As the healthcare industry begins to expand into new horizons, the need for more professionals in the field is in high demand. Areas that have seem to be needed the most are health information technicians or those in similar career paths. Individuals that are detail-oriented, attain strong interpersonal skills, and have a foundation of technical abilities, then an online associate of applied sciences in medical billing and coding program is your right choice. The online Medical Billing and Coding Associate’s Degree program will prepare students for entry-level positions, such as government-run organizations, hospitals, community clinics, or nursing home facilities. Here are the top 10 online medical billing and coding associate’s degree programs for 2020.
1. GRANTHAM UNIVERSITY
Grantham University offers an Associates degree in Applied Science in Medical Coding and Billing that prepares students for career fields in Healthcare or other health-related positions. The AAS degree is a sixty-credit hour program that can be completed in twenty-four months. Graduates of the AAS in medical coding and billing program have a better chance of finding employment in the healthcare industry than those without the AAS degree. Courses begin each month, creating convenient and flexible class schedules. The AAS-MCB degree provides a well rounded, twenty-seven core curriculum, which includes courses in computer software applications in healthcare, healthcare delivery systems, introduction to health information management, medical terminology, and reimbursement methodologies. Graduates of the program will work along with the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) portal for classroom participation and in preparation for the Billing and Coding Specialist Certification(BCSC) exam required after the last course.
2. DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
The online AAS in Health Information Technology Program at Dakota State University offers a sixty-four credit hour program to be finished within two years. Approximately ninety-four students take the program part time and 100% of graduates find employment opportunities in the healthcare industry within one year of graduating. Requirement to enter into the AS degree in HIM is straightforward; students must maintain a “C” or higher in each course to continue through graduation. The courses in the HIM program at Dakota State are sequenced, so they build upon the prerequisite course. Once students graduate from the HIM program at DSU, they are now eligible to take the national exam. The exam is sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The AS-HIM program is a great kick off to students who choose to pursue the BS degree in Health Information Administration.
3. OZARKS TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
The Associates in Applied Sciences in Health Information Technology (HIT) at the Ozarks Technical Community College offers a comprehensive curriculum to students who desire a headstart in IT development of the healthcare industry. The program total is only sixty-six credits and can be completed in less than two years time. The AAS in HIT is associated with an online associates degree in medical billing and coding and includes similar courses and requirements. Health Information Technology programs provide the leadership skills needed for employment areas such as data quality management, medical records specialist, health information clerks, and compliance payment and policy technician. The AAS-HITprogram is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Graduates of the associate’s degree program are required to take the AHIMA certification exam.
4. WASHBURN UNIVERSITY
Washburn University’s Associates in Applied Sciences in Health Information Technology offers an online, seventy-three credit hour program designed for students working toward a career in public health, health care, or other areas of health related fields. Students will receive a certificate achievement in Health Information Coding along with their AAS-HIT program degree. Students must have access to the Internet and have basic computer skills to enter into the program. The associates degree in medical billing and coding online program will provide a variety of career opportunities to graduates, such as ambulatory health care facilities, medical clinics, state or federal health agencies, healthcare nursing facilities, and managed care organizations. Hospitals also are known to hire those with a degree in health information technology. In addition, Washburn University’s graduation satisfaction rate is at 100% by graduates of the program.
5. Moraine Park Technical College
Moraine Park Technical College offers an online Associates of Applied Sciences in Health Information Technology program to inspiring students wanting a career in the healthcare industry. Students will learn skills in areas of communication, organizational, and computer technology. The program will cover the importance in collecting, analyzing, and recording and reporting healthcare data to best assist patients with the highest quality of care. Program curriculum of the AAS in health information technology will include courses in Medical Terminology, Digital Literacy for Healthcare, Foundations of HIM, Health Quality Management, Introductory Statistics, and Intermediate Coding. There are sixty-three credits in the program and it is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Some clinical courses are required. Students will take the RHIT exam once graduated. The college’s faculty members are working professionals with expert knowledge and already in the healthcare industry. 100 percent of Moraine Park 2019 graduates earned a score of ninety-two or higher.
6. Central Texas College
Central Texas College offers an AAS in Medical Coding and Billing program for students looking for an online certificate degree that focuses on specific health care field interests. Most students that choose this degree program use it as the means to promote better employment options and build a strong career in the healthcare field. Courses available in the AAS-MCB program are Medical Terminology, Health Data Content & Structure, Coding and Classification Systems, Medical InsuranceIntermediate Medical Coding, and Anatomy & Physiology for Medical Assistant. Approximately fifty percent of the course program is made up of technical courses that are in some relation to healthcare; including fifteen credits of general education. The program total for the MCB curriculum is sixty credits. Students have the option to complete the program fully online or in the traditional format. CTC programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission; the college has served Central Texas over the past fifty years.
7. WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY
Weber State University’s online Associates of Applied Sciences in Health Information Technology program is accredited by the CAHIIM and provides a total of fifty-seven credit hours of IT and health-related coursework. The program will provide the skills necessary to understand healthcare management systems, medical terminology, and the technical functions of coding operations and diseases. Students will also learn the foundational background of computer applications and software. The Health Information Technology program is available online and offers flexible class scheduling. All graduates of the program are qualified to take the registered health information technician exam (RHIT). Weber State University does require that students taking PPE courses must complete a background check, drug screen and immunization records. As part of the Dumke College of Health Professions, the online associates degree in medical billing and coding program at Weber offer affordable tuition rates, comprehensive education models, and skillful and compassionate instructors.
8. ARAPAHOE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Arapahoe Community College offers an online Associates in Applied Sciences in Health Information Technology program. The AAS program is only sixty-four credits to completion and courses will provide students with developing the technical skills necessary for managing health information within the healthcare delivery system. Courses include fifteen credits of general education and forty-nine credits of core courses. The curriculum covers courses in medical terminology, ICD coding, health data management, and principles of healthcare reimbursement. The program requires all students to contact HITProgram@arapahoe.edu for counseling and program planning prior to enrolling in each class while in the HIT program. The AAS in HIT requires a criminal background check before the first practicum. To graduate from the online Associates of Applied Sciences in Health Information Technology program, students must maintain at least a “C” or higher. ACC offers an array of programs for students to become successful, whether choosing a certificate, an associate degree, or building a career path toward a four- year program.
9. UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO – GALLUP
University of New Mexico’s online Associates degree in Health Information Technology is a seventy-one credit program, designed for health professionals wanting to expand their knowledge of the healthcare industry and medical terminology. The UNM Health Information Technology Associates program is a two year degree and accredited by CAHIIM. The program is available to students during the summer and fall semesters. However, admission into the program is on a first-come, first serve basis for new enrollees with a strong GPA. Most courses are online, making it convenient for students, while providing a flexible workload. Courses in the AAS in Health Information Technology program will include nineteen credits of general education, six credits of health sciences, three credits of business technology, and up to thirty-eight credits of the major course; health information technology. Students in the program must maintain at least a 2.75 GPA to complete the program and pass the HCHT 233 professional practicum, which is the only class that must be completed on site.
10. FRESNO CITY COLLEGE
The AS in Health Information Technology program at Fresno City College prepares students who are working toward a career in the healthcare management industry. The HIT program will provide each student with knowledge in revenue management, similar to coding, auditing, general health management, and documentation of clinicals. Students in the career path of health information technology will find positions in data collection, quality improvement, health informatics, or medical recording. The HIT program at FCC is also accredited by the CAHIIM and qualified graduates to take the RHIT exam, which is sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). All students entering into the AS-HIT program are required to take a complete background check and drug screen prior to enrollment into the AS-HIT program at FCC. A GPA of 2.0 or higher is also required for each course in the program. The program has a total of sixty semester hours.
Careers with an Online AAS in Health Information Technology program
The healthcare Industry is one career path that many individuals will find employment to be very satisfying and highly demanding. There are several areas of interest to explore in, which does not necessarily be in Nursing. For those who want to work in health care yet avoid the long clinical hours of nursing, then an Online Medical Billing and Coding Associate’s Degree is the right career choice for you. The opportunities for MBC graduates are numerous and many find employment in areas such as hospitals, medical insurance agencies, and government-run health facilities such as the Medicaid or Medicare buildings. Careers as client documentation specialists, hospital assistants, health insurance specialists, medical record analysts, or imaging technicians are just a few options for one who has taken an online AAS in Health Information Technician program or graduated from any online AAS in MBC degree.
The salary for a graduate holding an Associate of Applied Sciences in Medical Billing and Coding degree can make approximately $55,000 annually; salaries are based on region and demographics of the area. For example, larger communities or populated areas may have higher wages than rural or less dense cities or towns.
Paying your way through the Online Associates degree in Medical Billing and Coding program
Going to college for the first can be an amazing experience for many. You are finally on your own and learning to take on whatever comes your way. However, choosing the right career path is just the start. Next step, finding the best way to pay for the education. Initially, tuition costs may seem intimidating at first, yet there are a range of options for students when paying for college. Here are some quick ways to get the best price for your online Associates degree in Medical Billing and coding.
- Health-related Scholarships- though not always offered to two-year programs such as the AS in HIT or MBC programs, it may offer some financial assistance to students with a mindset on healthcare career goals.
- Financial aid for Veterans or active duty military- many schools will offer a discount on tuition for those serving our country.
- Scholarships for specialized demographics- such as single parents or low-income families, and specific race/ethnicity.
- FAFSA– Open to most students wanting financial aid for college or graduate school.