Medical Billing and Coding Classes Online

Why Penn Foster?

  • Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Medical Billing and Coding Career Diploma

Start your new career in Medical Billing and Coding in as little as seven months. Medical Billing and Coding jobs are expected to increase 22% in the next few years.¹ We’ll help you succeed with expert instruction from dedicated faculty members with real world experience.

This accredited program provides everything you'll need to prepare for a better future – including preparation for the AHIMA and AAPC certification exams, and a free AAPC membership – all at a fraction of the cost of other schools.

The program also includes updated content on both ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding. Penn Foster will help you train at home, on the go, all at the pace that’s right for you. You’ll complete real-world examples of coding, and learn how to manage records and file claims, prepare insurance forms, and handle billing for clinics, doctors’ offices, or private billing services.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Objectives

Program Goal

To prepare students for an entry-level career as a medical coder.

Program Objectives
  • Comprehend and apply CPT, ICD-9, ICD-10, and HCPCS coding guidelines to identify diagnoses, procedures, and patient medical records
  • Identify the procedures for patient record retrieval and reimbursement
  • Explain the role of a medical coder as a liaison between the health clinician and billing offices
  • Apply computer and information literacy skills, and use electronic medical software
  • Identify terms, facts, methods, procedures, concepts, theories, principles, and processes within medical coding and billing scenarios
  • Recognize relationships among data and classify items within medical coding and billing scenarios
  • Understand laws and theories, including issues relating to ethics and confidentiality
  • Calculate solutions to mathematical problems related to reimbursement and medical mathematics
  • Interpret and evaluate information to make proper coding decisions
  • Review basic written and workplace communication skills

Course 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
HIT100 Introduction to Allied Health

This course gives an introduction to health care, the health information management industry, and the role that health information technicians play in that industry.

Objectives:

  • Describe reimbursement systems and the role health information management technicians play in reimbursement.
  • Describe how technology is used in health information management.
  • Discuss different professional organizations and certifications for health information management technicians.
  • Explain the different roles, opportunities, and settings for health information management technicians.

Course 2

ALH028 Law, Ethics, and Confidentiality

In this course, you’ll learn how law affects medical offices, the origin of law that affects medical professionals, the basics of the process of litigation and its alternatives, the common-law basis for the confidentiality of health-care information, and the laws regulating health-care information collected and maintained by government agencies.

Objectives:

  • Describe civil and criminal law, sources of law, and the steps of litigation.
  • Distinguish between liability, negligence, and malpractice and explain how they relate to medical assistants.
  • Explain defenses against medical malpractice and against criminal charges.
  • Identify the various ethical issues that health-care professionals face.
  • Explain the uses and content of medical records.
  • Describe the legal significance of confidentiality obligations.
  • Explain the core concepts of HIPAA’s final Privacy Rule.
  • Summarize the role of peer review in confidentiality issues.
  • Describe confidentiality and security issues related to electronic medical records.

Course 3

BUS090 Office Procedures

This course is designed to help you develop professional relationships in the workplace and professionally administer and manage office communications and procedures, and provides a review of basic math operations.

Objectives:

  • Understand and explain the components of communication, both verbal and nonverbal.
  • Develop effective listening and observation skills.
  • Recognize prejudice in interpersonal relations.
  • Describe personal traits essential for successful interpersonal relations.
  • Understand important aspects of good human relations.
  • Professionally answer and place telephone calls within an office.
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and email.
  • Analyze where your time is spent and identify common time wasters.
  • Calculate discounts and series discounts.
  • Calculate cash discounts and shipping charges.
  • Change decimals and fractions to percentages and vice versa.
  • Use a calculator to solve or check math problems.

Course 4

ALH016 Body Systems Terminology 1

In this course, you’ll become familiar with the medical terms that you'll hear on a daily basis in your new career, examine the organization of body systems, and examine the cardiovascular system, blood, the respiratory system, and the digestive system.

