Medical Coding and Billing (Associate of Applied Science)

In today’s well-regulated healthcare environment, patient records are carefully maintained by trained specialists. That specialist could be you. Discover how you can make a real difference as a non-medical professional in healthcare by earning your Medical Coding and Billing degree from Grantham University. You will study, test, research and perform all medical billing and coding functions online. Students are eligible to sit for the CCA exam upon graduation. Visit the American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) website to find out more

How much will my degree in Medical Coding and Billing cost?

The undergraduate rate is $265 per credit hour – lower if you’re a member of the military, a veteran or part of a military family. Grantham also offers scholarships and financial aid for those who qualify.

TIME TO DEGREE COMPLETION
66
CREDIT HOURS
24
MONTHS TO COMPLETE
UP TO
75%
CLOSER TO GRADUATION WITH CREDIT FOR PRIOR COURSEWORK + LIFE EXPERIENCE
13%

Job growth

Job Outlook1

Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for health services is expected to increase as the population ages.

Employment Options1:
• Professional, scientific and technical services
• Nursing care facilities
• Hospitals: state, local and private
• Offices of physicians

• Administrative and support services

When can I start?

Courses begin each month, so we’re ready when you are.

Potential Responsibilities of Medical Coders

The medical field is full of career options for students that are willing to go the extra mile and receive certification in different health-related areas. One aspect of the healthcare field that is increasingly popular with upcoming professionals is medical coding and billing. Medical coders are the connection between medical service providers, patients and insurance companies. Through their own methods of coding medical procedures, these professionals can contribute to the accuracy of recordkeeping and receiving payment for services rendered. This area of the healthcare field is important during the communication process between healthcare organization and patients, health insurance filing and ultimate billing to the customer.

Learning Medical Codes

The most primary aspect of becoming a medical coder is learning the various codes currently used in the field. Each diagnosis and treatment has its very own medical code that is used to document patient visits and invoice services to insurance companies. From the beginning of an educational experience, medical coding students must learn and recognize medical codes for various treatments and diagnoses. These codes are used during the recordkeeping process, providing detailed information about hospital or clinical visits and assisting during the billing process.

Potential Responsibilities of Medical Coders

The medical field is full of career options for students that are willing to go the extra mile and receive certification in different health-related areas. One aspect of the healthcare field that is increasingly popular with upcoming professionals is medical coding and billing. Medical coders are the connection between medical service providers, patients and insurance companies. Through their own methods of coding medical procedures, these professionals can contribute to the accuracy of recordkeeping and receiving payment for services rendered. This area of the healthcare field is important during the communication process between healthcare organization and patients, health insurance filing and ultimate billing to the customer.

Maintaining Patient Data

In hospitals and medical clinics all over the world, there are large numbers of client files that are maintained in order to stay current on a patient’s needs. Each time a patient is seen within a medical setting, a file is updated to reflect changes in their health, diagnostics and treatment. These records can be used for health history reports or can be reflected on in the event that a future occurrence of illness becomes apparent. In order for these facilities to consider a patient’s health history, they must have accurate files of health history available to review. Medical coders may be tasked with updating patient files at each visit, so that the history is as current and accurate as possible.

Insurance Coding and Billing

Working as a 3rd party between the medical facility and the insurance company, medical coders work to document patient records and send them on to relevant insurance companies. At this point in the treatment process, it is vital that medical coders provide the right codes for the diagnosis and treatment of the patient, so that the insurance company can remit payment for services. In the event that the insurance company only pays a portion of what is owed, medical coders can then forward the remaining balance to the patient for payment.

Ensuring Patient Confidentiality

Anytime technology is used during medical processes, there is a threat of data breaches, information leaks and software errors. Medical coders may hold the responsibility of ensuring that patient information is kept safe, records are coded appropriately for patient confidentiality and systems are protecting using the proper protocol.

Familiarity with Different Medical Forms

In the medical coding field, professionals may constantly come into contact with various forms and checklists that can help during the recordkeeping and billing process. Some of these forms may include the Explanation of Billing form, patient invoices, past-due notices and insurance filing forms. Each of these forms has a certain method for proper completion in which these professionals must be familiar with.

Verification of Accuracy

While most of the work of the medical coder is completed within an office setting, there are instances in which coders must verify their information with medical professionals and patients. With technology changing the way that treatments are administered in a clinical setting, constant learning and verification may be a part of the daily routine of medical coders. If you choose to work in this field, you may engage in inter-hospital communication on a daily basis.

Call us at (888) 947-2684 to learn more about our accredited degree programs, financial assistance opportunities or enrollment process.

