AAPC - Back to school
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Thread: Online Degrees

  1. #1

    Default Online Degrees

    AAPC: Back to School
    I have a friend that is interested in Medical Billing and Coding. She decided to take online classes. Does anyone know if it's a good idea for her to do so? Will she have to potential of getting hired even though it's online courses and not lectured in a class? Also if anyone has taken online course is it difficult?

  2. #2

    Default Been there done that

    If doing the class online is what your friend wants to do, then I would go ahead tell them to do it. But, do it through a school or something like that. I did my certification class (it was just in coding only as it was prep for the AAPC CPC test) through one of the local community colleges where I live and it was mostly online. Had three times that I went to a class, mostly for reviews. I can't say if it is a good thing or not, as I have yet to be hired, but, the biggest plus that it has is that you can go at your own pace. It wasn't all that hard for me, as I am a former claims anaylst, but, it was tough for the others in the class. Hope this helps your friend out with their decision.

    Good luck!!


  3. #3


    Thanks!! I was just worried because she hasn't had an education in the Medical Field. I told her it would be hard to teach herself, but she's willing to take it. Its a 16 month course. Just didn't want her to spend all that money and not be able to get hired.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Crystal Lake


    I also took an online course and I got high grades even though I haven't had an education in the Medical Field. I also was able to pass the CPC exam on my first try, just with what I learned from online school and CPC review book I bought. It depends on the individual's determination to achieve their goal if they are gonna make it or not.

    Though, I still have a hard time finding job. If your friend has connections though, I doubt she will have a hard time finding a job. My online course was only $500. Does your friend know that she also has to take certification exam after school?
    Last edited by medcoder9; 01-26-2011 at 09:14 PM.

  5. #5


    That helps out alot! I mentioned it to her, but I don't think she knows much about it.
    See she wants to do a 16 month course, and it's going to cost 19,000.

    I'm relieved that you were able to pass the test! Makes me feel a little better about her taking the online test!

  6. #6


    Wow $19K sounds like alot of money for a 16 month course. Has your friend checked with the BBB to see if this a creditable venture?
    I saw on PBS' Frontline about for profit colleges. Here's a link to the website if you're interested in seeing the episode:

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Crystal Lake


    Just tell your friend that a certification test from AAPC or AHIMA is a MUST, if she wants the employer to even take a look at her resume.

    I know it is not my business, it is her money anyway, but, 19k is a LOT to burn when like I previously said, I only spent $500 on my online course and I passed the CPC exam with no problems.

    I also want you to tell your friend, it is not the school you go to that the employers are looking for. They want experience first and foremost, certification is only secondary. But if she knows someone that will hire her after school, i say go for it.

    But if she is like me and thousands of inexperienced certified coders who dunno anyone from the field... let me just say - I wish her the best of luck.

  8. #8


    it's not so much HOW you received the coding education (online vs class based) but what you know. employers don't care whether you got a diploma or degree, but whether you know coding. a co-worker of mine has AHIMA's RHIT and still took 2 years to get a coding job. a lot of people don't want to have to take the time to train a coder, but want someone who can come in and get right to work w/ minimal supervision/training. if this is what she wants, and she's persistant and doesn't give up on the job search I say go for it, but $19k is A LOT of $$$$ to spend to learn coding.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Stuart, Florida


    I'd have to say NO WAY to an online course for nineteen THOUSAND dollars. That's just crazy. $19,000 is WAY too much for an online course. Has she looked into any other online courses or did she just find that one and say, "I should go for it!"? That's just giving your money away without doing any research beforehand. You can take a course THROUGH the AAPC, PLUS take your exam for $1,755, or $1,325 for AAPC members.
    2011 CPC® Preparation Course + CPC® Examination - $1,755.00 (Members: $1,325)

    There is also an online anatomy and medical teminology course being offered for a limited time through the AAPC.
    Limited Time: Online Medical Terminology + Anatomy Bundle $1,040.00 (Members: $695)

    Boom, just like that, saved your friend more than $16,000.


    Seriously though, DEFINITELY research other avenues. That is a rip off, unless they implant a special chip into your brain that makes you become a Super Coder. Spandex super hero outfit included!
    Vanessa Mier, CPC

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Orange, CA

    Default Please help your friend research other courses.

    I would pretty much echo the sentiments of the previous members that stated concern
    about the cost. $19,000 for an online course to learn coding is outrageous in my opinion. It's not the method of delivery that will affect whether or not she obtains employment, it is her ability to pass the exam and experience or lack thereof.

    My coding course was a 6 hour class each Saturday with copious amounts of assignments, practice exams, and discussions over the course of 26 weeks taught by 2 extremely competent, experienced coders. I understand it is possible to take an online course and prepare for the test but personally, the exchanges with my instructors and other professionals were beneficial and augemented my learning experience. My courses cost only $2,000. One of my fellow students had no experience in the field but worked diligently and passed her exam.

    I already have experience coding (although not full-time) and have been working in the medical field for 4 years as well as having completed a medical billing/claims examining course and jobs are still difficult to find. I also passed my CPC on my first attempt. That's just the reality of the field and the current economic climate.

    Please encourage your friend to look into other courses that will not charge such an exorbitant amount of money and advise her to research what sacrifices she will potentially need to make in order to pursue this as a career. Wish her the best of luck and I hope she finds coursework that is more reasonably priced and enables her to become a CPC.

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