Getting your medical coding certificate is more convenient than ever now that accredited universities are offering quality certification programs 100 percent online. This allows students to access quality courses from the comfort of their homes or an Internet cafe without ever having to set foot in a classroom.
The instruction provided by online medical coding certificate programs includes the same courses you would experience in a campus-based certification program. Online courses include anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, reimbursement processes, health care information technology (IT), disease classification, and often involve internships or externships in medical coding.
The first thing you’ll want to do is research online medical coding certificate programs to see which ones will best meet your educational needs. One good place to look is the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), which maintains a list of accredited universities that offer approved distance education certificate programs in medical coding. Many of these programs are offered entirely online. You can search by state or do a more general search to see what approved certificate programs are out there. Many of these certificate programs directly prepare you for certification by AHIMA, a qualification that will go a long way in increasing your marketability to employers.
you would rather find an associate or bachelor’s degree program, you might visit the website for the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), which also maintains a solid list of schools it accredits, including many that offer distance education programs.
Online certificate programs in medical coding are just as rigorous as those offered at traditional schools, so do not expect the course material to be easier just because it is offered online. Online students will need to have the discipline to work independently, setting aside regular time in their day to access their online classes, complete their reading assignments, study and take tests. Online students communicate with their instructors and fellow classmates primarily via e-mail and live chat, so it is essential that you have computer skills and a working e-mail address to effectively participate in classes. You will need to consult your school to see what software programs you will need to access your online courses.
Those who are new to online education programs will be glad to know that most online universities offer tutorials or orientation programs that familiarize new students with the online format and introduce students to the program they will use to access their courses.