Medical Coding and Billing

What do Medical Coders and Billers do?

Medical Coders take the records of patient's treatment, and find the codes that best fit the diagnosis and treatment given.  Coders need to know about the human body and be able to handle a large vocabulary of medical terms.  Coders tend to work very independently, reaching out to clarify issues with the physician when needed.  After the coder determines the codes that fit the treatment, she or he passes them to the medical billers.

Medical billers use the codes to prepare bills for payment by the insurance company.  Unlike medical coders, there is no one recognized national certification for medical billing professionals.

Medical coders and billers can work in any kind of health care setting.  Some small clinics may combine the jobs into one, but most large systems have separate specialists in either coding or billing.

Program Information

What are the differences between the Professional Medical Coding and Billing and the Medical Billing program?

The Professional Medical Coding and Billing program covers everything that a student would need to know to become a medical coder.  Coders need to know a little about how billing works, which is why billing is included in the program.  The Professional Medical Coding and Billing is approximately 565 hours of study, and starts at the beginning to teach you medical terminology, anatomy and pharmacology before going in-depth into using the codes.

Medical Billing is a much shorter program, taking about 145 hours to finish.  Billing students have an introduction to coding, but spend most of their time learning documentation and confidentiality, healthcare reimbursement and billing and collections.

How do the programs work?

Our programs are completely online.  You work at your own pace, but that does not mean there is not support available.  You'll have access to three support teams- technical issues, student support, and graduate support.  You can email your instructor questions linked to any page you are reading.  Instructors also have office hours, times when you know you will be able to reach them by phone and email.  There is an active student forum. If you have a question, chances are good that someone has already asked it on the forum and received an answer from other students and teachers.  Students also use the forum to ask for emotional support, and to celebrate their accomplishments. 

A neat tool in the program lets you estimate your completion date based on the amount of time you spend, and help you keep on track with weekly goals.

Normandale offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for this program.  We use the nursing continuing education convention of 1.0 CEU for every 1 hour of study, which is why the hours of the program can look different in our catalog.

To register, please see Normandale.edu/CE/classes, or call 952-358-8343.