According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, medical coders and other health information technicians can expect a better than average growth rate for employment in their field with job availability expected to increase by 20% by 2018. Medical coders are responsible for coding medical patients' records for the purpose of insurance reimbursement. To enter into this field, specialised training is required and certifications are preferred.
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) was established in 1988 to provide professional development and training opportunities to people in the profession as well as standards of excellence in the field and opportunities for coders to network with each other. More than 88,000 people worldwide are members of the organisation. Their online training programs are highly regarded in the industry. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) also offers online medical coding training programs to their 50,000+ professional members and certifies training programs from other schools.
In addition to the AAPC and AHIMA online training and certification programs, the following schools offer accredited online medical coding courses and certificates: Dakota State University, Kaplan Continuing Education, Lone Star College, Montana State University, North Dakota State College of Science, Santa Barbara City College, Shoreline Community College, and Trident Technical College.
Online medical coding training offers several benefits to the student, including increased access to necessary classes, the ability to work from your home or office at your own pace, and a variety of learning style options including audio, video, print, and online messaging.
Online medical coding training requires a significant amount of discipline to ensure that the coursework is completed in a timely manner. The ability to set your own training schedule and work at your own pace is only a good thing if you are able to complete the work. Some people need specific deadlines to motivate them to complete their assignments. Online training is also isolating. Without the benefit of a real classroom, interactions with other students and teachers is highly limited.
Before signing up for online medical coding training, make sure the course is accredited. Check with the school to determine computer and technology requirements to ensure your current set-up is sufficient. Verify the school's cancellation policy. Many schools do not offer refunds or only offer refunds for the first few days after you sign up.