Medical billing and coding is the process of submitting and tracking medical claims with health insurance companies. Your job is to analyze and code the medical procedures performed by doctors so that they can get paid by insurance companies. You will need to know how to use coding books and other resources to look up the correct codes for various medical procedures.
Coding can be difficult. It requires memorization, pattern recognition, and the ability to think abstractly. But it is also a very logical process, and once you understand the basics, it can be quite easy.
Just like every other job, the medical billing and coding profession has its own unique set of challenges. But with the right training, you will be prepared to handle whatever comes your way. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to keep the healthcare system running smoothly.
Also, while it might seem complicated at first, it’s the kind of job that starts making a lot more sense when you have some experience under your belt.
In this article, we are going to show you the best free medical billing and coding courses. These are a great starting point into the profession, and will help you get a feel for what the job is all about.
Why Work in the Medical Billing and Coding Field?
There are a few reasons why you might want to consider working in the medical billing and coding field. First of all, it is a stable profession with good job security. The healthcare industry is always going to need people to handle the billing and coding process.
In addition, medical billing and coding is a great way to get your foot in the door of the healthcare industry. If you eventually want to become a doctor, nurse, or other type of medical professional, working in billing and coding is a great way to get started.
And finally, it is a relatively low-stress job. You will be sitting at a desk most of the day, and while you will need to pay attention to detail, you will not be dealing with life-and-death situations on a daily basis.
Naturally, there are also downsides to the job. The pay is not always great (we’re looking at a median salary of $45,240 per year), and it can be repetitive and boring at times. Your day-to-day job will be for the most part the same thing over and over again. That is, until something goes wrong.
When things do go wrong, it can be very stressful. You will need to deal with angry patients, upset doctors, and sometimes even hostile insurance companies. But if you have a good team to support you, and you are able to stay calm under pressure, you will be just fine.
But if you are looking for a stable career with good job security, medical billing and coding is definitely worth considering.
Medical Billing and Coding Certifications
There are a few different medical billing and coding certifications that you can get. The most common one is the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification from the AAPC.
To become a CPC, you will need to pass an exam that covers medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and of course, coding. The exam is not easy, but it is definitely doable with some study and preparation.
Once you have your CPC certification, you will be able to work as a medical billing and coder in any number of settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and insurance companies.
In addition to the CPC certification, there are also a few other certifications that you might want to consider. The Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) certification from the AHIMA is one option.
The CCS certification is geared more towards those who want to work in hospital settings, as it covers things like inpatient coding and reimbursement methodologies.
If you are interested in working with Medicare patients, you might want to consider getting the Certified Medicare Compliance Officer (CMCO) certification.
This certification covers Medicare regulations, coding, and billing procedures. It is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
Finally, if you are interested in working with electronic health records (EHRs), you might want to consider getting the Certified EHR Specialist (CEHRS) certification.
This certification covers how to use and implement EHRs, as well as how to troubleshoot issues that might come up. It is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Now, let’s see the best online courses to get you started.
The 8 Best Free Medical Billing and Coding Courses
Now that we’ve talked about some of the reasons why you might want to consider getting into the industry, it’s time to look at the best free medical billing and coding courses.
What makes these courses so great? First of all, they are all free. That means you can take them at your own pace, and you don’t have to worry about spending any money on tuition. Of course, that means they aren’t accredited (although some are — if you’re willing to pay the certificate fee), but they will still give you a good overview of what the job entails.
Another great thing about these courses is that they are all available online. That means you can take them from the comfort of your own home, and you don’t have to worry about finding time to go to classes.
Lastly, these courses are provided by some of the leading names in the industry. So you can be sure that you are getting quality information from people who know what they’re talking about.
Now let’s take a look at the courses.
As the name suggests, this is an introductory course that will give you a basic understanding of what medical billing and coding is all about. But this is more of an orientation course. It’s not going to teach you everything you need to know about the job. Rather, it is an in-depth look at the profession, and it will help you decide if this is something you want to pursue.
The course is provided by Udemy, and it is free of charge. It is best suited for people who are considering getting into the medical billing and coding profession, but who want to learn more about what the job entails before making a decision.
