Medical Billing and Coding Certificate Program

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"This certificate will allow me to be employed no matter where I am living. It was absolutely the right thing for me to do." - Melinda Williams
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Certificate Requirements

There are no requirements for entering the medical billing and coding certificate program. The program consists of seven classes and typically begins each fall term with the Medical Terminology class. This certificate can be earned in less than a year when students take an average of two classes per term.

To earn a certificate in coding from the USA Center for Continuing Education students must successfully complete and pass all seven classes.

The certificate program consists of the following classes:

  • Medical Terminology covers basic terminology including prefixes, suffixes, word roots, combining forms, abbreviations, and symbols. Class duration is eight weeks and offered during fall term.
  • Introduction to Basic ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding is designed for either the beginner or inexperienced coder and provides an overview of the correct use of the ICD-10-CM diagnosis manual in assigning codes to each service provided to a patient. Class duration is 10 weeks and offered during fall term. This course replaces the Beginning ICD-9-CM class, but includes a two-week overview of ICD-9-CM.
  • Anatomy and Physiology provides students with a foundation in the anatomy and physiology of the human body. This class covers major organ systems and covers advanced terms associated with those systems. Class duration is eight weeks and is offered during winter term.
  • Beginning CPT/HCPCS Procedural Coding is designed for either the beginner or intermediate coder to gain and understanding of the correct use of the CPT/HCPCS Procedural Manual to assign codes to each service provided to patients. Class duration is eight weeks and is offered during winter term.
  • Chart Reviewing for Physician Office Coders provides students with hands-on experience in monitoring charts for information required for compliance in physician offices.  Students also gain valuable knowledge of the different types of chart audits and determining proper courses of action during audits. Additionally, students learn Evaluation and Documentation Guidelines set by the CMS and AMA. Class duration is four weeks and offered during the spring term.
  • Comprehensive Coding I for Physician Offices is an intermediate-level course designed for students to learn more about specialty-specific coding. Various coding scenarios and case studies will be discussed and worked.  ICD-9 (or ICD-10) and understanding of medical terminology along with anatomy and physiology are prerequisites to enrolling in this course.  Duration is eight weeks and is offered during spring term.
  • Comprehensive Coding II for Physicians Offices is the advanced coding class that combines hands-on coding experience with lectures and class discussions of case scenarios to assist in preparing for the AAPC CPC® Exam. Class duration is 10 weeks and is only offered during summer term. ICD-9 (or ICD-10), an understanding of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and completion of Comprehensive Coding I are prerequisites to enrolling in this course.

Application Information

Students can enroll in any of the courses offered without being enrolled in the certificate program. Certificates will only be granted to those who have enrolled in the program and have paid a non-refundable $40 application fee.  Course prerequisites must also be adhered to.

Attendance Policy

Students MUST attend 80% of all class meetings within a course unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor. Maximum of excused absences per course will depend on the length of the course. Each instructor will notify students of number of excused absences allowable for their course in writing as part of the course syllabus.

Cancellations/Refunds

The USA Center for Continuing Education reserves the right to cancel any course for which there is not sufficient enrollment. Should a course be canceled after you enroll, you may transfer to another class or receive a full refund. Decisions to cancel a course based on enrollment are made typically three business days prior to the course start date, see course description for specific cancellation details. Failure to attend classes does not constitute withdrawal. Decisions to cancel your registration must be received by 5 p.m. at least three business days prior to the start of your class. Refund requests received after this will not be granted.

Please note completion of the University of South Alabama's Center for Continuing Education Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding does not confer the designation of being a certified coder. The Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) is a registered trademark of the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC®) and is an entity independent of the USA Center for Continuing Education. Registration and registration requirements for the CPC® exam and certification requirements can be found at their website www.aapc.com.