Welcome to the Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Program
The Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program prepares students for
billing/coding careers in medical offices, hospitals, clinics, health
maintenance organizations (HMOs), extended care facilities, insurance companies,
and health data organizations. Medical
coding specialists develop skills and knowledge to transform written
descriptions of diseases, injuries, conditions, and medical procedures into
alpha-numeric classifications. Currently,
reimbursement for health care services is dependent on the assignment of universally
recognized codes to describe diagnoses, services, and procedures. The codes are used to provide information for
reimbursement of insurance claims, indexing statistics, research, and tracking
patient care. In addition to coding,
professional reimbursement specialists must learn the medical billing process
to conform to individual insurance requirements, electronic billing procedures,
and responsibilities associated with electronic data management.
Learn medical terminology, medical pathology,
anatomy and physiology, basic pharmacology, medical law and ethics, and medical
finance practices. Students will also
study word processing, spreadsheet applications, and learn how to use the
MedaTrak system (electronic medical records system) while using ICD-9 & ICD-10,
CPT and HCPCS guidelines to complete ambulatory and hospital billing. This
high-demand occupation provides many opportunities for people who like
attention to detail and take pride in their work. Jobs in this growing field offer variety,
challenge, and the personal reward of helping others.
The estimated program length is based on full-time enrollment. It is the student's responsibility to discuss sequencing and work out their individual schedule with a counselor or program advisor. Any developmental coursework a student may be required to complete may increase the program length. The certificate is not intended for university transfer.
Estimated Program Length
Medical Billing and Coding
Fall, Winter, Spring
Program graduates are eligible to take the American Association of Professional Coders national examination to become Certified Professional Coder Associates (CPC-A). AAPC credentialed coders have proven mastery of all code sets, evaluation and management principles, and documentation guidelines. Employers prefer to hire certified workers who have passed the national exam.
American Association of Professional Coders
Program Entry Requirements
Apply to the Admissions Office for an application to Skagit Valley College (SVC). Make an appointment to take your COMPASS test. It is strongly recommended that candidates be a high school graduate or have passed the General Education Equivalency (GED) exam to enroll in the program. Students may enter any academic quarter and attend classes on a part-time or full-time basis. Students may enroll in any class if they meet the course prerequisites. Some courses may only be offered once or twice a year. Students may be required to take a keyboarding test for entrance into some classes. It is recommended that you have a good working knowledge of computers, are detail-oriented and analytical, have excellent organizational skills and a penchant for accuracy. You should also be able to work independently with little supervision.
Career Opportunities and Job Search Information
The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is the nation's primary source of occupational information. The O*Net Online database is an interactive research tool for exploring and searching occupations. The database, developed by the US Department of Labor, contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors, and provides a variety of FREE Career Exploration Tools.
O-Net Online: www.onetonline.org
SOC 29-2071.00 Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
SOC 31-9092.00 Medical Assistants
For more detailed information about Washington State healthcare employment trends, wage rates, employment opportunities, job tasks, etc. search the websites listed below: