Scads of jobs exist for medical records, billing and health informatics specialists. Insurance companies, medical facilities and legal regulators all need medical coders to scrutinize billings. They also need more trained technicians to gather and analyze health data to help assess medical risk and outcomes.
Want to earn a real medical billing degree or health informatics degree online?
3 Ways to Spot a Medical Billing Online School Scam
According to the Federal Trade Commissions, the only thing growing faster than the need for trained health informatics and medical coding specialists is the "learn medical billing from home" business scam. Companies selling packages that promise to train you to operate a home-based medical billing business are nearly always scams.
Medical billing is a high growth field that promises good pay and great advancement potential. With very little education, often just an online medical billing certificate, specialists can net an average salary of about $33,000. The highest 10 percent, with management experience and a two-year or associate's degree, can earn more than $52,000.
Online Medical Billing Schools and the Home-Based Business Scam
Online medical billing schools that advertise home training plus medical billing software packages are the most notorious. These schools promise that if you buy their home-based business packages, you will be able to complete their online training and begin soliciting clients—doctor's offices and medical clinics in your area—and build your own exclusive client base. You'll get both the training you need and a turnkey home-based business, promise these schools.
Medical Billing Schools Online that Sell Software
Medical billing or coding specialists do use special software. That software is written using the medical terminology or codes that correspond to how doctors diagnose and insurance companies bill. These diagnostic codes, known as CPT codes and ICD-9 codes, determine the categories and costs allowed by facilities and insurance carriers for medical care.
Real Accredited Online Colleges for Medical Billing
Hundreds of private schools and institutes sell medical billing training and software online. These schools are largely unaccredited and unregulated. On the other hand, many accredited colleges also operate medical billing schools online or offer packaged online certificates or degrees. Stick with accredited colleges, such as your local or state community college online, when searching for web-based schools in this field. If you're uncertain if a college is a scam, check with the Diploma Mill Police, a free service that chronicles online school scams.
What is a Medical Billing Records or Health Informatics Specialist?
Every time a patient receives health care, a record is maintained of the observations, interventions and outcomes. Medical records and health informatics technicians organize and evaluate these records for completeness and accuracy.
Medical Billing Schools Online — Online Degrees
Medical records and health informatics technicians usually hold an associate's or two-year degree. Some billing technicians become registered health information technicians (RHIT). Earning this private certification post-education will boost both your pay and career prospects.
Coders with advanced degrees often earn salary hikes through specializing in a field or by being promoted to a management position. Most coding and registry skills are learned on the job, but many online schools offer certificates in medical billing or include coding as a critical part of an online associate's or bachelor’s degree in health informatics.
To earn the RHIT, technicians must pass a written exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association. To take the exam, candidates must graduate from a two-year associate's degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
Entering the Medical Billing Field
Certificates and associate degrees can lay the foundation for a career in medical coding and records. The RHIT certification post-degree is extremely useful. Coursework in the associate’s degree usually includes medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, legal aspects of health information, health data standards, coding and abstraction of data, statistics and database management.
Nurse Career Changers