Online Medical Billing and Coding Programs: Is It Worth It
Higher education is an investment, and you should never make an investment unless you are confident that it is worth your time and money. Luckily, modern colleges and vocational schools provide their students with a wide range of choices, allowing them to choose the program that is most likely to help them succeed.
A diploma in medical billing and coding will help prepare you for a promising career, regardless of medium of delivery. Each individual is different, some prefer the structure and interaction of ground campuses and others thrive with the freedom afforded by online education.
Medical billing and coding is growing, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is projecting an additional 23,100 jobs between 2018 and 2028. Medical billing and coding positions also have competitive salaries. The median annual wage for medical records and health information technicians was $40,350 in May 2018. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,550, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $66,260. Therefore, if you’re seeking job security and a reliable income, becoming a medical billing and coding specialist could be your future career. Although there are no formal training requirements for coding specialists, completing an online medical billing and coding program will make you much competitive in the job market.
Formal training can qualify you to apply for several different positions with doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals and insurance companies. Upon completion of formal training, you can also take advantage of the opportunity to become certified. There are several certifications that employers’ value such as Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) or Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS). By earning certifications, you are able to meet the qualifications for more available positions
Although medical billing and coding is a promising career in itself, many also see it as a stepping stone into higher-level medical fields, such as health services management. While these types of careers require university education and earning degrees such as Bachelor’s and Master’s by training and working as a coding specialist, you’ll get a sense of how good you are at administrative and health services, as well as whether you will find the work enjoyable. You will also gain a solid knowledge foundation which could help you with the more advanced coursework.
You can then determine whether it is worth your while to return to school, get a bachelor’s degree in health services management, and advance even further in your career.
Although there are many different ways to train as a coding specialist, and no one way is right for everyone, some find that online medical billing and coding programs provide the fit for their needs. The advantages of online programs include:
- More Flexible Schedules– If you have to work, take care of your children, or fulfill other time-consuming responsibilities, you can plan your online classes around these commitments.
- Personal Pacing– Everyone learns at a different pace. If you understand a concept better than the average student, online classes will allow you to quickly speed through that concept and move on to other material. Likewise, if you have trouble understanding something, you can take as long as you need to figure it out.
- Lower Cost– Online medical billing and coding programs may have lower tuition than in-classroom programs, and can also spare you from indirect costs, such as transportation or childcare.
When deciding whether to study medical billing and coding, it’s important to go beyond costs and salaries and consider your own interests. A career as a coding specialist may be promising, but if you don’t enjoy that kind of work, don’t pursue it. If you feel medical billing and coding could be a great new career for you, contact Southern Careers Institute and speak to an admissions representative today.