Medical coding is an integral part of the healthcare system, which is concerned with reviewing and processing medical claims of patients. To become a medical coder, you need to earn some credentials and hold certification that displays your capabilities and knowledge in the profession of medical coding. It is important to understand the variety of medical coding courses available and how you must choose the best program for yourself to transition into a medical coding position. 

How to select the best medical coding course? 
The medical coding course you choose must be specific to the coding specialty you want to work in. Following are the tips to consider while deciding on the course before pursuing a career in medical coding. 

Determine the specialty area you want to work 
There is a wide variety of specialties within the scope of medical coding, based on the healthcare setting you want to work and specialize your coding. Some specialties are- 

  • Radiology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Podiatry
  • General surgery
  • Family practice
  • Dermatology
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Endocrinology
  • Medical genetics
  • Orthopedic
  • Neurology
  • Pain management etc. 
  • Select a medical course and training program that focuses on the medical specialty you want to earn a coding certification. 

    Research about the coding training courses and programs

    After deciding on the specialty area, the next step is to research about available coding certification courses for your specialty. For instance, coding certification courses that you can opt for are-

  • Medical billing training
  • Medical coding training
  • Medical documentation training
  • Practice management training
  • Medical auditing training
  •  
    Online or offline campus

    To select a medical coding course, you’ve to decide if you want to pursue the course on campus or online. Students have flexibility in online programs to attend classes conveniently and have more demands than on-campus courses. Motivation is a key to achieving success in online learning. After reviewing course requirements, you must choose a coding program to know which courses use a hybrid learning model or online model before deciding. If you choose an out-of-state course, you may not fulfill hybrid requirements. Whether you want a fully online course, offline model, or hybrid form lies at your discretion.

    Class Size

    When researching coding courses, consider the student-to-faculty ratio and average class size as important factors. A low student-to-faculty ratio and small class size allow you to interact with instructors and focus on individual attention. Small class sizes are easy to moderate, and asynchronous courses facilitate effective discussion.

    ACCREDITATION

    Programmatic accreditation is given to some academic programs which meet the industry standard and quality requirements. Many agencies maintain programmatic accreditation. CAHIM (commission of certification for health informatics and information management education) provides accreditation to medical coding and billing courses and programs of all accredited institutions. While choosing a medical coding program, always go for ones that are CAHIIM accredited and help you to acquire skills that are needed to pass the industry certification examination successfully.

    COST 

    The cost of medical coding certification course plays an important role in selecting a course. Choose a course that fits your budget and helps you achieve your ultimate career goals. 

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    Author's Bio: 

    Dr Santosh Guptha, CEO – MEDESUN is a dynamic leader in Healthcare Information Management, an expert in the field of coding analysis, EM auditing, and ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-AM Coding with a career span of more than a decade. He was instrumental in developing various ICD-10 coding tools, guides and has authored various ICD-10 training programs, blockchain technology in healthcare etc. Dr.Santosh Guptha has extensive knowledge in all areas of HIPAA, privacy and security, and the application of HIPAA requirements in physician’s offices and facilities settings.