Anatomy Online Course

Anatomy Online Course

For medical coders and billers responsible for translating patient health information into medical codes, on-the-job accuracy depends on knowledge of human anatomy.

Do you have a reliable, quick-recall grasp on anatomy? If you’re preparing for a career in a non-clinical medical profession — particularly for a career in medical billing and coding — you’ll benefit from taking AAPC’s online anatomy course in conjunction with the Certified Professional Coder (CPC)® or Certified Professional Biller (CPB)® training. The anatomy course will help you retain your coding and billing studies. It will also boost your performance on the certification exam and prepare you to succeed in the workplace.

Students of AAPC’s Anatomy Online Course will gain familiarity with the structural components and functions of the body's nine organ systems.

  • Strongly recommended for students planning to take the CPC, COC, CIC, CRC, or CPB online courses.
  • Reinforced learning with interactive media, crib sheets, Anatomy for ICD-10-CM presentations, and colorful illustrations.
  • Textbook (eBook format) and online coaching support included.
  • Contains 22 chapters, 8 module tests, and a final exam.
  • Awards a Certificate of Completion and 20 CEUs upon passing the final exam (certified AAPC members). One-time use only.
  • Course should be completed within two months, but students will have access to the study materials for three months from the date of purchase. Course extensions may be purchased for $29.95 per month.
  • For more course details: Anatomy Syllabus.

AAPC members can enroll in both the Medical Terminology & Anatomy courses and save $300.

Enroll in the Anatomy Course

After reading through the course/system requirements, enroll.



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Both the Anatomy and Medical Terminology classes are recommended for students taking the CPC®, COC™, CIC, CRC, or CPB™ Medical Billing courses.

By purchasing any online course and other items, I certify that I have read and agree to the online course Terms and Conditions and the Refund Policy.

Date of purchase is considered your course start date, additional time will be given for processing of your order.

Anatomy Course Description

Enrollment in this class includes:

  • A digital version of your textbook, Structure & Function of the Body, 16th Edition by Kevin Patton PhD and Gary Thibodeau PhD.
  • Reading assignments, practice exercises, chapter reviews, module tests, and a final exam.
  • Online coaching on an individual, as-needed basis.

Medical Coding Anatomy Learning Objectives

Medical coders with an in-depth understanding of anatomy will be able to make appropriate correlations when reviewing clinical documentation. They will also be equipped to intelligently query providers when additional documentation is required.

To that end, the Anatomy Online Course objectives center on imparting the foundations of human anatomy, to leave students with an understand of the major organ systems, their functions, and their relationships within the body.

  • Define terms and concepts related to the anatomical nomenclature.
  • Define the anatomy and physiology of the nine organ systems of the human body.
  • Understand anatomy as it relates to the medical record.
  • Use anatomic reference systems to identify the anatomic position for all major organ systems.

Online Anatomy Course Content

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Human Body

  • The process used to form scientific theories
  • The levels of organization of the body
  • Terms depicting anatomical position and directional terms used in describing the body and the relationship of body parts to one another
  • Major cavities of the body and the subdivisions of each
  • The nine abdominopelvic regions and the abdominopelvic quadrants
  • The axial and the appendicular subdivisions of the body, including specific anatomical regions in each area
  • The physiological concept of homeostasis and examples of typical homeostatic mechanisms

Chapter 2: The Chemistry of Life

  • The levels of chemical organization, including atom, element, molecule, and compound
  • The structure of an atom
  • Major types of chemical bonding
  • Organic versus inorganic chemical compounds
  • The chemical structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acid

Chapter 3: Cells

  • The structure and function of the three major components of a cell
  • The functions of the primary cellular organelles
  • Passive and active transport processes
  • DNA and RNA and their function in protein synthesis
  • Mitosis and the importance of cellular reproduction

Chapter 4: Tissues

  • How the extracellular matrix may affect the function of a tissue
  • Epithelial tissue and its categorization by shape and arrangement of cells
  • Major types of connective tissue
  • The three major types of muscle tissue
  • The function of nervous tissue and the three structural components of a neuron

Chapter 5: Organ Systems

  • Identifying the major organs of each major organ system
  • The major functions of each major organ system

