Medical Coding & Insurance Billing
provides theoretical & practical training in fundamental electronic coding & insurance billing skills that are essential to the modern-day medical office. You will learn all about common medical procedures that are performed in the average medical office, and how to properly and effectively code and bill for those medical procedures to assure prompt insurance reimbursement. Doctors prefer to focus upon diagnosing and treating patients; so when you become a successful medical coding and insurance billing professional, you will also become an essential and valued member of the medical office team.
If you are a detail-oriented, organized person who loves to work in fast-paced medical environment, then this career is worth your serious consideration. California Healing Arts College will teach you what you need to know, and will assist you with finding employment after you graduate. The Medical Coding & Insurance Billing Program is an entry-level program designed to teach you anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and the coding and billing skills you will need to work in the average medical office, clinic, and hospital setting. We invite you to call us for more information, and to schedule a visit of our campus today!
What is Medical Billing & Insurance Coding?
A Medical Coding & Insurance Billing program at the California Healing Arts College (CHAC) prepares individuals to effectively and efficiently maintain a patient’s medical record and other health and medical information. Medical Coding & Insurance Billing is an important behind-the-scenes part of our health care system. Certified Medical Coders & Billers communicate between medical offices, patients & insurance companies. By assigning letters & numbers to diseases & conditions, injuries & medical procedures, they speed up the process of payment.
Medical coding and insurance billing professionals require an ability to focus on details, and should have patience. Problem-solving skills are also useful and essential, as coders are required to determine which part of each medical report is relevant to bill / code for. Medical coders should have knowledge in the following areas:
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans
- Completing CMS-1500 and Commercial Claims
- CPT Coding
- ICD-9-CM Coding
- Insurance Claim and Regulatory Considerations
- Tricare and Workers’ Compensation
Duties performed by a coding & billing specialist may include any combination of the following:
- Appropriately filling out and filing medical insurance forms
- Assigning a code to each diagnosis and procedure
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers several types of medical billing and coding certifications:
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC): To become a CPC, an individual must pass a coding certification examination sponsored by the AAPC. The examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT codes, ICD-9-CD diagnosis codes, and HCPCS procedure and supply codes used for billing professional medical services to insurance companies. To sit for the exam, an individual must have at least two years of coding experience and is required to maintain yearly renewal and CEU (continuing education) requirements.
- Certified Professional Coder – Hospital (CPC-H): To become a CPC-H, an individual must pass a coding certification examination sponsored by the AAPC. The examination consists of questions regarding the correct application of CPT codes, ICD-9-CM diagnoses, and procedure codes used for billing facility services to insurance companies. To sit for the exam, an individual must have at least two years of coding experience and is required to maintain yearly renewal and CEU requirements.
- Certified Professional Coder – Payer (CPC-P): To become a CPC-P, an individual must demonstrate that he or she has the skills and knowledge to arbitrate provider claims effectively. The CPC-P certification demonstrates the payer coder’s proficiency, aptitude and knowledge within the payer environment. To sit for the exam, an individual must have at least two years of coding experience and is required to maintain the appropriate amount of yearly CEU requirements.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers the following credentials:
- Certified Coding Associate (CCA): Even without much job experience, a new coder can earn the CCA immediately in order to demonstrate competency in the field.
- Certified Coding Specialist (CCS): Certified Coding Specialists are professionals skilled in classifying medial data from patient records, generally in the hospital setting. To become a CCS, an individual must possess expertise in the ICD-9-CM coding system, as well as the surgery section within the CPT coding system. Additionally, the CCS should be knowledgeable of disease processes, medical terminology, and pharmacology.
The National Healthcare Association (NHA) offers the following credential:
- Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS): To become aCBCS, an individual must pass a coding certification examination sponsored by the NHA. The examination consists of questions surrounding administrative procedures for medical billing and insurance claim processing, as well as submitting, tracing, transmitting, and appealing billing claims for a full range of health plans.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that medical billing and coding is one of the ten fastest growing allied health occupations. Employment for Medical Records and Health Information technicians is expected to increase by 21% between 2010 and 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Medical billing & coding training provides an opportunity for graduates to benefit from the expanding health care job market. As demand for medical procedures continues to grow, medical coding is increasingly crucial to a facility’s smooth and successful operation.
Once hired, medical coders and billers hold secure jobs, with good futures. Supervisors often spend weeks or months directly training medical billers and coders. Once they are properly trained and have gained experience by participating in the daily office routine, there is a strong possibility that their positions will be long term.
Graduates of CHAC ’s Medical Billing & Coding program can choose to work in a variety of locations, including (but not limited to):
- Group practices
- Insurance companies
- Multispecialty clinics
- Nursing care facilities
- Physician offices
- Rehabilitation / Specialty centers
- Working from home
In California, Medical Billing & Coding Specialists earn a mean wage of $34,160 to $42,270, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2012.
(a) Be a high school graduate or equivalent
(b) Be at least 18 years of age
(c) Be physically fit enough to perform the required tasks for your training
Program Length Class Schedule
30 Weeks • 900 Clock Hours • 32 Credits
Monday-Friday • 8:00 am – 2:30 pm
30 hours per week with breaks. Lunch is an additional ½ hr.
38 Weeks • 900 Clock Hours • 32 Credits
(22.5 hours per week with breaks) or
Monday-Friday • 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Externship is normally conducted in affiliated clinics generally during daytime working hours
from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and scheduled for 30 hours per week (6 hours per day) for total of five weeks.
Not all programs are offered at all campuses and not all campuses offer programs during all sessions.
Please check with the Admissions Department for the start dates and schedules of a particular program.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The total tuition includes all books and supplies, STRF fee, as well as administrative fees for registration and graduation. California Healing Arts College participates in several types of funding programs, and we offer several options for tuition payment. A staff of well-qualified financial aid officers is available to advise and assist you in applying for aid. All prospective students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance if unable to meet educational costs on their own.
Program Description and Vocational Objective
The MCB program prepares students for an entry-level position as a medical biller. Students will be exposed to billing forms, eligibility guidelines for Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, and billing procedures for dental care, Tricare, Blue Shield/Blue Cross, and Workers’ Compensation. Students will learn the use of ICD-9, ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS and CPT books for coding diagnoses and procedures.
Students will use computers to perform simulated practice of medical billing procedures and learn the function and impact of electronic health records (EHR) while using the Medisoft application software.
CHAC is a member of NATIONAL HEALTHCAREER ASSOCIATION (“NHA”).
Our Career Services staff is eager to provide placement assistance to all graduates, including résumé preparation, job-seeking skills, and interviewing techniques. To enhance your career planning, a review of these items will be supplemented with job leads after successful completion of the program. While we cannot guarantee employment, Career Services will assist in securing a job that’s right for you.
- Be at least 18 years old (if younger than 18, must provide valid high school diploma or equivalent).
- Has Previously Passed a nationally standardized entrance exam (Necessary for those without a HS diploma).
- Interview with an admissions representative and tour the campus.
- Complete all requisite forms in the admissions packet.