DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) — Wallace Community College-Dothan’s Medical Coding Program is the top program of its kind in Alabama, according to Medical Billing Coding World. The publication recently reviewed Medical Coding programs nationwide based their finding on accreditation, affordability, and course offerings.
The course is one of several Fast-Track Career programs offered by Wallace. “Receiving this award is truly an honor,” said Joe Johnson, Workforce Development Division Director. “Providing quality training is our guiding principle. Assisting students to be successful in their chosen career field not only helps them but provides qualified candidates for area businesses.”
A medical coder is responsible for reviewing medical records while identifying and translating medical procedures into proper diagnostic codes. Students in WCC’s program learn to code with high accuracy for correct communication with insurance companies. WCCD requires completion of a course in medical terminology and anatomy to gain entrance into the program. According to Medical Billing, this prerequisite adequately prepares students for the material.
Instructor Brenda Monday said that Medical Coding is a profession that appeals to students of all ages and backgrounds. “We have a lot of students who are working in a medical setting such as a physician’s office, billing company, or hospital,” she said. “They are looking to improve their skills as a means of advancement or transitioning towards a new career path in the event of shifts in employment.”
Employers of professional coders are places like hospitals, insurance companies, doctors’ offices, medical billing companies, nursing homes, medical group practices, home health agencies, and clinics.
Learning the terminology and skills is worth the 40-week commitment, according to Monday. “This course requires a lot of independent study. Commitment is the key to success, but this course will make the students’ current skills more marketable,” she said. “I think this is a career that will continue to grow as physicians see the difference in accuracy and increase in reimbursements from correctly-coded claims.”
The program, which meets at SouthEast Health (formerly SAMC) on Tuesday evenings, boasts a work-friendly schedule that accommodates working students. Thirteen students recently completed the fall Medical Coding class. The next class begins January 15, 2019. The course costs $1,680 and is approved for WIOA funding.
Students who successfully complete the program take the Certified Professional Coders (CPC) national exam administered by AACP (American Academy of Professional Coders).
For more information, go to www.wallace.edu/medicalcoding or call (334) 556-2414.