Given that the American population is aging, entering the healthcare field is a good career path. If you have been thinking of how to become a medical coder online, your prospects are even better – the growth rate for this work is expected to increase at 22% through to 2022, according to the United States Bureau of Statistics.
You can earn your medical billing and coding certificate at any number of vocational schools. However, post-secondary education is never cheap, and depending on your program and personal situation, it can be difficult to afford. Fortunately, there are ways you can become a medical biller and coder on a budget.
Instead of attending a physical campus, you can instead enroll in an online medical billing and coding program. This helps you save on commuting costs and other fees that may be associated with attending school in person.
There are a number of cost efficient schools where you can learn how to become a medical coder online. A few examples of these are listed below.
They offer a two year online Associate of Applied Science in Medical Coding and Billing. This gives you the skills you require to excel, as well as be eligible to take the American Health Information Management Association’s Certified Coding Associate exam.
At Kaplan University, you can earn your online medical billing and coding certificate. in about one year. You will have access to qualified instructors plus the opportunity to participate in an externship. Note that the number of students in this online program in 2013-2014 was only 10.
Southern Careers Institute
Southern Careers Institute provides flexible online program scheduling along with internships so that you get first-hand experience and make professional connections. They also offer financial guidance to help you with the costs of how to become a medical coder online.
In addition to choosing the right school, planning and budgeting for your education can also help you avoid a huge debt load. Here are some tips to consider:
- Work and study at the same time: By taking online classes, you have the potential for working so that you can offset costs and minimize debt.
- Take a smaller course load: Who says you have to complete your certificate in a set amount of time? By taking a smaller course load each term, you can still complete your education with the possibility of either working at the same time or simply managing finances more effectively.
- Apply to grants and scholarships: Do you know if you are eligible for grants or scholarships? By applying to any and all that are available, you could mitigate your costs.
- Plan and save: With careful calculations, you can approximate the cost of schooling, and then work to earn as much of the needed funds before you register. This allows you minimize or even avoid the need for loans.
Take the Next Step
Getting a post-secondary education is great for your career – if done wisely. You can become a medical biller and coder on a budget to save time and money. Take a look at schools such as Southern Careers Institute, apply various budgeting tips, and watch your career take off.