Objectives:

  • Explain how root words (and their combining forms), prefixes, and suffixes function in medical terms.
  • Define many of the most common roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
  • Determine the meaning of a given medical term by analyzing its parts.
  • Identify the anatomical position and directional terms, as well as the three planes, four quadrants, and nine regions of the body.
  • Describe the body sciences of nutrition and homeostasis.
  • List types of pathogens, outline the chain of infection, and suggest methods to break the chain of infection.
  • Analyze the concept of immunity and differentiate between natural and acquired immunity.
  • Describe the organization and formation of the human body from cells to body systems.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the integumentary system and musculoskeletal system.
  • List diseases of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to cellular anatomy, the integumentary system, and the musculoskeletal system.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • List diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems.

Course 5

ALH017 Body Systems Terminology 2

In this course, you’ll examine the sensory organs, nervous system, endocrine system, excretory system, reproductive system, and immune system. You’ll also take a closer look at oncology, radiology, surgery, pathology, and genetics.

Objectives:

  • Explain the anatomy and function of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • List diseases of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the sensory organs, the nervous system, and the endocrine system.
  • Explain the anatomy and function of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • List diseases of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Identify tests and procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Use combining forms to build and analyze terms related to the excretory, reproductive, and lymphatic systems.
  • Differentiate between tumor types and explain how cancer develops.
  • Classify cancers and describe the major methods of cancer treatment.
  • Identify radiographic procedures and outline the types and uses of nuclear medicine tests.
  • Summarize surgical methods and pathological processes.
  • Describe the application of genetics to the study of diseases.

Course 6

ALH021 Basic Pharmacology

This course describes health-care professionals who are licensed to prescribe medications for the treatment of disease and illness, reference material most often used by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and pharmaceuticals that are designed to alleviate or repair any sort of malfunction in the body.

Objectives:

  • Define the medical specialties presented in this course, the conditions that each treats, and some of the drugs prescribed.
  • Identify health-care providers other than physicians who are licensed to prescribe drugs, the types of drugs that each prescribes, and the condition for which each type of drug is prescribed.
  • Name five prominent health-care professionals who aren’t licensed to write prescriptions.
  • Explain the main types of reference information and their sources.
  • Discuss various delivery methods of drug information available to pharmacists and technicians.
  • List various drug information sources that may be required by law to be present in a pharmacy.
  • Identify various journals and newsletters available to pharmacists and technicians.
  • Describe the most referenced sources of drug information used in pharmacy practice.
  • Discuss pharmacology basics.
  • List the four types of drug names, several major drug references, and the two agencies of drug regulation and enforcement.
  • Describe the routes and forms of drug administration.
  • Define drug action and effect, and explain the effect of drugs according to specific classifications.
  • Calculate basic pharmacology mathematics and dosages.
  • Identify medications related to different body systems.

Course 7

CSC102 Word™ and Excel®

This course teach you how to use Microsoft® Word™ 2013 to create, edit, and illustrate documents, and how to use the most widely used spreadsheet program, Microsoft® Excel.®

Objectives:

  • Locate a file, open a recently used document, and retrieve a file that has been recently deleted.
  • Use search engines and email.
  • Identify the best Internet providers and services for your needs.
  • Upload and download files from the Internet.
  • Create, edit, format, and merge Word™ documents.
  • Add graphics and tables.
  • Use the basic elements of Microsoft® Excel.®
  • Add, delete, and sort data.
  • Create and use formulas, charts, and graphs.
Project: Microsoft® Word™

This project gives you a chance to use your Word™ skills. Create four promotional documents for a company’s training event: a cover letter introducing the company, a facts sheet highlighting product features, a flier promoting the event, and a registration form.

Project: Microsoft® Excel®

This project gives you the chance to use your Excel® skills. Create a simple worksheet to calculate the cost of office supplies, and track their increase or decrease in cost over a two-month period. Graph the results.

