How long does it take to complete an online medical coding training program?

Are you looking for the duration of time to complete an online medical coding training program? It will usually take 18 months to 2 years for you to complete the program. Read on...

Updated by Ipsita Meher on 15th October 2020

The best part of online medical training programs is that they come in handy and with a lot of flexibility. You can schedule your class according to your own time. You don't have to run behind a bus or drive fast to be in class on time. Once you complete this course you will have a certificate that will help you in building a career in medical coding. Since these classes are conducted online and they have no restriction for time, you only need to get a particular number of credits to successfully complete the program and receive a certificate. 

There are a few Medical certification programs that are not related to  AAPC and AHIMA. These programs are basically short term programs and help you in clearing the exam. This will help you in getting a certificate plus you can learn while working and can graduate quickly. 

If you wish to or choose a certification program that is not affiliated to AAPC or AHIMA, then it might not give in-depth knowledge, but certainly, it will provide you the basics or fundamentals of medical billing and coding. This will help you later in your professional career as by that time you will be armed with these skills. The time period from this course varies from 3 months to 12 months. 

If you feel after researching and looking at all other options that an online medical coding program will be the best fit for you, then the next thing you have to do is to schedule your program and to make sure that suits and fulfills your academic expectations. So let’s look at a few colleges which can provide good online training when it comes to medical coding training programs. 

Steps to Become a Medical Coder

Let’s discuss the steps to become a medical coder:

Step 1: First of all, all you need to do is to make sure that your basics are covered. 

You have to be ready with your documents and have to finish all paperwork. It means you must have completed your high school diploma by this time or its equivalent. You may be subjected to a background check. If you are convicted with a drug or sex-related convictions then you might not get a chance to study this course and work in the industry, so make sure you have no such records. 

Step 2: The second step for this is that you should enroll yourself in an academic program. 

You don’t need to complete any bachelor’s or master’s degree to become a medical coder. Though many medical coders do have a bachelor’s and master’s degrees. All you need to do is to complete a specific program. It will usually take 18 months to 2 years for you to complete the program.

Step 3: Complete your program.

The next step is to complete the program you have enrolled in. You will study the languages, procedures of coding and basic medical terminology, analogy, and physiology. You will also be reading about health education, laws, and regulations. 

Step 4: Then your aim should be to get the certification. 

If you have a certificate then you are given more preference. Basically a certificate will help you to stand out from the crowd. It gives you a certain kind of expertise. It includes certifications like Professional Coder(CPC), Certified outpatient coder(COC), Certified risk adjustment coder(CRC), and certified inpatient coder(CIC). Getting any of these certificates will really help you to boost your career. 

Step 5: Search for jobs and land in a good place. 

Before you take a job make sure that this is the career you want to have in your life. But first, you must decide what kind of environment you wish to work in and what is the right place for you. 

So, if you follow the steps above, the program will take 18 months to 2 years to finish the course. It depends on courses to courses and universities. But ideally, it should not take more than two years for you to complete. 

Universities which Offer Online Medical Coding Program

The Weber State University

Weber State University is one of the most preferred universities for this course. It is a public university. It was established in 1889 and it is situated in Ogden, Utah. This University offers a Healthcare Coding Certificate. It only consists of 10 online courses which are worth 27 credits. You can either complete the course in one year or two years. If you choose to devote more time and opt for a full-time study program most probably you will be able to finish the course in less than one year. The university also offers a two-year part-time study program for working professionals. 

The tuition fee of this university in the year 2017-18 was $5,712 for students who belong to the home state. But the fee was quite high, i.e  $15,260 for out-of-state students. This university provides scholarships to 86% of its students which is welcomed by many students and is highly appreciated in the educational fraternity. 

The Davenport University

Davenport University is also famous for its online billing and coding program in Medicine. It is a private university. It was established in 1866. It has various campuses in Michigan having the main campus at Grand Rapids.  The university provides a famous online program called Associate’s of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Health Information Technology. This degree requires 69 credits to complete the course. It usually takes students two years to complete the course, making it one of the longest online medical coding training programs in the country.

But the good thing is, it also provides tutorial classes or preparation classes to qualify for the CPC(Certified Professional Coder) Exam. It only takes one single semester for the students. The tuition fees at  Davenport University was $17,558 for the year 2017-18. It provides financial aid to almost 97% of the students based on their profile and eligibility criteria. 

Conclusion

So, if you follow the steps above, the program will take 18 months to 2 years to finish the course. It depends on universities and varies from course to course. Ideally, it should not take more than two years for you to complete. 

As these programs come with a lot of flexibility one can always go for such courses. Additionally, billing and coding in medicine is a must known for a medical student. These platforms can help students grow at a faster rate and build their careers at a rapid speed.