Medical Coding and Billing vs. Health Information Technology
While these fields are similar, there are some important differences that will help you choose your career direction. Health informatics professionals enjoy better pay—ranging from $80,000 to $200,000 depending on your position. Those in management or who work as a project manager enjoy the highest health information technology salaries. Additionally, there is better room for upward mobiilty with a career in health informatics than in medical coding and billing. Many who initially earn an associate’s degree to break into the field continue on to earn a master’s to advance into different roles with even better pay.
Health Informatics Online Programs
As you consider studying medical records and information, don’t be fooled by scam schools that promise to set you up in a lucrative home-based career. To enter this field, you will generally need to study with a reputable and accredited program. There are many schools that offer this training online, but you will need to choose what level of education you want to achieve. Certificate and diploma programs will get you a credential in a shorter amount of time, but do not allow you to sit for the most known national exam in this profession. The advantage of these shorter programs is that they come with a lower price tag than a degree program. In many cases, you can start with a certificate program, and continue on with more coursework to get your Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science degree at a later time.
The most useful entry-level training for this field is the associate degree, which, if taken at an accredited school, will allow you to sit for the national exam that most employers prefer. An associate degree usually takes about two years to complete fulltime, longer if you study part time. It will include some general education topics such as writing and math, plus basic medical foundation classes like anatomy and physiology. The main part of all programs will include courses on the system of medical coding, legal aspects of health information, computer skills for the medical industry, and other career-specific classes. Most associate degree programs will also require a student to spend time in a professional medical setting with supervision. Because of this clinical requirement, most programs require students to get a background check and drug testing. Many also require health screenings and immunizations before going on site for your internship.
RHIT Certification Online Programs (CAHIIM Accredited)
38 CAHIM Accredited Online Programs
These programs are available at least 80% online and hold programmatic accreditation from CAHIM allowing you to sit for the RHIT certification exam.