How Do I Start a Career in Medical Decoding?

Medical decoding, more commonly referred to as medical coding, plays an important role in the medical services billing industry. Read below to find out how to begin a career in medical coding. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Medical decoding, also known as medical coding, is the assigning of special codes to medical procedures and services. These codes are used for billing and insurance purposes and allow each medical procedure to be immediately recognized among all medical computer systems.

Medical coding involves using medical documentation, such as a patient's chart, to determine the necessary billing code. This coding also helps determine which portion, if any, will be covered by insurance or government assistance. Medical coders have received special training in the field and work primarily with computers.

Education Requirements

Many community colleges offer associate degree or certificate programs in medical coding. These programs introduce students to the coding techniques used in practice. Most programs can be completed in less than two years, and many are offered entirely online.

In addition to medical coding topics, students may also be exposed to medical terminology and basic anatomy. Some medical coding program graduates choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. A bachelor's degree in this field qualifies one for certification as a registered health information technician (RHIT), a designation offered through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Work Environment

Most medical coders work in hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices, or other health care facilities. Because medical coding is a rapidly growing field, opportunities for employment also exist in law firms, insurance agencies, and consulting firms. Many medical coders work from home, where they are able to access patient records via online computer systems.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • DeVry University

    DeVry University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at DeVry University:

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Arizona: Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix
    • California: Alhambra, Anaheim, Bakersfield, Colton, Daly City, Elk Grove, Fremont, Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Oxnard, Palmdale, Pomona, San Diego, San Jose, Sherman Oaks
    • Colorado: Colorado Springs, Greenwood Village, Westminster
    • Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Tampa
    • Georgia: Alpharetta, Atlanta, Decatur, Duluth, Stockbridge
    • Illinois: Addison, Chicago, Downers Grove, Elgin, Gurnee, Naperville, Tinley Park
    • Indiana: Indianapolis, Merrillville
    • Maryland: Bethesda
    • Michigan: Southfield
    • Minnesota: Edina
    • Missouri: Kansas City, Saint Louis
    • North Carolina: Charlotte, Morrisville
    • New Jersey: Cherry Hill, North Brunswick, Paramus
    • Nevada: Henderson
    • New York: New York, Rego Park
    • Ohio: Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Seven Hills
    • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
    • Oregon: Portland
    • Pennsylvania: Fort Washington, King of Prussia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
    • Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville
    • Texas: Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, Irving, Richardson, San Antonio, Sugar Land
    • Utah: Sandy
    • Virginia: Arlington, Chesapeake, Manassas
    • Washington: Bellevue, Federal Way, Lynnwood
    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Baker College Online

    Baker College Online responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Baker College Online:

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Western Governors University

    Western Governors University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Western Governors University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster Career School

    Penn Foster Career School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster Career School:

    Online Programs Available

  • ITT Technical Institute

    ITT Technical Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at ITT Technical Institute:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Alabama: Bessemer, Madison, Mobile
    • Arkansas: Little Rock
    • Arizona: Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson
    • California: Clovis, Concord, Corona, Culver City, Lathrop, Oakland, Orange, Oxnard, Rancho Cordova, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Dimas, Sylmar, Torrance
    • Colorado: Aurora, Westminster
    • Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Lake Mary, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Saint Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Palm Beach
    • Georgia: Atlanta, Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw
    • Iowa: Clive
    • Idaho: Boise
    • Illinois: Mount Prospect, Oak Brook, Orland Park, Springfield
    • Indiana: Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Merrillville, Newburgh, South Bend
    • Kansas: Overland Park, Wichita
    • Kentucky: Lexington, Louisville
    • Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Saint Rose
    • Massachusetts: Norwood, Wilmington
    • Maryland: Hanover, Owings Mills
    • Michigan: Canton, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Southfield, Swartz Creek, Troy
    • Minnesota: Brooklyn Center, Eden Prairie
    • Missouri: Arnold, Earth City, Kansas City
    • North Carolina: Cary, Charlotte, Durham, High Point
    • Nebraska: Omaha
    • New Jersey: Marlton
    • New Mexico: Albuquerque
    • Nevada: Henderson, North Las Vegas
    • New York: Albany, Getzville, Liverpool
    • Ohio: Akron, Columbus, Dayton, Hilliard, Maumee, Norwood, Strongsville, Warrensville Heights, Youngstown
    • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
    • Oregon: Portland, Salem
    • Pennsylvania: Dunmore, Harrisburg, King of Prussia, Levittown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tarentum
    • South Carolina: Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, North Charleston
    • Tennessee: Chattanooga, Cordova, Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville
    • Texas: Arlington, Austin, Desoto, Houston, Richardson, San Antonio, Waco, Webster
    • Utah: Murray
    • Virginia: Chantilly, Norfolk, Richmond, Salem, Springfield
    • Washington: Everett, Seattle, Spokane Valley
    • Wisconsin: Green Bay, Greenfield, Madison
  • Sanford-Brown

    Sanford-Brown responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Sanford-Brown:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Florida: Orlando
    • Illinois: Chicago
    • Minnesota: Brooklyn Center, Mendota Heights
    • Nevada: Henderson
    • Texas: San Antonio
    • Washington: Tukwila
  • Brandman University

    Brandman University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brandman University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • California: Irvine, Palmdale, Santa Clarita
  • Jones International University

    Jones International University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Jones International University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Medaille College

    Medaille College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Medaille College:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashworth College

    Ashworth College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashworth College:

    Online Programs Available