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August 10, 2007 6:48 PM   Subscribe

Help me with coding... No, not computers! Medical Coding!

So I've been in the medical billing for about 3-4 years now and I've always been intrigued by medical coding and transcription. All the jobs I see for this you have to have X years of experience. I would like to learn more about medical coding and medical transcription. How would I go about breaking into these fields? How can I tell if a school offering classes for this stuff is legit? I know trade schools aren't always the route, they don't go indepth enough. (I went to one and we did coding for only one month.)

ps- I'm not trying to find out about this so I can work from home. I really want to try my hand at this.
posted by Attackpanda to Work & Money (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I had a friend who did medical transcriptioning, and she loved it. I know that my community college has a certificate for it (here is a link to get an idea of classes you may need to take) I am not sure where you are located, but check your local community colleges, they probably have what you are looking for.
posted by slc228 at 7:03 PM on August 10, 2007

The American Health Information Management Association and The American Academy of Professional Coders both offer resources for those looking to break into coding. The American Association for Medical Transcription can give you more information on that field.

If you can't find what you're looking for on their web sites, go ahead and give them a call. At the very least, they'll be able to point you toward an accredited program in your area.
posted by jrossi4r at 7:11 PM on August 10, 2007

You can do coding at technical institutes and/or community colleges; if you're worried about 'legitness', you could ask the local large hospital. Ours is always looking for coders, but I can't deal with the tediousness of it. I do some coding as part of one of my jobs and the idea of doing that and billing just...aaarg.

Transcription's a bitch and a half to actually do and a lot of those 'work at home doing medical transcription' stuff isn't legitimate. At the hospital we're trying to get away from transcription by making the doctors use the computerized system, which would eliminate a lot of it. Otherwise, the BA pool or the department chief's BA does it. There's no outsourcing to work at home anybodies.
posted by cobaltnine at 7:30 PM on August 10, 2007

You might try they have been around for about seven years and are affliated with The Medical Management Institute who has been teaching medical coding for over 20 years. They offer a RMC (Registered Medical Coder) certification.

The AAPC program is the largest contigency of medical coders in the nation but they don't provide a lot of hand holding.

The folks at the ARHCP will assign you course counselor who will decide, based on your feed back, which course is right for you. Then after that you will be assigned a program and a course instructor. You will do the program from home, when you have questions you will call your course instructor and they will walk you through any problems you have. You take your certification test online- I think you have to get a 75% to pass but I believe you have two chances.

If you call ask them about a free tuition program for folks that score over 95% on their final exam. They used to offer this about a year ago. They might still have it going on. If you get a 95% or better they will refund your tuition cost.

I don't know what your plans are for this certification but you might want to really think out your future. There is some money to be made here as, in some regions, medical coders are in high demand. You might even want to explore being a free lance coder or opening a medical billing office of your own.

Good luck!
posted by bkeene12 at 8:48 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

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