If you have decided that becoming a medical coder is the right career choice for you, your next step will be to enroll in medical coding certification classes. With the expected growth in this field, you will want to grab any advantage you can in order to compete for the best job opportunities.
Knowing what to expect before signing-up for classes can help you set realistic expectations. Medical coding classes are not necessarily hard, but they are fast-paced with lots of new information that you will need to absorb quickly.
In the following article, we will go over some of the things you’ll need to know before registering. Some of the subjects that will be discussed include:
- How to enroll
- Types of courses taken
- How long does it take
- Skills learned in class
- Traits to help a medical coder
Enroll in Medical Coding Certification Classes
You will need to make sure that any medical coding certification classes you decide on have proper accreditation by the American Academy of Processional Coders (AAPC). This accreditation will ensure that your education is up to the standards expected to produce successful medical coders.
There are few prerequisites for enrolling in a medical coding school such as:
- Must be 18 years old
- Pass a criminal background check
- Comprehension of English
Some schools may ask you to pass an entrance examination or have other requirements for enrollment. You should contact the admissions office of your selected school for more information.
For your convenience we have provided a list of great medical coding certification classes, which you can browse through our search feature in the upper right hand corner of this page.
Types of Medical Coding Courses
You will find that a majority of the schools offering medical coding certification classes have basically the same curriculum. Not only will you be learning the skills that are necessary to be a medical coder but you will have some basic medical knowledge that can come in handy. Some of the classes you will be taking include:
- Pharmacology and laboratory medicine
- Medical bookkeeping and finance
- Health information technology
- Coding (CPT, ICD, HCUP, HCPCS, ICF, NDC and DRG)
- Healthcare Payers
- Healthcare Claim Cycle
- Claims Processing
- Billing basics
- Medical practice management systems
- Coding from operative materials
- Coding guidelines
- Organizational skills
How Long Do Medical Coding Classes Take?
You should expect to spend 12 to 18 months in your medical coding classes. You most likely will have a class load of four to six classes a semester. However, you can speed up the process if you do decide to attend an online program.
Skills Learned in Class
As a student in medical coding certification classes you will become immersed in new world where some of your existing traits will help you with your newly developed skills. By the end of your training you will have a pretty good idea how to correctly do the job in front of you. Some of the skills that you will learn that will help you become successful include:
- Processing medical records and healthcare claims
- Accurately and efficiently code medical and surgical procedures for processing
- Be able to apply financial and medical practice management skills properly
- Use medical billing and coding software
- Improve professional communication
- Effectively use leadership and time management to keep things on track
Important Personal Traits and Skills
The following traits are necessarily a deal breaker if you are passionate about becoming a medical coder. However these will definitely help you in the short and long term do your job effectively. Some of these traits or skills include:
- Detail oriented
- Strong analytical and mathematical skills
- Technical savvy
- Active listener
- Oral comprehension and expression
- Finger dexterity
- Interpersonal communication
- Reading comprehension
- Organizational and clerical skills
- Deductive reasoning
You have the personal traits and desire to help others which are important when choosing to become a medical coder. Becoming a coder could be one of the greatest decisions you’ve ever made as you embark on a career that is both emotionally and financially rewarding. Now would be a great time to start your search for the right medical coding certification classes and get your new career off the ground!MBCC Admin