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Where to Find Medical Billing Classes in San Antonio, TX
About Medical Billing and Coding
Medical billers and coders organize and manage patient and procedure data by ensuring that it remains accessible, correct, confidential and secure. They use various classification systems to categorize and code that information for different reasons including insurance reimbursement, record data storage, data analysis and reporting according to the BLS.
Given the aging population in America and that access to healthcare has expanded, more and more people will require the services of health professionals. Increased life expectancy and a growing overall population means increased need for qualified allied medical health professionals. One of these growing specializations is Medical Coding, which is projected to grow 11% (faster than average) over the next decade (2018 through 2028). The widespread use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) drives the increased need for highly skilled technicians to organize and manage medical files.
Now that you think Medical Billing might be the right career fit for you, your next step is to find the right program and school. With so many choices available, you will need to do your due diligence and find the right fit. There are several things you will want to consider when deciding on a school.
You will want to ensure that you are choosing an accredited program. Many people know accreditation is important but aren’t sure exactly what accreditation means. Accreditation means that a school has met and maintains the standards set forth by the accrediting agency. Additionally, all accredited institutions must have a clearly defined mission statement that aims to better educate and serve the students. Further, all schools must demonstrate that the school has the resources to achieve its mission while showing evidence of their mission being achieved. Almost all institutions must commit to periodic and unannounced external reviews from their accrediting body as well as rigorous internal programmatic reviews to ensure that accreditation standards are continually being met. This article contains valuable information on accreditation and why accreditation matters.
On Campus (Ground) Classes or Online Coursework
Medical billing and coding is a program that yields itself to both campus and online delivery. The decision to attend campus or online classes is dependent upon the student. There are pros and cons to both systems of delivery and the individual needs to take an honest appraisal of themselves to determine which is the best fit.
Online coursework has the advantage of being ultimately flexible. Most online classes can be accessed 24/7. You can log into your online class at 6 am or at midnight, whenever is most convenient for you. When taking online classes, common obstacles such as transportation, childcare or physical limitations are not barriers to education. You work at your own pace and can devote extra time to the areas in which you unclear and move swiftly through the material you understand. While most programs require a minimum of times to log in per week or hours to be spent in your virtual classroom, when these times are logged is up to you. You work independently and remove the distractions of classmates. Online courses are the ultimate in flexibility and convenience. However, while this sounds ideal, there are challenges to online coursework that must be considered. Online classes require incredible self-discipline. There is no one to check in on you and no one present if you have questions. You must be highly self-motivated and stay on top of your coursework. You don’t have classmates to study with and there is no instructor present if you have questions. It is often a book, a student and an internet learning system.
Ground classes are more interactive. You attend at the local campus during specified class times. Your attendance is required during these times and not being able to attend can be counted against you. For students who like interaction and in person support, ground classes are the better option. With ground classes, you have access to other students.0 and your instructors in real time. You are more likely to feel a sense of inclusion and support with ground classes. When you have questions, there are immediate answers available and you garner more perspectives via classroom discussion. More scenario and situations can be discussed because other students bring their ideas and experiences to the whole of the group. While the structure of a classroom setting can be highly beneficial, it is not ideal for every student and their individual situations.
Regardless of your choice between ground or online, there are classes and coursework that you should expect to take as part of the curriculum. Any medical coding program should include classes devoted to anatomy and physiology. To perform in any medical capacity, you must have an A&P foundation. You should also look for classes in Medical Law and Ethics, Medical Terminology, Diseases of the Body, and Office Procedures to have a well-rounded medical and administrative foundation. Every program should include multiple courses in Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The medical field is increasingly moving to electronic records (as opposed to paper files) for security, convenience and integrity. While paper charts are still being used, often they are additionally supported by EHRs. You should also expect to see multiple courses focusing on both Billing (charges to the insurance company) and Coding (how to properly report medical, surgical and diagnostic procedures). To be prepared for a career in Billing and/or Coding, you must be well versed in CPT, HCPCS, ICD 9 and ICD 10. You should also highly consider programs that require an externship which is your opportunity to work in the field and bring all your classroom learning into the real world. By participating in an externship, you are gaining valuable experience and beginning to build your resume with verifiable references.
You should also search programs that offer the opportunity to sit for multiple certifications. Certifications are earned after sitting for and passing an exam and show employers that you have specific knowledge or skills. Some employers require an associated certification to be employed, however most organizations value certifications and consider them favorably for advancement opportunities. In Medical Billing, you seek out a program that prepares you to sit for such certifications as Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) or Electronic Health Records Specialist (EHRS). These are 2 of the most sought-after certifications for entry-level employment as a Medical Coder or Biller.