Medical Billing and Coding Education in Indiana - IN
First of all, a high school diploma or the equivalent, such as a G.E.D., is necessary to be admitted to any program offering medical billing and coding certification in Indiana, be it a two-year associate degree program or a four month course. Any high school courses in biology, human anatomy, keyboarding and such give a student a leg up on their career ladder in becoming a medical billing and coding specialist.
Second, when considering schools, it is advantageous to select a school whose program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), since only medical billing and coding specialist education program graduates from these school programs are eligible for national certification.
Then, there are a number of options. The length of the program dictates the depth and breadth of study, but overall a Hoosier can expect to take courses in computer science, keyboarding (if not already proficient), medical terminology, medical records classification systems, database management, human anatomy, and physiology. Additionally, students will need a good understanding of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) of 1996, especially as it relates to patient privacy and national standards for electronic health care transactions. Programs include both lecture and lab courses, as well as an internship.
Associate programs (A.S.).Health information technology, including medical billing and coding, is offered as an associate program at a number of community colleges throughout Indiana. The requirements for an associate degree in this field may be 69 credit hours, 18 months or four semesters, depending upon the individual school.
Certificate programs. This may be an Indiana medical billing certificate, coding certificate or comprehensive medical billing and coding certification in Indiana. These programs run from several months to a year. Students can generally expect to go on to entry-level positions in medical billing and coding.
Online learning programs.Students complete the training on their own timetable, generally within a year or less.
Graduates from CAHIIM-accredited medical billing and coding programs are eligible to apply for national certifications -- such as Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), and Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) – by taking examinations given by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). More information can be found on the AHIMA Web site.
As a rule, while health information specialists are not required to be formally licensed in the state of Indiana, employers tend to look favorably upon AHIMA-certified candidates. Potential employers that rely on medical billing and coding specialists include physicians’ practices, clinics, hospitals, medical service bureaus and other health care facilities, as well as insurance companies and managed care plans.