View Program Disclosures

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/

Medical Coding and Billing (Associate of Applied Science)

Medical Coding and Billing Degree Program Outcomes

After successfully completing the medical billing and coding classes in this degree program, you will be able to:

  • Explain the role and function of different types of healthcare facilities and environments
  • Explain medical terms and abbreviations that are commonly used in health information management systems
  • Identify the constraints and guidelines that the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) places on healthcare systems
  • Utilize healthcare-related coding and billing software to support healthcare administration functions
University Professional Outcomes

Grantham University prepares graduates to succeed in a variety of professional and civic settings by incorporating these five critical life skills into the curriculum:

  • Communication – competence in effective written and oral communication
  • Critical Thinking – ability to analyze problems, reflectively process information and formulate solutions
  • Respect for Diversity – awareness of and appreciation for varieties of human experiences and social structures
  • Professional, Ethical and Social Responsibilities – responsibility to the greater societal good and an applied ethical framework in decision making
  • Lifelong Learning – definition for and acquisition of a continuing pursuit of educational needs throughout their professional lives
CCA Prep

After completing this program, you will have the skills to take the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam, a medical coding and billing industry certification, from the American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA).

medical billing and coding online tips

Medical Coding and Billing (Associate of Applied Science)

Your associate degree from Grantham University can help you pursue a professional non-medical position in healthcare or advance in your current career1.

Potential career paths and positions include:

  • Medical Records and Health Information Technician
  • Coder
  • Health Information Clerk
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Medical Records Coordination
  • Health Information Specialist

Employers can include:

  • Healthcare facilities
  • Hospital complexes
  • Medical clinics
  • Doctor or dental offices

Medical Coding and Billing (Associate of Applied Science)

As you consider your medical coding and billing training options, bear in mind Grantham University’s 100% online coursework is designed to help you prepare for success.

CCA Prep

After completing this program, you will have the skills to take the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam, a medical coding and billing industry certification, from the American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA).

