If you are interested in a career in medical records and health information, choosing a medical billing and coding school can be the first step. Conducting diligent research can help you choose the right medical billing and coding school to fulfill your educational and professional goals. You'll want to find a school that will not only enable you to develop essential skills, but which can also position you as a qualified candidate for relevant job opportunities. Your decision may be based in part upon whether you would prefer to attend classes on campus or online. If you hope to achieve industry certification, you may also want a medical billing and coding school that offers preparation for your certification exam as part of the program.
Why Select an Accredited Medical Billing and Coding School?
Choosing a medical billing and coding school that's right for you is critical to fulfilling your healthcare aspirations. You'll want to select a reputable, accredited medical billing and coding school with a specialized curriculum. These primary qualifications can help ensure that you receive a quality education. An accredited medical billing and coding school must meet stringent requirements in many areas, including quality of program offerings, faculty and education. In addition, accredited schools are regularly evaluated to ensure these rigorous standards are upheld. If you graduate from an accredited healthcare school offering medical billing and coding programs , you may have the possibility to transfer credits if you decide to further your education in the future. Furthermore, prospective employers can be confident that you have completed your education from a recognized institution.
Advantages of Choosing a School with Online Program Offerings
Work and/or family obligations may sometimes conflict with campus-based classes, so you'll want to be sure that the medical billing and coding program you choose is able to accommodate your busy schedule. Online courses allow you to pursue your education when and where it's convenient for you. This empowers you to work toward your healthcare education  goals and still maintain your personal and professional commitments. Online education eliminates the common barriers of time and location, giving you the flexibility to set your own schedule and consider schools outside of your local area.
As you evaluate your options, consider Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) – an accredited medical billing and coding school that offers diploma and degree programs online, as well as on campus in Tampa, Florida. UMA is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), which is the only agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as both an institutional and specialized accreditor focusing on healthcare education and training. All of UMA’s online programs allow students to obtain a quality education and interact with instructors and classmates in a friendly and supportive online environment.
Medical Billing and Coding Programs
Choosing the right medical billing and coding school involves carefully researching program offerings to identify the one that best fits your education goals. UMA’s diploma and degree programs emphasize industry-relevant topics and are available online or on-campus, giving you greater flexibility and the opportunity to meet your education needs. Which of UMA’s programs is right for you?
Medical Billing and Coding Diploma:
- Can be completed in as few as 10 months
- Focuses on fundamental medical records management and insurance processing skills
- Required courses cover how to effectively process healthcare claims and medical records, apply ICD-9 diagnosis and coding procedures, and accurately code medical and surgical procedures
- Classes include Medical Basics, Healthcare Claim Cycle, Healthcare Settings and Claims Processing and Medical Practice Management Systems
Associate of Science in Medical Billing and Coding:
- Can be completed in as few as 18 months
- Features the same core Medical Billing and Coding courses as the diploma program, and also covers essential business, communication and healthcare topics
- General education courses include English Composition, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, College Math, General Biology and Sociology
- Offers a variety of electives, such as Introduction to Healthcare Computer Information Systems, Patient Relations and Interpersonal Professional Communication
Graduates of either program have access to UMA’s Career Services  personnel, who will help students identify and apply for relevant job opportunities.
Does the Program Include Certification Exam Preparation and Training?
Seeking a program that includes certification exam preparation and training can be an advantage if you plan on achieving industry certification in your field. According to the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC), professionals with Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) certification tend to have a higher salary potential  than their non-certified peers.1 If attaining this credential is part of your education and career aspirations, you may be pleased to learn that Ultimate Medical Academy’s Medical Billing and Coding degree and diploma programs prepare you to sit for the CPC certification exam. UMA’s Certification Review course may prove to be valuable to graduates, since the AAPC reports that more and more employers are making certification a job requirement.2
How to Review and Choose the Right Medical and Billing School for You
As you're finalizing your decision on the best medical and billing school to fulfill your education objectives, you'll want to evaluate each program thoroughly. Narrow down your choices by comparing the features and benefits of each option. Make sure to directly contact the institutions you have questions about, and do some research to find out what graduates and current students think of the programs.
As an ABHES-accredited school, Ultimate Medical Academy has a reputation for quality healthcare education, including comprehensive medical and billing programs. You can also explore feedback from students and graduates on the UMA Video Success Stories  and UMA Reviews  pages. Consider these UMA attributes:
- Accredited medical billing and coding school
- Choose from fully online programs or campus-based classes in Tampa Bay
- Regular interaction with instructors and classmates
- Supportive community
- Federal financial aid available to students who qualify
Contact us  to find out more about UMA reviews, accreditation, and medical billing and coding programs.
1 Wells, Robinson, and Brad Ericson. “2010 Salary Survey: Coding Still a Good Bet in Bumpy Seas” AAPC Coding Edge. October 2010: 30-33. <http://news.aapc.com/index.php/2010/12/2010-salary-survey>
2 Verhovshek, G. John. "2011 Salary Survey: More Money, Educated, & Valuable: Members break the $40K barrier.." AAPC Coding Edge. October 2011: 32-35. <http://news.aapc.com/index.php/2011/10/2011-salary-survey-results/>
For information on student graduation rates, retention and placement rates, and student financial obligations, visit www.ultimatemedical.edu/consumerinfo .