Course 8

ENG010 Business English

In this course you’ll learn the skills you need to become more confident in your writing.

Objectives:    

  • Know the parts of speech.
  • Use pronouns and modifiers properly and effectively.
  • Explain subject-verb agreement.
  • Use end marks, commas, and other common punctuation marks.
  • Use capitalization correctly.
  • Explain common spelling rules and use them in your writing.
  • Cite research sources.
  • Compose a variety of sentence structures.
  • Construct unified, coherent paragraphs.
  • Connect paragraphs to build a well-organized, logical document.
  • Identify your audience, medium, and purpose.
  • Focus and organize your ideas.
  • Plan both informal and formal writing projects.
  • Revise, edit, and proofread to make your final copy accurate and professional.
  • Write well-structured, professional letters.
  • Format business letters, memos, and emails.

Course 9

HIT203 Medical Coding 1

Your first course begins with an overview of coding concepts, terms, and procedures. You’ll explore the system that will replace the ICD-9 in late 2013, the ICD-10, and why it’s important to understand the ICD-9 before learning the new system. You’ll learn how to use the CPT manual and Level II National Codes (HCPCS), CPT codes used to describe procedures involving anesthesia and general surgical treatments, how to use both the ICD-9-CM and the CPT manuals to describe diagnoses and procedures, coding issues related to the broad range of diagnostic and procedural services of the complex cardiovascular system, specialty practice coding with a detailed look at Obstetrics/Gynecology, specialty areas related to the detection, prevention, and treatment of disease, and how to provide accurate and consistent codes for services provided in a hospital setting.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the components of government and private health-care payer systems.
  • Apply HIPAA regulations.
  • Use the Index and Tabular List of the ICD-9 to locate diagnosis codes.
  • Understand the use and application of V-codes.
  • Describe the major components of the ICD-10 system.
  • Describe the components of the CPT manual.
  • Describe the components of the Level II HCPCS manual.
  • Discuss how to apply HCPCS codes.
  • Recognize and assign CPT modifiers to services and procedures.
  • Analyze key components for Evaluation and Management coding.
  • Define types of anesthesia.
  • Determine anesthesia codes.
  • Explain surgery guidelines.
  • Discuss special coding issues for burn, excision, repair, and breast procedures.
  • Discuss special coding issues for fractures, casts, strapping, and endoscopic procedures.
  • Discuss special coding issues for cardiovascular procedures found in the Surgery section, Medicine section, and Radiology section.
  • Discuss special coding issues for procedures found in the Female Genital and Maternity Care and Delivery subsection.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use the Index and Tabular List to code radiological procedures.
  • Demonstrate the ability to code Pathology and Laboratory procedures.
  • Demonstrate the ability to code procedures and services located in the Medicine subsection.
  • Differentiate between inpatient and outpatient reporting guidelines.
  • Describe inpatient diagnosis and procedure reporting using the ICD-9.
  • Discuss the transition to the ICD-10-PCS system.
Additional Course Materials

Textbook: Step-By-Step Medical Coding

Learning Aids:

  • ICD-9-CM Manual
  • CPT Manual

Supplement: Transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS

Course 10

HIT204 Medical Coding 2

In this course, you’ll concentrate on the diagnoses or procedures that don’t seem to fit into any specific coding category. You’ll also learn about general coding guidelines for inpatient and outpatient procedures and physician office coding using ICD-9-CM, HCPCS Level I, and HCPCS Level II procedure coding.

Objectives:

  • Identify diagnoses and procedures contained on medical reports.
  • Apply principles to code services, conditions, and procedures using ICD-9-CM and the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS).
  • Explain the official coding principles and guidelines of ICD-9-CM and HCPCS.
  • Determine the proper sequencing of codes for reporting and billing.
  • Apply principles to code services, conditions, and procedures using ICD-9-CM and the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS).
  • Discuss ICD-9-CM and HCPCS guidelines and coding conventions.
  • Discuss HCPCS procedural coding for different settings.
Additional Course Material

Textbook: Clinical Coding Workout

Course 11

HIT130 Electronic Medical Records

This course is designed to help you understand the reimbursement process and the various methodologies involved. You’ll be introduced to billing cycles and how health information technology is used in medical offices, and learn about basic accounting transaction terminology and apply this information to enter patient charges and payments.

