By BHD Staff
Posted April 2015
If you’re looking for a career path that will allow you to work in the healthcare industry without requiring a copious amount of schooling, you might consider earning an online medical billing and coding degree. People who work in this profession are responsible for processing the thousands of codes required to keep track of a patient’s information and communicate with insurance companies. Unlike other healthcare jobs, medical billers and coders typically don’t see many patients face-to-face. Rather, they put their organizational skills and attention to detail to work in offices, completing tasks in collaboration with other administrators.
To become a medical biller or coder, you most likely only need to go to school for a year or two. Depending on your professional goals and the school in which you enroll, you might complete a certificate program or associate’s degree, and potentially supplement your education with “Continuing Education Units.” Listed below are the top 10 online colleges that offer medical billing and coding degrees, ranked according to a number of important factors:
Net Price: This term refers to a more unique number than just flat tuition rates. We found this information on College Navigator, a comprehensive database that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) runs. According to NCES, Net Price takes into account tuition rates, additional fees, average financial aid packages, and even potential cost of living while in school. Please keep in mind that these values are an approximation, used only for ranking purposes. If you are thinking of applying to one of the schools below, we encourage you to do the research to determine exactly how much you should expect to pay. We weighted this category 15%.
Number of Students in the Program: For this category, we determined the number of students at the college pursuing a degree in medical billing and coding compared to the size of the entire student body (also based on data from NCES). If a school had a higher than average number of students involved in medical billing and coding, we took it as an indication that the university puts a strong emphasis on this program, students find it more attractive than other programs/schools, or both. We weighted this category 25%.
Unique Classes:We also gave each college a score based on the overall uniqueness of their programs, based mostly on the breadth of courses offered as well as the number of classes that are not typically offered at other universities. We weighted this category 30%.
Certifications: Lastly, we also considered the number of related programs and opportunities a college offers its MB&C students. Schools received lower scores if they didn’t offer anything beyond a certificate, while schools earned high scores for offering certificates, one or more associate’s degrees, and also provide pathways to more advanced programs in related healthcare professions. We weighted this category 30%.
At the end of the day, we tallied up all the points and gave each college a total number of points out of 100. You can see the 10 schools that made the final cut below, along with their final scores — all of which are significantly above average.
Online Medical Billing and Coding Schools Ranking 2015
10. ICDC College
Online Healthcare Management Associate Degree
ICDC College offers an online associate degree in Healthcare Management that is both convenient and adaptable. Students are trained in medical coding and billing along with electronic records management, workplace management, and other healthcare-related responsibilities. ICDC has a wide variety of online associate’s degrees and certificates in subjects from Business Management to Medical Office Specialist; students can combine degrees to tailor their education to their individual career goals. The online medical billing and coding college also generously provides students with a new laptop and textbooks included in the price of their tuition.
Net Price: $23,733/yr
Total Score: 63.4
9. Cosumnes River College
Online Health Information Technology Associate in Science Degree
Students at Consumnes River College receive an affordable education and an excellent foundation for a career in medical coding. The cheap online medical billing and coding school offers a Health Information Coding Specialist certification that takes two years to complete. The curriculum covers the basics of both information technology and the healthcare industry, with courses from Basic ICD Coding to Human Disease. The environmentally conscious college provides a significant number of other certificates in Business, Technology, Health, STEM, and language fields for students who want to take their education that extra step.
Net Price: $9,366/yr
Total Score: 64.1
8. Stratford University
Online Associate in Applied Science in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
The online medical billing degree at Stratford University is a great choice for students who want to focus on the business aspect of healthcare. The program is designed to train students for the business and financial departments of hospitals and medical facilities. After completing the associate degree, graduates are eligible for certification by the American Health Information Management Association and the American Academy of Procedural Coders. The Stratford degree prepares graduates for work as medical assistants, medical secretaries, billing clerks, and medical records technicians; for example, past graduates have found employment in home care agencies and senior living facilities.
