Program Spotlight

 

Medical Coding
A career with flexibility 
Medical Coding

 

Are you looking for a career that is relatively easy to get into, gives you flexibility as to whether you want to work for yourself or for a "boss," and doesn't take a long time to learn?  If you have an eye for detail and like working on a computer, begin your training now for a career in medical billing and coding at Central Wyoming College. At CWC, you can earn these skills on your own schedule through a distance learning program that is ideal for the independent learner.

Job description
Medical billers compile records of charges for services rendered, calculate the amounts of these services, and prepare invoices to be mailed to patients. Medical billers often contact insurance companies to determine the items and amounts that will be reimbursed.

Medical coders specialize in coding information for insurance billing purposes. They assign a code to each diagnosis and procedure, consulting classification manuals and relying on their knowledge of disease processes.

Training programs
The medical billing/coding curriculum offered at CWC in cooperation with the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) will provide students with an organized program of study utilizing the best training tools, books, and coaches available to learn medical coding, medical billing, and other topics. Students will work with AAPC CPC® certified instructors who are available to answer questions as they move through the curriculum. Distance learning is ideal for the independent learner who wants a quality education but prefers to study on their own schedule from home. Upon completion of the program, students will be ready to take certification exams offered by AAPC.

Medical billers and medical coders must understand and follow the regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which were enacted to maintain the confidentiality of patient medical records. Training in this field includes an understanding of medical terminology and a background in human biology (anatomy/physiology).  

Job outlook
By having a strong background in medical coding in addition to medical billing, students will be more secure due to the increased amount of paperwork involved in filing insurance claims. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 18 percent through 2016. President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will result in physicians adopting certified electronic health records within the next 10 years. This will result in high demands for certified medical coders.

Expected Salary
AAPC's 2008 Salary Survey indicated the average annual wage for coders in the Mountain/Plain states to be $40,876. The average beginning salary was $14.73 per hour, increasing to $23.37 per hour after 15 years in the field.

Available Options
AAS Degree: The Medical Office Assistant degree is designed to prepare graduates to play a key role in medical offices and allied health care facilities. This highly specialized field requires skills in administrative office procedures, health insurance processing, billing, and transcription of medical reports. The program prepares students to function as medical front office assistant, medical billing and coding clerk, or medical records clerk in a variety of healthcare settings. Graduates with a degree qualify for higher pay and more options because of their broader background. [64 credits]

Certificate: The Medical Office Support certificate [medical coding emphasis] is a program that prepares students with a broader office technology background in addition to the required knowledge of medical terminology, human biology, medical law and ethics, and medical billing and coding. [29 credits]

Credential: The Medical Office Support credential [medical coding emphasis] is designed to provide students with basic skills in medical billing and coding.  Students take courses in medical terminology, human biology, medical law and ethics, and two medical billing/coding courses. Students have the background to take the CPC certification exam.



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