Billing & Coding Specialist Associate Degree

Student working with calculator

Medical billing and coding specialists are an in-demand component of the administrative side of the health care field and can be just as important to ensuring accurate, quality patient care. At Daymar College, our Billing & Coding Specialist associate degree and diploma programs help you get the career training and skills you need to step into this career.

What Is Medical Billing and Coding?

Every time a patient accesses health care — whether that’s a regular checkup at their family practitioner or an ER visit — it generates a lot of information: the patient’s condition and symptoms, the diagnosis, the recommended treatment, and so on. Medical coders take medical reports from all these doctors and healthcare facilities and translate everything into standardized codes, like the ICD-10-CM, so that it can they be submitted to insurance providers for reimbursement. Having a standardized system across the country ensures documentation stays uniform, and it also allows hospitals, organizations, and government agencies to more easily process and analyze important health information, like the spread of a disease or the efficiency of a hospital.

What Do Medical Billing and Coding Specialists Do?

Given that broad overview of the industry, let’s look at what exactly a billing and coding specialist does on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes referred to as medical records technicians or health information technicians, medical coders are charged with organizing and managing health information data in both paper and electronic file systems. They have to know how to assess patient records for completeness and accuracy, use classification software to assign clinical codes, work with patient-facing health professionals like nurses to clarify diagnoses or get further information, and maintain patient record confidentiality. All of this can vary slightly depending on your employer and the scope of their work.

Medical Billing and Coding Jobs (Career Outlook)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the field of medical billing and coding is expected to grow much faster than average through 2029. The largest employer of health information technicians in 2019 was hospitals, which sometimes might need medical coders to work evenings and overnight shifts. Other employers included physicians’ offices; professional, scientific, and technical services; and administrative and support services. Nursing care facilities, especially those serving the aging population, are projected to have an increasing need for billing and coding specialists.

Medical Billing and Coding Certification and Education

Those who want to pursue a career as a medical billing and coding specialist often share some important qualities, like being detail-oriented with a high level of integrity. They can start by enrolling in an accredited career education program like Daymar’s Billing & Coding Specialist diploma or associate degree. We utilize experienced industry professionals and personalized attention to ensure you’re getting the quality hands-on training you need to be prepared for the workplace. Additionally, we offer a number of student support services, like career placement assistance, internship seminar programs, and financial aid for those who qualify. Graduates are also encouraged to sit for any necessary certifications, like the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR).

What Classes Are Required for a Billing and Coding Program?

The exact medical billing and coding classes you’ll take depend on both where you take the program and whether you’re pursuing a certificate, diploma, or degree. At Daymar, we cover a wide range of topics in both of our programs, while also addressing the fact that diverse medical settings have different requirements.

Our Billing & Coding Specialist diploma program is designed for full-time students to complete it in 12 months, and all of the classes below are applicable to our associate degree program. Daymar’s billing and coding diploma classes include:

  • Reimbursement and Coding
  • Anatomy & Physiology for Reimbursement
  • Technology in the Medical Office
  • ICD
  • Procedural Coding
  • Modifiers and Intermediate Coding
  • Coding Clinic
  • Surgical Procedure Coding
  • Medical Office Management
  • Reimbursement Methodology
  • Claims Production
  • Comprehensive Coding
  • Computer Applications
  • Professional Seminar and Internship or Capstone Project
  • Medical Terminology
  • Strategies for Success

For our Billing & Coding Specialist Associate of Science degree program, we include advanced compliance and critical thinking skills to further prepare you for the medical field. Designed to be completed by a full-time student in 18 months, all of the credits can be applied to our bachelor’s degree program in Health Care Administration. The associate degree in billing and coding includes the following additional classes:

  • Claims Examining
  • Billing & Coding Advanced Compliance
  • Public Speaking*
  • Critical Thinking*
  • General English*
  • Composition I*
  • College Math*
  • Psychology*

*This course fulfills a general education requirement.

How Much Do Billing and Coding Specialists Make?

The BLS reports that the median annual wage for health information technicians in 2019 was $42,630, with the highest 10 percent of works in this field earning more than $71,150. Hospitals — including state, local, and private facilities — reportedly paid the highest of all of the organizations.

Where Can I Get Medical Billing and Coding Training?

Daymar College offers our Billing & Coding Specialist diploma and associate degree program at the following location(s):

Contact us today for more information about this popular billing and coding specialist program!