Guide to Getting Your Medical Coding Associate Degree Online

Become Team
Become Team
December 20, 2021

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Medical coders and billers, who process and transfer medical information for healthcare providers and insurance companies, possess computer skills constantly in demand in the field.

Medical billing and coding play an increasingly crucial role in the healthcare industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the medical records and health technology field will grow 9% from 2020-2030. Although medical billing and coding associate degree graduates can work in related fields, they can anticipate well-paying careers with a median annual salary of $45,240.

Here’s what to expect in your associate degree program:

Earning Your Medical Coding Associate Degree Online

Pursuing an associate degree in medical billing and coding online gives students an affordable and flexible route to employment. Online students do not need to pay the commuting and accommodation costs that often accompany on-campus study.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to go the certificate route, you can check our guide on earning an online medical coding certificate.

How Long Does It Take to Earn Your Medical Billing and Coding Associate Degree Online?

Most online associate degrees in medical billing and coding require 60-90 credits and take about two years to complete. Two-year associate programs usually entail about 20 courses.

Admissions Requirements for a Medical Coding Associate Degree Online

Online medical billing and coding associate degree applicants need a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. Many schools do not require standardized testing but expect a minimum GPA of "C" or better in prior relevant coursework, usually math and science. Some schools require prerequisite introductory courses in biology and allied health.

Courses in a Medical Coding Associate Degree Online Program

Core courses in medical coding associate degree online programs include:

Medical Terminology

This course familiarizes students with medical language. Students learn to analyze and identify terminology by recognizing common medical prefixes, suffixes, roots, and combinations of terms. Medical terminology courses also emphasize correct spelling and pronunciation of these terms and recognition of common symbols and abbreviations.

Foundations of Health Services

This course gives an overview of the organization and functioning of America's healthcare system. Students learn how various policies, practices, and politics affect this system.

Health Information Management

This course teaches students about the numerous professional responsibilities of those in health information management positions. Students also learn the industry's ethical and legal standards and the technological and data management skills needed by health information management professionals.

Medical Billing and Reimbursement Methods

This course gives students the skills necessary for conducting the business of health facilities. Students learn to assist healthcare providers by managing patients' financial records, billing, payments, and collections. Learners discover how to monitor cash flow and to read and process insurance payments, claims, and denials.

You can also learn more about medical coder certifications and classes in our guide .

Jobs and Salaries with a Medical Coding Associate Degree Online

Graduates of medical billing and coding programs often work in hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing or residential care facilities, insurance companies, and governmental organizations.

Potential Careers and Salaries

Here, you’ll find some career options for medical coding associate degree grads.

These technicians compile, process, and report patients' medical records, often translating data into a numerical coding system and ensuring that the information meets the healthcare system's range of ethical, regulatory, administrative, legal, and medical requirements.

Median Salary: $45,240

These professionals interact daily with the public, including customers and visitors, providing information about their organization's services and activities. Information clerks often direct people to the appropriate employee, department, or office.

Median Salary: $36,920

Accreditation for a Medical Coding Associate Degree Online Program

Employers of medical coders and billers often prefer job candidates with degrees from accredited schools and programs. Official accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education have verified that these schools and programs meet the highest educational standards.

Career-oriented and occupational schools that offer a medical coding associate degree online are often accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools. Many programs at accredited schools also boast programmatic accreditation. Such programs have earned programmatic accreditation from agencies that specialize in the particular standards of the field or discipline.

Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Scholarships

Most medical billing and coding scholarships require students to apply online. Allied health professions also award scholarships and some employers help their employees with education expenses. Students can consult their school's website or financial aid office for information regarding available scholarships.

Who Can Apply: The American Health Information Management Association awards merit-based scholarships to students currently enrolled in six or more credits of an academic program where they already have maintained a 3.5 GPA or higher in 24 or more completed credits. Eligible applicants possess an AHIMA membership and have at least six credits remaining in their degree program. AHIMA does not consider any prior winners of this same scholarship toward the same degree.

Amount: $1,000

See Scholarship

Become Team
Become Team
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