Objectives:

  • Describe prepaid health plans and commercial insurance plans.
  • Identify characteristics of retrospective and prospective payment systems.
  • Discuss the different government sponsored health-care programs.
  • Explain how managed care works.
  • Describe fee-for-service and episode-of-care reimbursement methodologies.
  • Outline the Medicare acute care prospective payment system.
  • Describe the Medicare skilled-nursing facility prospective payment system.
  • Discuss the different outpatient prospective payment systems. Review the medical billing cycle.
  • Explain how computers are used for medical billing.
  • Use Medisoft® software to perform medical office procedures.
  • Perform charge and payment transactions for patient services.
  • Post payments.
  • Create standard reports, collection letters, and reminders.
  • Set up patient appointments, input office hours, and create schedules.
Projects

You will complete five hands-on projects using electronic medical software.

Additional Course Material

Textbook: Computers in the Medical Office

Software: Medisoft®


Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 7 or later, Microsoft® Office 2013, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Excel are registered trademarks and Word is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Medisoft is a registered trademark of McKesson Corporation in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Transfer Credits & Graduate Sooner!

Students can receive advanced academic credit for Business English and Microsoft® Word and Excel within this program. Learn more about our transfer credit policy.

Sample Lesson

To view a Medical Billing and Coding sample lesson, click here.

AAPC Student Membership

Free one-year Student Membership in the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) also included with your Medical Billing and Coding training program.

Industry Certification

Penn Foster's Medical Billing and Coding graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Coding Associate credential exam offered by the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association). Graduates may also be eligible to sit for the Certified Professional Coder-Apprentice examination offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

State Requirements

Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements. These requirements vary from state to state.

medical billing and coding schools and online classes

At Penn Foster’s medical billing and coding online school, you’ll learn how to manage records and file claims, prepare insurance forms, and handle billing for clinics, doctors’ offices, or private billing services. Here are a few qualities that efficient medical billers and coders have in common:

  • Organized: Billers and coders need to keep confidential health forms in the right place.
  • Honest: Insurance companies, doctors, and patients trust you to handle billing.
  • Dependable: Patients and companies rely on you to send them the right information on time.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.

The Online Community gives you the sense you are part of a class regardless of where you live or where you are in the program.…Being a part of the Community has helped me realize the power of social forums for educational purposes. It has even inspired me to start my own Coding Facebook group...

Lori W., Medical Billing and Coding Student

I really like the way [Penn Foster] set up the program. The progression is really good, and they are always encouraging you. I’m very, very pleased with the medical coders at Penn Foster.

Jacinte L., Medical Billing and Coding Graduate

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Graduate debt free with 0% interest
  • Books, learning aids, and Medisoft® software included
  • One-year student membership in the American Academy of Professional Coders
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our world-class faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online campus, plus immediate membership in the Medical Billing and Coding academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Does Penn Foster provide Medical Billing and Coding students membership to any professional organizations?

Yes. Medical Billing and Coding students receive membership to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

What certifications are available for the Medical Billing and Coding Career Diploma Program?

You’ll be eligible to sit for the national exam offered by AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association). Graduates with 2 years’ worth of work experience are also eligible to sit for the Certified Professional Coder examination offered by the AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders).

Can I transfer previously earned credits to the Penn Foster Medical Billing and Coding Career Diploma program?

Yes, you can receive advanced academic credit for some courses within the program, which means you can move through your curriculum faster and earn your certificate or diploma sooner. Learn more about our transfer credit policy.

More FAQs >

¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, on the Internet here.

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