Does this Medical Billing and Coding course description sound worth it?

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Comments (4)

Chris in Riverside, New Jersey

48 months ago

Hello,

Like many of the users here, I am looking for a new career path, and have been curious about Medical Billing/Coding. I am learning a lot reading this forum, and would like to solicit the advice of any professionals out there.

The following is a non-credit course description from Burlington County College in New Jersey:

This combined 60-hour billing and coding course offered in cooperation with Condensed Curriculum International, Inc., offers the skills needed to solve insurance billing problems, how to manually file claims (using the CPT and ICD-9 manual), complete common insurance forms, trace delinquent claims, appeal denied claims and use generic forms to streamline billing procedures. The course covers the following areas:

CPT (introduction, guidelines, evaluation and management), specialty fields (such as surgery, radiology and laboratory), ICD-9 (introduction and guidelines) and basic claims processes for medical insurance and third party reimbursements. Students will learn how to find the service and codes using manuals, (CPT, ICD-9 and HCPCS). After obtaining the practical work experience (6 months to 2 years), students who complete this course could be qualified to sit for the American Academy of Professional Coders–Certified Professional Coder Exam (CPC or CPC–H Apprentice); the American Health Information Management Association Certified Coding Associate exam; and/or other national certification exams.

Cost: $1,299.

Now, after doing some reading here, it appears that anything that isn't AHIMA accredited is a potential waste of time. That said, Burlington County College DOES offer an HIT degree and coding certification that is sanctioned by the AHIMA, but it is a completely different program than the non-credit course.

Like others, I have read things that say this is a growing field with good income potential. I believe this to be true for the right person, but I am not sold on this course. Would appreciate any input!

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

48 months ago

Chris in Riverside, New Jersey said: Now, after doing some reading here, it appears that anything that isn't AHIMA accredited is a potential waste of time. That said, Burlington County College DOES offer an HIT degree and coding certification that is sanctioned by the AHIMA, but it is a completely different program than the non-credit course.

Like others, I have read things that say this is a growing field with good income potential. I believe this to be true for the right person, but I am not sold on this course. Would appreciate any input!

The course sounds like a good one, it seems to cover what every other program covers, and the price is very good, it is absolutley ridiculous that people pay $10,000 for these programs.

You do not need to attend an ahima accredited program. Employers do not care where you went to school, they only care about certifications and experience. I went to a non AHIMA "accredited" school and I have done just fine. Never had a problem finding a job.

This is a great field, I can't imagine doing anything else. The starting pay is pretty good and only goes up with increased experience and certifications.

I will warn you though, while this is a great field, it can be a little hard to break into, there are a lot of new grads with no experience and they have kinda flooded the market.

employers are now almost insisting on hiring coders with at least 2 years experience. The best solution to this is to get your foot in the medical door by front desk, billing, medical records, unit secretary, an entry level HIM job, something that will give you medical experience and help you familiarize yourself with ICD 9, CPT and reimbursement.

gain some experience and then leverage it into a coding job. and definitely sit for a certification, either CPC or the CCS-P, you have to be credentialed to effectively compete for jobs.

Good Luck

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Chris in Riverside, New Jersey

48 months ago

Thank you very much for the reply. My biggest concerns are that this course doesn't seem to cover certification prep or offer job placement assistance. Furthermore, because it's non-credit, I'm not sure that I can even access the University career office to get some resume help.

I actually registered for this class a few days ago, but then started feeling some anxiety about my choice. I have a job interview for a customer service position this week, for which I have an inside connection and an excellent feeling about, which pays the same or more than an entry level coding job, for which opportunities seem to be few and far between in the classifieds. Basically, I'm not whether sure to go with some instant security or work towards the future. I do have time to change my mind about the course and get a full refund if the customer service position works out. I'm actually wondering if a better way to go would be to take the customer service job, transfer the experience gained there to a medical office environment eventually, and then proceed with education once I already have a foot in the industry door.

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

48 months ago

Chris in Riverside, New Jersey said:

I actually registered for this class a few days ago, but then started feeling some anxiety about my choice. I have a job interview for a customer service position this week, for which I have an inside connection and an excellent have a foot in the industry door.

You definitely should weigh your options and do what is best for you, I do not know your situation and will not advise as to which you should choose. I will, however, provide further information.

Your concern about over cert prep and job placement, after having been on this forum for awhile, I can assure that those who have paid for a program to get job assistance are not getting it. It is a hollow promise.

The fact that this school doesn't offer it makes me think that they are in the business of teaching and not just luring in students for their money.

The certification prep is a minor issue in my opinion, my school did not offer certification prep (or job placement), so I am not entirely sure what they offer, but I think you would be just as fine buying a prep book or even taking a prep class.

I think part of my success of getting into coding was I was already working at the front desk of a medical clinic, I expressed an interest in billing/coding. I took the classes and when I was finished my manager let me help out our billing dept. I learned a lot helping them out that I was able to leverage that experience into a coding job.

Already being in healthcare is a huge stepping stone into securing a coding job.

Now, most people are drawn to coding because they tend to not like interacting with the general public (I am one of those people)and prefer to just sit at their desks and work. For me, the idea of customer service sounds like hell. But it may not be that way for you.

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