Net Price: $24,640/yr
Total Score: 65.3
7. Virginia College
Online Associate of Science in Healthcare Reimbursement
Virginia College provides an online associate degree in Healthcare Reimbursement with a unique and varied curriculum. The online medical coding degree is ideal for anyone who hasn’t decided their exact focus yet, or wants a solid foundation in the field. The program is designed to prepare students to work anywhere from private practices to healthcare consulting to insurance companies. Courses range from Keyboarding and Human Anatomy to Pathophysiology and Medical Law and Ethics. On average, the degree takes less than two years to complete, and Virginia College reports graduates’ job placement rate as 69%.
Net Price: $11,302/yr
Total Score: 66.4
6. Grantham University
Online Medical Coding and Billing Associate of Applied Science Degree
Students at Grantham University can take advantage of a cheap, high quality medical coding degree that emphasizes the importance a well-rounded education. The program includes classes in Public Speaking, American Government, English Competition, College Algebra, Student Success, and Strategies for Decision Making in addition to the medical coding and billing coursework. These classes help graduates broaden their knowledge and keep their skills sharp, which can make all the difference during a job search. Grantham also notes how helpful it is to learn medical coding and billing together, rather than separately, as part of the complete training process.
Net Price: $11,773/yr
Total Score: 66.6
5. Vista College
Online Medical Insurance Billing and Coding Associate Degree
The online Medical Insurance Billing and Coding degrees at Vista College prioritize effective learning in order to make sure that students get the most out of their education. Vista offers a Medical Insurance Billing and Coding diploma, which takes ten months to complete, and a Medical Insurance Billing and Coding associate degree, which takes eighteen months. The medical billing school requires students to complete a foundational segment before moving on to more advanced courses so that students can fully process the material. Students are also allowed to repeat online lessons and assignments as often as they need to in order to improve retention and therefore excel after graduation.
Net Price: $16.330/yr
Total Score: 66.7
4. Berkeley College
Online Associate of Applied Science in Health Services Administration – Medical Insurance, Billing, and Coding
Berkeley College’s online medical billing and coding school ranking demonstrates the school’s commitment to a broad curriculum that prepares students for a range of careers. The coursework, which covers subjects in Healthcare, Business, and Liberal Arts, is designed to teach students about the underlying dynamics and framework of the healthcare industry. Students get first hand experience through internship credits and a research course, and learn about the newest technologies in use in the field. The associate degree also can easily transition into a bachelor’s degree, or be combined with a number of related associate degrees.
Net Price: $25,545/yr
Total Score: 66.8
3. Rasmussen College
Online Medical Billing and Coding Certificate or Diploma
The medical billing degree at Rasmussen College also stands out for its sheer variety of classes and degrees available to students in the healthcare field. Students can choose from a Medical Billing and Coding certificate, which takes twelve months to complete, or a Medical Billing and Coding diploma, which takes fifteen months. The coursework prepares graduates for the American Health Information Management Association certification exam, which is a national standard of accomplishment. Rasmussen also offers a certain level of financial stability to its students; tuition costs are locked in place so that students always know exactly how much they will pay.
Net Price: $20,043/yr
Total Score: 72.3
2. Laurus College
Online Medical Billing and Coding Occupational Associate Degree
Nearly one-fifth of all students at Laurus College are enrolled in the Medical Billing and Coding occupational associate degree. This demonstrates the school’s special focus on the medical billing degree; in such a large program, students who enroll at Laurus can be sure that they are getting the best of the school’s resources. The program emphasizes the important role of medical coders in the growing healthcare industry as insurance regulations become stricter and insurance options expand. Potential careers for Laurus graduates include health information clerk, medical records technician, medical office manager, and billing and coding specialist.
Net Price: $10,051/yr
Total Score: 74.2
1. Bryant & Stratton College
Online Associate of Applied Science in Medical Reimbursement & Coding
The affordable associate degree in Medical Reimbursement and Coding at Bryant & Stratton College matches students’ abilities to the career track that is best for them. The degree is designed for detail-oriented individuals with previous data processing experience. Students can choose between a physician track and a hospital track, depending on their career goals and the area in which they would most like to work. However, Bryant & Stratton makes it simple for students to become cross-credentialed in both areas as well. Furthermore, the online medical coding degree prepares students for certification by the American Academy of Professional Coders or the American Health Information Management Association.
Net Price: $11,616/yr
Total Score: 80.3
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