Chapter 6: Skin and Membranes

  • The structure and function of the epidermis and dermis
  • Accessory organs of the skin
  • The five primary functions of the integumentary system
  • The three most common types of skin cancer
  • Burn classification and how to estimate the extent of a burn injury

Chapter 7: Skeletal System

  • Functions of the skeletal system
  • Identifying the major anatomical structures in a typical long bone
  • Microscopic structure of bone and cartilage, including the identification of specific cell types and structural features
  • Bone formation, growth, and remodeling
  • The two major divisions of the skeleton and the bones in each area

Chapter 8: Muscular System

  • The structure and function of the three major types of muscle tissue
  • The microscopic structure and function of a skeletal muscle, including sarcomere and motor unit
  • The major types of skeletal muscle contractions
  • The primary effects of exercise on the structure and function of skeletal muscles
  • The most common types of movement produced by skeletal muscles
  • Identifying the major muscles of the body

Chapter 9: Nervous System

  • The organs and divisions of the nervous system
  • The major types of cells in the nervous system and the functions of each
  • Identifying the anatomical components of a reflex arc
  • The mechanisms of transmission of a nerve impulse along a nerve fiber and across a synapse
  • Identifying the major anatomical components of the brain and spinal cord
  • Cranial and spinal nerves
  • Anatomical and functional characteristics of the autonomic nervous system

Chapter 10: Senses

  • General and special sense organs
  • How a stimulus is converted into a sensation
  • Sense organs and their functions
  • The structure of the eye and the functions of its components
  • The anatomy of the ear and its sensory function in hearing and equilibrium
  • The anatomy of the tongue and its sensory function in taste
  • The anatomy of the nasal cavity and its sensory function in smell
  • Sensory integration

Chapter 11: Endocrine System

  • Understanding endocrine and exocrine glands, hormone, hypersecretion, and hyposecretion
  • The primary endocrine glands and the hormones they produce
  • The mechanisms of steroid and non-steroid hormone action
  • How negative and positive feedback mechanisms regulate the secretion of endocrine hormones
  • The importance of prostaglandins (PGs)
  • Conditions resulting from hyposecretion or hypersecretion of endocrine hormones, including gigantism, diabetes insipidus, goiter, cretinism, diabetes mellitus, and glycosuria

Chapter 12: Blood

  • The primary functions of blood
  • The characteristics of blood plasma
  • Elements of blood and function of each
  • The structure and function of red blood cells and how red blood cell numbers and hemoglobin content may change to produce anemia
  • ABO and Rh blood typing
  • The structure and function of white blood cells
  • Blood clotting
  • Medical terms associated with blood: acidosis, serum, hematocrit, anemia, sickle cell, polycythemia, erythroblastosis fetalis, Rh factor, leukocytosis, leukopenia, phagocytosis, fibrinogen, thrombosis

Chapter 13: Cardiovascular System

  • The location, size, and position of the heart in the thoracic cavity
  • The anatomy of the heart
  • The functions of the heart chambers
  • Anatomical components of the heart conduction system and features of a normal electrocardiogram
  • The relationship between blood vessel structure and function
  • The path of blood flow through the systemic, pulmonary, hepatic portal, and fetal circulations
  • The primary factors involved in the generation and regulation of blood pressure and the relationships between these factors

Chapter 14: Lymphatic System and Immunity

  • Functions of the lymphatic system and primary lymphatic structures
  • The immune system, nonspecific and specific immunity, natural and artificial immunity, and active and passive immunity
  • The major types of immune system molecules
  • The development and functions of B and T cells,

Chapter 15: Respiratory System

  • The major functions of the respiratory system
  • Major organs of the respiratory system
  • Mechanism for the exchange of gases during external and internal respiration
  • Volumes of air exchanged during pulmonary ventilation
  • Mechanisms regulating respiration

Chapter 16: Digestive System

  • Comparing the lining layer in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine
  • Mechanical and chemical digestion
  • The basics of carbohydrate, protein, and fat digestion
  • Components of the alimentary canal and the accessory organs of digestion
  • Peristalsis, bolus, chyme, jaundice, ulcer, and diarrhea

