Medical coding programs are available online through the American Health Information Management Association website. There are programs covering the basics of medical coding, as well as programs geared toward coding in specific areas of medicine, according to AHIMA.
The Coding Basics program, which is considered the beginner level coding program, covers the basics of biomedics, the HIM industry and coding, states AHIMA. Outpatient and inpatient coding courses are included in this program. Upon completion of this program, the student is able to apply the correct diagnosis and procedure codes using ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, CPT and HCPCS. They are also able to interpret coding guidelines, understand the importance of documenting code assignment and understand the AHIMA's Standards of Ethical Coding.
Biomedical courses in the Coding Basics program include Anatomy and Physiology and Human Disease, Medical Terminology and Pathology/Pharmacology, lists AHIMA. HIM industry courses offered in this program include Healthcare Delivery Systems, Healthcare Data Content and Structure, Computer Basics in Healthcare, Introduction to Medical Law and Ethics, and Reimbursement Methodology. The coding portion of this program has two courses of Basic ICD Coding, two courses of Basic CPT coding and a simulator course to prepare students for what is expected of them in the workplace.
All courses are offered online, and students are able to work at their own pace, states AHIMA. Most students note that each course takes about 60 hours to complete. Students have access to each course for 365 days from the date the course file is opened. Because of the difficulty of the courses, students should not take more than three courses concurrently, even though they are able to take as many courses at one time as they would like.