This course isn’t strictly about medical coding and billing, but it is a course that will be relevant to anyone working in the healthcare industry. In this day and age, cybersecurity is more important than ever, and this course will teach you how to protect yourself and your patients from online threats.
By completing this course, you will learn the challenges in digitalizing healthcare, the importance of data security, and how to mitigate risks. All of these skills will be extremely helpful when you actually decide to get into the field.
After all, medical billing and coding is all about dealing with data. Thus, it is important that you learn how to protect that data.
This course takes about 15 hours to complete, and it is provided by Coursera for free.
This course is best suited for people who are already working in the healthcare industry, but who want to learn more about cybersecurity. It would also be relevant for anyone considering a career in healthcare.
Another terrific intro to medical billing and coding, this course is provided by All-Things-Medical-Billing. This website is a great resource for anyone interested in the field, as it provides tons of free information on everything from certifications to job outlooks.
Here you can visit hundreds of pages about all the topics related to this field. Medical billing forms, terms and codes, and tips and advice are all available here. You can also find information about job outlooks, salaries, and more.
This website is best suited for people who want to learn as much as they can about the field of medical billing and coding. It would also be a good resource for anyone considering a career in this field.
This is an intro course that’s part of a bigger paid one from FreeMedicalBillTraining. It’s a bit more comprehensive than the Udemy course, but it’s still an intro level course. It covers topics such as medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology.
Quoting from the landing page: “This online course includes over 50 video lessons, 45 essential medical office forms, and downloadable copies of approximately 200 pages of presentation material.”
That’s a lot of material for a free course. And it’s all presented in an engaging and easy-to-understand way.
This course is best suited for people who want to get a solid understanding of the basics of medical billing and coding. It’s also good for people who learn best by watching videos, as there are over 50 video lessons included. And if you find the course insightful, you can always upgrade to the paid version later on.
The U.S. government offers a few courses on medical billing and coding through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These are all focused on Medicare and Medicaid, which are government-run health insurance programs.
While the courses are specifically about these programs, they would still be relevant for anyone working in the medical billing and coding field. After all, a large portion of patients will have Medicare or Medicaid.
And even if you don’t plan on working with these insurance programs, it’s still helpful to know how they work. After all, they are two of the largest health insurance programs in the country.
The courses offered by CMS are best suited for people who want to learn specifically about Medicare and Medicaid. They would also be relevant for anyone who plans on working with these insurance programs.
All of the courses are web-based and self-paced. Among the most interest courses offered by the platform, we find:
- World of Medicare — In this course, you’ll study the fundamentals of Medicare, beneficiary eligibility, enrollment and benefit choices, as well as the role of providers, contractors, and organizations in running the Medicare Program. Understand Medicare Parts A through D and how Medigap insurance works with it.
- Medicare Billing: Form CMS-1500 and 837 Professional
- Medicare Billing: Form CMS-1450 and 837 Institutional — This and the above course focus on how to bill Medicare using the CMS-1500 form and the new CMS-1450 (UB-04) for inpatient services. The course will also introduce you to billing electronically using the ASC X12N Version 007060 TRAMs.
- Diagnosis Coding: Using the ICD-10-CM — ICD-10-CM is the diagnosis coding system used by all health care providers in the U.S. This course will teach you how to use this system to code diagnoses, as well as understand features, guidelines, and conventions of the ICD-10 system
These courses are best suited for people who want to learn specifically about billing and coding for Medicare and Medicaid. They would also be relevant for anyone who plans on working with these insurance programs.
So there you have it. These are some of the best free medical billing and coding courses on the Internet.
If you’re considering a career in medical billing and coding, then these courses will give you a great introduction to the field. And if you’re already working in the field, then they will help you improve your skills.
There is, however, a word of warning we must give you. These courses won’t magically make you a medical billing and coding expert. In fact, that’s hardly possible with free resources found online. If you’re serious about becoming an expert in the field, then you’ll need to invest in paid resources and/or get a degree in medical billing and coding.
But if you’re just looking for a way to get started or improve your skills, then these free courses are a great place to start. And who knows, maybe you’ll find them so helpful that you’ll decide to invest in paid resources down the road.