Any Google search will tell you that there are a fair amount of choices when looking for a medical billing program.
It can be overwhelming to try and figure out which one is best for you. To help you narrow it down, here are 8 questions to ask before you commit to a program:
- How comprehensive is the program?
Every medical billing program will teach you the basics. But you want a comprehensive background in procedural codes and diagnostic codes (make sure they cover ICD-9 and 10). In addition, you’ll want training in anatomy and physiology, and you’ll want some exposure to medical law and medical ethics.
- Does the program teach any other skills?
Aside from comprehensive training in medical billing and coding, you’re going to want other skills as well. A good medical billing program will teach you computer skills, office procedures, customer service techniques and more.
- How flexible is the program?
Are there day, evening and weekend classes? Is there an online option?
- Where is it located?
It may not be a great idea to choose a medical billing program entirely for its location. But it certainly can be an important consideration. Especially since so many students already have jobs and/or family obligations. Find out how long it will take you to get to class, and if there are public transportation options.
- Is financial aid available?
If you need help with tuition (and who doesn’t?) make sure you ask about financial aid packages and payment options. Make sure you contact the financial aid office before you decide on a school, because you’ll want to know how helpful they are!
- What kind of degree will I get?
Does the school offer a certificate or an associate’s degree? Either choice may be right for you, but find out what your options are. An associate’s degree may allow you to continue onto a 4-year program if you want to.
- Is there a career services department?
The better schools not only have a good academic program. They also have ways to help guide you through the job search process. Look for a program that can help you with important tasks like getting your resume together and writing a killer cover letter. Find out if the program has connections with local firms that hire medical billing specialists.
- Can I talk to an actual human?
Take a campus tour. And it won’t hurt to ask if you can talk to current students and alumni. The more information you have, the better your chance of finding the right fit for yourself. When you make contact with a school, make sure you ask about these options.