In order to be accepted into an online medical billing course or program of study, you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, otherwise known as a GED. Of course, different schools tend to have slightly different entrance requirements, so it’s always a good idea to check with the admissions office of each school that you are considering.
For the most part, online medical billing programs can be completed in one year or less. This is true of all types of programs, so even if you work a full-time job while you are attending school, you should still be able to complete all of your required classes within the same amount of time. The speed of completion for these programs makes them incredibly attractive for busy adults who would like to return to school to earn a degree.
For the most part, online medical billing classes should cover the same basic subjects to prepare you for your new career, though it is certainly possible that there might be some slight deviation among different institutions. As a student in one of these programs, you will need to learn how to read, understand, and interpret a variety of medical insurance forms and reports. You should also learn how to process insurance payments, post payments, process data, and create reports to meet different needs.
In addition, you should spend a great deal of time studying a variety of different health insurance policies. As a medical billing student, it is imperative that you learn about Medicaid, Medicare, workers compensation, and individual and group health care coverage. You should also learn about personal injury claims and how they are typically handled. These are all policies that you will have to deal with on a regular basis while working as a medical billing specialist.
As a student in one of these programs, you should also learn the basics about how to operate and manage a business office. General office management is often a responsibility of medical billing professionals, and the experience you learn in these classes can help to prepare you for possibly owning and operating your own business someday.
Of course, you will need to study and master the dozens of medical codes that you will have to use on a daily basis while working. You should learn about the International Classification of Disease Codes as well as current procedural technology codes. If you do not have a thorough understanding of how to properly use these codes, you will not be able to perform the duties of your job effectively.
You will also need to gain some familiarity with medical billing software, as this will need to be used on a daily basis for performing the basic functions of your job. In addition to learning how to enter and track information, you should also learn how to run a number of different reports that may need to be analyzed on a regular basis.