PROGRAM SNAPSHOT:
Program Core Credits: 30
General Education Core Credits: 30
Electives Credits: 6
Total Credit Hours: 66
Accreditation(s): DEAC
Program Core: 30
Course: Title: Credits:
Course: AH111 Title: Healthcare Delivery Systems Credits: 3
  This course introduces students to different types of healthcare delivery systems and how to analyze the organization, financing, regulatory issues, and delivery of different healthcare services. Topics covered include the "continuum of care" concept, and methods and theories in healthcare delivery systems and computer applications in healthcare. Focus is placed on evolution and trends in managed healthcare, including research, statistics, quality management, and integrating information technologies into medical office practices. Other processes such as staffing, productivity, and improving quality are also discussed.
Course: AH112 Title: Introduction to Health Information Management Credits: 3
  Students are introduced to health information management in healthcare delivery settings in the U.S., including filing systems, storage, circulation and documentation issues. Topics also explored are the electronic health record (EHR), patient confidentiality, the impact of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) on medical practices and various career opportunities for health information management professionals. Students apply health information management concepts and skills to course exercises to demonstrate functional knowledge.
Course: AH114 Title: Medical Terminology Credits: 3
  This course helps to identify the appropriate medical terminology used to describe the major pathological conditions in the human body. The major systems included in this course are: skeletal, integumentary, muscular, nervous, sensory, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive. Students are expected to use correct spelling and apply the terminology appropriately within the scope of healthcare.
Course: AH212 Title: Basic Diagnosis Coding Systems Credits: 3
  This course examines medical billing and coding in medical practice. All basic medical billing and coding issues are discussed, including coding diagnosis, the International Classification of Diseases Manual (ICD-9-CM), coding compliance and legal and ethical compliance. Students extrapolate coding information from the ICD-9-CM manual and examine usage guidelines for Volumes I, II and III. Students are introduced to ICD-10-CM.
Course: AH213 Title: Basic Procedure Coding Systems Credits: 3
  This course provides the student with in-depth coverage of procedural coding utilizing the HCPCS coding system composed of Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) and national codes. The course includes detailed application of the CPT classification system for outpatient services. Emphasis includes Evaluation and Management, Anesthesia, Surgery, Radiology, Pathology, and Laboratory and Medicine codes, as well as the use of modifiers. Students will apply coding and billing principles through the use of coding exercises and coding simulation software.
Course: AH214 Title: Reimbursement Methodologies Credits: 3
  This course provides students with a working knowledge of medical insurance and its applications. Emphasis is on understanding insurance essentials, including the role of the medical insurance billing specialist and legal and ethical requirements. Medical documents and coding diagnoses and procedures are discussed. Students comprehend the claims process, focusing on charges, methods of payments, billing and reimbursement. Other topics covered are private payers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Medicaid and Medicare, TRICARE and worker's compensation. Patient billing software is also explored.
Course: AH215 Title: Medical Assisting Credits: 3
  This course covers an overview of medical assisting as a career. Students analyze job responsibilities of a medical assistant including patient interaction and communication, scheduling and maintaining accurate patient records. Processing insurance claims is described and students examine various bookkeeping systems. The importance of taking inventory is discussed, as well as the steps in making a purchasing decision. Students also explore specialized options for an administrative medical assistant.
Course: AH216 Title: Professional Practice (Capstone) Credits: 3
  Students in this course will gain practical experience applying advanced ICD-10-CM and CPT coding skills. Students will code from a variety of healthcare settings including hospital, physicians' offices and/or other healthcare settings. Intensive coding application will be achieved through the use of real medical records, case studies and scenarios. The training in this course integrates coding and the classification of diseases and treatment in preparation for certification and employment as a clinical coding specialist.
Course: BIO116 Title: Introduction to Pathophysiology Credits: 3
  This course explores the pathophysiology of diseases and disorders of the principal organ systems of the human body. Topics presented include homeostasis and disease processes, trauma, cancer, pain management and an overview of common diseases and disorders of each organ system. Students ascertain how pathophysiological processes disrupt normal functioning of the human body.
Course: CS205 Title: Computer Software Applications in Healthcare Credits: 3
  This course provides an overview of commonly available software tools used in healthcare, including an introduction to encoding tools and computer-assisted coding software used in healthcare data processing. Focus is placed specifically on healthcare software and its many uses, functions and applications in the medical office. Other processes such as medical office billing and information technology are also discussed.
General Education: 30
Course: Title: Credits:
Course: GU101 Title: Student Success Credits: 3
  This course provides students with the foundation of knowledge and skills needed for today's online college environment. Students will explore their own preparedness for online learning through examination and analysis of their own skills, traits, and behaviors. In addition, students will acclimate to the online college environment through specifically-designed activities which provide opportunities to acquire necessary skills, behaviors, and understandings which are essential for academic success.
Course: CO101 Title: Introduction to Public Speaking Credits: 3
  This course provides students with a broad overview of public speaking, including such topics as audience analysis, idea generation and development, speech organization and speech delivery. Topics include how to outline speeches, create effective introductions and conclusions, use appropriate language and control nervousness. In addition, students examine guidelines for and practice delivering informative and persuasive speeches. Students will record themselves delivering speeches, thus they will need to know how to use a webcam and how to upload video files from their devices into the assignment dropbox in the Learning Management System.
Course: CS105 Title: Introduction to Computer Applications Credits: 3
  Students are introduced to basic computer concepts as well as techniques and tools for folder and file navigation and manipulation. Students explore the fundamentals of an office productivity suite, developing skills in word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications.
Course: EN101 Title: English Composition I Credits: 3
  This course develops written communication skills with emphasis on understanding the writing process, analyzing readings and practicing writing for personal and professional applications.
Course: BIO113 Title: Anatomy and Physiology Credits: 3
  This course examines the twelve major systems of the human body. These systems include: skeletal, integumentary, muscular, nervous, sensory, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive. In addition, students develop the use of appropriate medical terminology, examine cell and tissue structure, and review how body systems maintain health homeostasis.
Course: GP210 Title: American Government I Credits: 3
  This undergraduate course provides an introduction to American government and politics. Topics include the concept of a constitutional democracy, federalism, first amendment rights, equal rights under the law, political culture, political ideology, interest groups, lobbying, and political campaigns and elections.
Course: GS102 Title: Introduction to Life Science Credits: 3
  This course gives the student a broad overview of the following biological processes and topics: the anatomy of the cell, cell division, species diversity, and species classification. This course attempts to relate the subject matter to everyday occurrences.
Course: HU260 Title: Strategies for Decision Making Credits: 3
  This course is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of your life: in your career, and as a consumer, citizen, friend, parent, and lover. Discover the core skills of effective thinking; then analyze your own thought processes, identify weaknesses, and overcome them. Learn how to translate more effective thinking into better decisions, less frustration, more wealth - and above all, greater confidence to pursue and achieve your most important goals in life.
Course: MA105 Title: College Algebra Credits: 3
  An introductory level course on the fundamental concepts of algebra. Topics include equations, polynomial and rational functions and graphing, and exponential and logarithmic functions.
Course: GU299 Title: General Education Capstone Credits: 3
  GU299 is the capstone course for Grantham University's general education program, and it serves a dual purpose. First, GU299 helps students bridge the gap between the broad-based learning they experience throughout their general education courses and the discipline-specific learning they will engage in as they move closer toward degree completion. By highlighting the specific skills and knowledge they attained through their general studies and working with them to incorporate those skills and that knowledge within their specific academic areas, students will achieve a greater awareness of how knowledge is intertwined, and better recognize how information drawn from one experience can be applied directly toward another, leading them to become more actively engaged, socially-aware citizens of the various communities to which they belong.