Chapter 17: Nutrition and Metabolism

  • Metabolism
  • Catabolism and anabolism
  • The metabolic roles of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals
  • Basal metabolic rate
  • The physiological mechanisms of body temperature regulation

Chapter 18: Urinary System

  • The major organs of the urinary system
  • Nephron and the roles its components play in the formation of urine
  • The kidneys and homeostasis
  • The importance of filtration, reabsorption, and secretion in urine formation
  • The mechanisms controlling urine volume, including the normal amount and composition of urine
  • The process of urine elimination

Chapter 19: Fluid and Electrolyte Balance

  • Body fluid compartments and their subdivisions
  • Mechanisms used by the body to maintain fluid balance
  • The nature and importance of electrolytes in body fluids
  • Examples of common fluid and electrolyte imbalances

Chapter 20: Acid-Base Balance

  • Acid-base balance and the concept of pH
  • Respiratory and urinary mechanisms of pH control
  • Acidosis and alkalosis, and types of pH imbalances
  • Compensatory mechanisms to return blood pH to near-normal levels

Chapter 21: Reproductive Systems

  • Essential and accessory organs of the male and female reproductive systems
  • Structure of both male and female gonads
  • Spermatogenesis and oogenesis
  • The primary functions of the sex hormones
  • The structures constituting the external genitals in both sexes
  • The phases of the endometrial or menstrual cycle

Chapter 22: Growth, Development, and Aging

  • The concept of development as a biological process
  • The major developmental changes of the prenatal stage of life from fertilization to birth
  • The three primary germ layers and their derivatives in the adult body
  • The three stages of labor
  • Developmental changes of the four postnatal periods of life
  • Effects of aging on the major organ systems

Anatomy Course Certificate & CEUs

  • Successful completion of the Anatomy Online Course requires students to achieve a score of 70% or higher on all module review exams and on the final exam. Upon passing the Anatomy Online Course, students will receive an Anatomy Certificate. AAPC certified members will also receive 20 CEUs.

    Anatomy course CEUs are applicable only to CPC, CPPM, COC, CPB, CIC, and CRC.
  • Download the Anatomy Course Syllabus

Course/System Requirements (not included):

Anatomy Class Requirements

  • There are no prerequisites for the Anatomy Online Course.
  • This anatomy training course is an independent, self-study program. There are no classroom meetings, and students may log in to the course at their convenience. Students may also email course content questions to AAPC instructors.
  • This online course consists of 22 chapters, eight module tests, and a final exam. Students should complete their anatomy training within two months but will have access to the course materials for three months from the date of purchase. Students may extend the course time allotment if necessary. Course extensions may be purchased for $29.95 per month.
  • By purchasing this online anatomy course and other items, you certify that you have read and agree to the online course Terms and Conditions and the Refund Policy.

System Requirements

Why Take an Online Anatomy Course?

Anatomy knowledge is essential to working in a healthcare environment, whether you plan to become a medical transcriber, medical records technician, cancer registrar, or charge description master (CDM) analyst. In the coding profession, anatomy plays a central, if not pervasive, role and requires medical coders to gain a comprehensive and granular education.

Coders needs to know organ systems and their components. It’s not enough to know the wrist consists of eight small bones, for instance. Medical coders should know the eight carpal bones by name. If a physician documents “fracture, lunate and fall” as the diagnosis on an encounter form, the coder must recognize the lunate as a carpal bone because they won’t find an entry for “Fracture, lunate” in the ICD-10 Index.

Procedural coding also presumes on the coder’s understanding of anatomy. Consider a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). Components in ICD-10-PCS can be combined to produce 34 codes defining unique versions of the CABG procedure. All 34 codes specify the same four aspects of the procedure: the number of coronary artery sites bypassed, the approach to the procedure site, the type of graft (if used), and the origin of the bypass (source of the new blood flow). Coding the exact procedure performed by the surgeon will require a solid grasp on coronary anatomy.

Who Should Take the Anatomy Class?

The Anatomy Online Course is ideal for persons preparing for a career in a non-clinical medical profession. AAPC strongly recommends anatomy training to students taking the Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC®), Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC™), and Certified Outpatient Coder (COC®) courses, as well as the CPC and CPB courses. Because anatomy knowledge is integral to medical coding and billing, all certification exams will test your knowledge of anatomy.

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