Best Online Medical Billing and Coding Classes

American Health Information Management Association is our top pick, with 8 programs and an excellent reputation

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If you're looking for a high-paying field with an accessible education component, medical coding and billing classes offer a lot of advantages. Those in the field translate details from a patient's medical records into codes used for documentation and billing.

The best part? The pay is higher than average, and you don't need an expensive and time-consuming college education. Plus, the more skills you have, the higher salary you can command. Many state colleges offer medical billing and coding courses online. Here, we rounded up the best options.

The Best Online Medical Billing and Coding Classes of 2023

Medical Billing and Coding Class
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Best Overall : American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)


American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

Key Specs
  • Prerequisites: Varies by program
  • Cost: $299 for exam application
  • Offers self-paced path: Yes
Why We Chose It

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers eight certification programs in health information with excellent reputations in the industry.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Credential is well-regarded in the industry

  • Offers academic setting through accredited school

  • Offers self-paced, study-at-home option

Cons
Overview

AHIMA offers eight certifications in medical records management, professional and facility coding, documentation improvement, and privacy and security. The certification programs focus on inpatient and outpatient coding, which are better suited to hospitals and inpatient facilities.

Health professionals with AHIMA’s higher-level certifications—the Registered Health Information Administrator Exam (RHIA) and Registered Health Information Technician Exam (RHIT)—make considerably more money than those with lesser certifications. Higher-level certifications require extensive experience before signing up for courses, which cost around $299 each.

Best Budget : Hutchinson Community College


Hutchinson Community College

Hutchinson Community College

Key Specs
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Cost: $6,795 for the certification
  • Offers self-paced path: No
Why We Chose It

Hutchinson Community College offers an affordable path to earning a Healthcare Coding Specialist Certificate.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Courses offered on campus and online

Cons
  • Doesn’t offer self-paced option

Overview

Students interested in pursuing a medical coding and billing career can earn a Healthcare Coding Specialist Certificate at Hutchinson Community College. The online program consists of 45 credit hours and can be completed in three semesters.

For students who want to advance their education further, most credits earned in this program apply to the Health Information Technology Associate in Applied Science degree.

Tuition at Hutchinson Community College is affordable, even for out-of-state students. In-state students pay about $120 per credit hour, and out-of-state students pay around $151 per credit hour.

Best Variety : American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)


American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

Key Specs
  • Prerequisites: AAPC preparation course or sufficient knowledge in medical terminology, physiology, and anatomy
  • Cost: Certified Professional Coder (CPC) course starts at about $2,999 for members
  • Offers self-paced path: Yes
Why We Chose It

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers a huge variety of certification programs, supplementary courses, and practice exams.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • 80% of AAPC students pass the exam on the first attempt

  • Offers both online and in-class training

  • Employment support

Cons
  • Courses and certifications can get pricey, but some financial aid is available

Overview

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers a wide range of classes at very reasonable prices. Its website offers an extensive knowledge base with a wide range of resources to help students succeed. AAPC is the world's largest healthcare training and credentialing organization, with 200,000 members.

AAPC offers a huge variety of certification courses at various price points. Students can engage in any level of learning, from simply taking the certification test to enrolling in a full course load of different specialties.

One note of caution: Job seekers who take the lowest certification routes report that jobs are difficult to find without experience. Cheap certification is attractive but far less valuable in the job market.

Additional benefits of learning through AAPC include networking, mentorship, and online apprenticeship to provide practical experience. AAPC certification programs focus on physician and outpatient coding and are better suited to doctor's offices, clinics, and other outpatient settings.

Best Self-Paced : Florida A&M University


Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University

Key Specs
  • Prerequisites: A human anatomy and physiology course
  • Cost: Registration fee starts at about $2,000
  • Offers self-paced path: Yes
Why We Chose It

Florida A&M’s self-paced medical coding program gives busy students an opportunity to learn on their own schedule.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers self-paced program

  • Reputable school

Cons
  • Courses are not offered every semester

  • Need to complete prerequisite course

Overview

The medical coding program at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is offered through the university's Office of Continuing Education and provides accreditation only online. The asynchronous format enables students to complete the coursework on their own timetable.

The school recommends following a pace of three modules, each consisting of three courses. Each one should last no more than 15 weeks in total. After completing the program, students will receive a Medical Coding Certificate of Completion.

They may choose to sit for the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), or Certified Professional Coder (CPC) national certification exams.

The total registration fee for all three modules is roughly $2,000. Registering for individual modules is also possible, though this approach increases the total cost.

Best for Structure : University of Cincinnati


University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati

Key Specs
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Cost: Tuition start at about $3,439 per semester
  • Offers self-paced path: Yes
Why We Chose It

UC Online’s curriculum prepares students for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exams, and students can earn an Associate’s degree in just one year.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • 100% online

  • Full-time and part-time options available

  • Students who complete program can transfer to an Associate’s program

Cons
Overview

The University of Cincinnati has a fully remote asynchronous program. Full-time enrollment students can earn the certificate in as little as 12 months.

