There are many medical billing schools out there. Some are in person and some are online. Some are standalone medical billing schools and some are programs offered by larger institutions. With so many alternatives, how do you know which one to pick?
Here are the main factors you should consider when choosing a medical billing school.
The very first thing to check is whether the school is accredited. Accreditation is an indication that the school maintains certain quality standards, not only in its academic curriculum, but also in its student services and other programs. This means that an accredited school will not only provide you with a better education, but will also help you more when it comes time to look for a job.
Medical billing schools are accredited in two main ways. They may be regionally accredited by one of the six main accrediting bodies in the United States. Alternatively, the medical billing program itself may be accredited by a specialized organization such as the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. Note that in some cases only students who graduate from an accredited institution are allowed to take certification tests.
Most states require all schools operating in that state to obtain a license. To ensure that the diploma or certificate you earn will be useful to you when you apply for jobs, make sure the school that issued it is licensed to operate in your state.
Type of Institution
Medical billing programs are offered by colleges and universities, for-profit organizations, and professional organizations. These institutions may offer different types of credentials. For example, only accredited colleges and universities can award degrees.
Becoming a competent medical biller takes a lot of practice. When you are evaluating different programs, look for those that offer plenty of hands-on experience so that when you graduate you are ready to hit the ground running.
Medical billing schools may offer their curriculum in-person, online as distance education, or as a combination of the two. Which one is right for you depends on your personal situation, such as your schedule and how far you live from the school. Many students enjoy hybrid programs, which take place partly online and partly on campus.
Cost and Time to Completion
Because there are so many different types of medical billing schools, the costs and the time to completion vary widely. Earning a diploma from a for-profit or professional organization is usually less expensive and takes less time than earning a degree from a college or university, but degrees can open more doors than diplomas.
Graduating from a medical billing school is a great way to embark on a new career. But before enrolling in any program, make sure that the school you choose is the best one to help you reach your goals.