Really, my biggest stumbling block in all of this is that this is what I want to do and this seems the route to take, but I am not entirely trusting of the guide.

The easiest way to find out is go to Google Voice and get a phone number. Then make a fake resume, saying you already have the certification from that Virginia College. Then apply for jobs and see if you get call backs.

I’m not saying to go on the interviews or anything, but just see if you get the callbacks. Just make sure the work experience you have is the same (don’t use your real jobs) as you have now. Just tack on the degree or certification from the college.

If you get a ton of people calling you back, then the school is helping you.

All you need to get into it is a certificate. A 6 week course is enough to prepare you for the test. My wife did it, her company paid for it, and she’s very happy with it.

However, the system is changing within a year or something, so any training programs you start now might not be enough in the near future.