Insurance Coding Schools
Medical insurance coding schools provide instruction to students who want to learn how to "code" for procedures, diagnoses and medical accessories for insurance purposes. When insurance companies receive documentation describing treatment received by patients from their physicians, all items must be identified numerically so the insurance company can reimburse the patient and physician according to insurance policy information.
Community and vocational colleges offer medical insurance coding programs that typically take less than one year to complete and result in the student earning a certification or diploma. Accredited online schools also provide medical billing and coding courses that culminate in a certification or diploma as well. However, online medical coding programs are not restricted by a time frame and can be completed according to the student's schedule.
Classes Included in a Medical Insurance Coding Course
Skills Needed to Succeed in a Medical Insurance Coding School
- Medical terminology - Students must memorize hundreds of Greek and Latin suffixes and prefixes that comprise medical terms. For example, "neph" is the Greek word meaning "kidney" and "ology" is Greek for "the study of". Therefore, "nephrology" means "the study of the kidneys".
- Human anatomy, physiology and diseases - Although this class overlaps with medical terminology, students still need to know the correct terms for organs, tissues, bones and veins/arteries to code for them correctly on insurance documents.
- Medical office software - Students will be performing coding on software programs applicable to the type of practice for which they are working.
- Current Procedure Terminology - CPT is a registered trademark owned by the American Medical Association and provides the codes and best practices followed by all medical insurance coders and insurance companies in the U.S.
Students wishing to pursue a career as an insurance coder should:
Bachelor's Degree in Medical Insurance Coding
- Be detail-oriented, organized and precise
- Have good memorization skills
- Enjoy working in the medical field
- Be prepared to do intense research even after earning their certification (the CPT is constantly being revised)
- Be a meticulous proofreader and function well under pressure
Students opting to earn a four-year degree as an insurance coding specialist will broaden their interests by taking classes on health information management, health informatics and even health care administration.
Employment Prospects for Medical Insurance Coding Students
Similar to other jobs related to the health and medical industry, insurance coding is expected to be one of the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. over the next 10 years. This is also a position that can be performed either at home (telecommuting) or at a medical facility.