Upon completion of the program, students can sit for the CCA or CPC national certifications, or they may choose to transition to the Associate Degree Program in Health Information Systems.

Unlike some college programs, the only necessary prerequisite for UC's medical billing and coding program is a high school diploma or equivalent. After graduation, 88% of UC Health Information Systems graduates were employed in healthcare-related jobs.

Ohio residents can expect to pay a total tuition cost of about $3,439 per semester with full-time enrollment. Non-resident full-time students will pay around $3,619. Resident students enrolled part-time will pay roughly $288 per credit hour, while part-time, non-resident students will see a cost of approximately $303 per credit hour.

Best for Professional Development : Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)


Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Key Specs
  • Prerequisites: IUPUI coursework
  • Cost: Tuition starts at about $299 per credit hour for in-state residents
  • Offers self-paced path: No
Why We Chose It

The medical coding certification program through Indiana University’s School of Information and Computing integrates classroom instruction with applied technical experience in a healthcare facility.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Access to one-on-one coaching

  • Access to career services

Cons
  • No self-paced path

  • Pricey

  • Prerequisites for the certificate program

Overview

This is a fully online program in an asynchronous format that offers 28 credit hours. Upon completion of the certificate program, students will be eligible to sit for the CCA exam.

The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Coding program has several prerequisites. Before you can sign up for the course, you must have completed Physiology for Health Care Management, Anatomy for Health Care Management, Computer Concepts for Health Information, and Medical Terminology.

Credits earned through this program are eligible to be applied toward a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management, also offered at IUPUI.

Though costs will vary depending on residency and other factors, expect to pay around $8,500 for full-time enrollment if you live in-state. Out-of-state tuition is considerably higher.

Final Verdict

The program you choose will depend on your personal needs. We like American Health Information Management Association since it's self-paced (perfect for busy individuals) and the school's credentials are well-regarded in the industry. Another good option is the University of Cincinnati, which allows graduates to transition to an associate degree program seamlessly.

Compare the Best Online Medical Billing and Coding Classes

Best Online Medical Billing and Coding Classes Cost Offers Self-Paced Path
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Best Overall Around $300 for the exam application Yes
Hutchinson Community College Best Budget Around $6,800 for the certification No
American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) Best Variety Certified Professional Coder (CPC) course starts at about $2,999 Yes
Florida A&M University Best Self-Paced Registration fee starts at about $2,000 Yes
University of Cincinnati Best for Structure Tuition starts at about $3,439 per semester Yes
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Best for Professional Development Tuition starts at $299 per credit hour  No

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Medical Billing and Coding Class?

Medical billing and coding is a specialized field of data entry. After a patient visits the doctor or hospital, the medical coder's job is to take written or typed information from patient records and translate the information into numeric and alphanumeric codes. These highly specific codes are entered into the medical facility's billing software to send to insurance companies and generate payment records and patient bills.

Medical billing and coding classes familiarize students with the process, the language, medical procedure codes, HIPAA compliance, and other skills they will need to make accurate records.

Who Should Take a Medical Billing and Coding Class?

Detail-oriented people with good focus and keyboard skills can excel at this job. Many medical billing coders work from home, so it's an excellent opportunity for parents and people with health restrictions that preclude commutes or outside work and for people who live in rural areas.

The education and experience requirements for medical billing and coding jobs vary. Some companies prefer a year or two of related experience, and others require education and certification.

How Much Do Medical Billing and Coding Classes Cost?

The cost of medical billing and coding classes varies widely, depending on the type of education you choose. With a technical school, you may be able to prepare for certification in well under a year and at a lower cost.

The average cost for an online medical billing and coding associate's degree from an accredited college is around $15,000 for a two-year program. Less expensive options come in as little as $5,000, with high-end schools costing about $25,000.

Which Professions Can Medical Billing and Coding Classes Be Useful For?

Every type of medical facility for people needs medical billing and coding specialists. Medical billing and coding specialists work for doctor's offices, hospitals, clinics, diagnostic testing laboratories, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Methodology

To determine the best medical billing coding classes, we looked at six online courses and whether you can get a full-spectrum education, only certification test preparation, or both. We also considered student reviews and if most graduates are satisfied with their education and experience.

The cost of in-state and out-of-state tuition was an essential factor, as well as accreditation. Further, we considered whether a program offered networking and mentoring opportunities.

The Best Online Medical Billing and Coding Classes of 2022

Verywell Health / Design by Amelia Manley

Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. University of Cincinnati Online. Bachelor of science in health information management.

  2. U.S. News & World Report. Online medical billing and coding associate degree.