Everyone likes to get things for free, but usually what we don’t pay for usually comes at a high cost. Free billing and coding classes, for instance, are almost always very low-quality and a complete waste of your time. A much better option is to invest in a professional course that will lead to a certification and give you a good chance of landing a well-paid job upon graduation. If you are still unconvinced, here are a few reasons why you should avoid free billing and coding classes.
1. Studying Requires Time and Resources
Medical billing and coding is not an easy subject for anyone to learn alone. This complex topic requires the support of experienced teachers, who tend to work in colleges and trade schools and absolutely never offer their services online for free. If you cannot trust your instructor, it is impossible to know if the information you are receiving is even correct.
2. It Can Be Difficult to Find a Job without Experience
Employers want their medical coders to have experience, which you are unlikely to gain from a free course. If you take classes at a technical school, however, you will have the chance to learn real skills in a hands-on environment.
3. You Need to Be Prepared for Examinations
To pass the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) certification exam, you need to know how to convert medical procedures, diagnoses, and symptoms into the correct codes for claims and reimbursement. During the test, you must also demonstrate that:
- You are able to accurately locate documentation in patient records for billing and coding processes.
- You are able to submit reimbursement claims based on payer policies and procedures.
- You can advise providers about practices that will lead to optimal reimbursement and quality coding.
It is very difficult to ensure that you know all you need for the exam unless you are receiving guidance from a professional.
4. You Should Know More than Just Coding and Charting
A course at a trade school will not only prepare you for the CBCS exam, you will also learn skills including keyboarding, computer applications, office procedures, and business communication. All of these will improve your productivity on the job and help you stand out as a potentially valuable asset to a company.
It should now be apparent that taking course in a vocational school is a much better option than free classes online. Boost your chances of finding a job after graduation by looking for schools that offer training other qualifications in addition to the CBCS, such as Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), Electronic Health Records Specialist (EHRS), and Microsoft Word certifications. Plus, look out for schools that provide students with career assistance, like support with creating a resume, help finding potential employers, and advice for interviews.