If you’re interested in medical coding and billing, you’re not alone. This is a growing field in healthcare and you don’t need a college degree – which means you don’t need to pay university tuition (and potentially incur student debt) to get your foot in the door.
But you still need the right education. Only around 40-50% of aspiring medical coders pass their certification exam on their first try. But with solid training, you can.
So if you’re on the hunt for the best medical coding and billing course, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’ll share the best online programs in medical coding and billing. From courses that give a bird’s eye view of the field to hands-on rigorous courses that prep you for the most sought-after credentials. Whether you’re aiming to get certified or still exploring the profession, I’ve got you covered.
Let’s dive in!
What is the best medical coding and billing course?
Here are my top picks:
- Preppy’s Medical Billing and Coding Certification Program (Preppy)
- Medical Coding Training Course for Certification (Andrews School)
- Medical Billing Training Course for Certification (Andrews School)
- CPC + CPB Preparation Course (AAPC)
- ICD-10-CM Essentials Course (Contempo Coding)
- What is Medical Billing and Coding? (Udemy)
- Medical Billing and Coding Fundamentals Specialization (Coursera)
- Introduction to Medical Coding (AMCI)
- Basics of Medical Billing & Coding Online Course (Free Medical Billing Training)
- LMC’s Medical Coding and Medical Billing Course (Learn Medical Coding)
Preppy’s Medical Billing and Coding Certification Program is my top choice because it offers not only a comprehensive curriculum but also assistance in landing an externship so you can have real-world experience, as well as the chance to earn a certificate of completion from Auburn University, a high-ranking university.
That’s a triple threat that can help you breeze into a role in the field.
But if you’re looking to get trained by a more established and reputable institution, you can’t go wrong with the Andrews School. They have great testimonials from graduates and they offer high-quality online coding and billing courses separately, so you can make sure that you have in-depth knowledge of each to pass the most sought-after certifications.
Andrews School is well-recommended in the online medical coding and billing community for their solid track record of successful exam passers, hands-on support, and challenging curriculum that will make sure you’ll have all the confidence to succeed in the field.
Best free medical coding and billing courses
A lot of providers offer courses that touch on both medical coding and billing, but lean towards one or the other more heavily. So here are the best free resources on each track:
- Basics of Medical Billing & Coding Online Course by Free Medical Billing Training offers an introduction to medical billing, which covers the essentials such as different types of insurance plans and how to bill them, billing terminology, and more.
- AMCI’s Introduction to Medical Coding has tons of free information on applying the different coding systems that’s grounded in a strong foundation of medical terminology and anatomy, all of which are crucial to succeed in the field.
If you’re not sure which specialization to take, taking free courses like the above can help you see more clearly which field you lean towards. All cost-free!
Best medical coding and billing course reviews
Platform: Preppy | Length: 4 months to 1 year
You don’t need a college degree to become a medical coder and biller, but a certificate of completion from Auburn University, a 150-year-old tier-1 university, can be impressive to your potential employers.
Preppy offers you that without making you leave the comfort of your home. On top of an already comprehensive curriculum that covers the most crucial skills in medical coding and billing, they’ll also offer assistance in placing you in an externship so you can apply what you learn in a real-world setting.
You’ll learn how to:
- Prepare for industry-leading certifications in medical coding and billing
- Use different coding systems (ICD-10, HCPCS, and CPT) for various medical procedures
- Interpret medical terminology associated with different body systems
- Build a solid foundation on ethical billing practices
- Master core concepts in reimbursement, compliance, and HIPAA or the Health Insurance and Accountability Act of 1996
- Flexible, self-paced learning that you can complete online in 4 months
- Includes career and resume support so you can prepare for a competitive job in the healthcare industry
- Different payment plans and includes a free laptop for one-time payers
- Offers a money-back guarantee within 30 days if you’re dissatisfied with the program
- Relatively new to the e-learning game, so there are still limited reviews outside of their website
- Externship offers valuable hands-on learning experience but won’t be financially compensated
- Externship placement is also not guaranteed and may depend on the presence of their affiliate organizations in your state, so it’s best to inquire before enrolling
Who it’s for: Preppy’s program is perfect for people with no experience in medical coding and billing and are looking for a foundational course, along with career support and guidance on passing the certification exams.
Overall: While Preppy is a more recent addition to the e-learning game compared to other providers, its course offerings already stand out. The partnership with Auburn University cements their credibility, and their course contents and externship placement assistance makes Preppy an attractive choice for aspiring medical coders and billers.
2. Medical Coding Training Course for Certification (Andrews School)
Platform: Andrews School | Length: 1 year and 6 months
Andrews School offers their medical coding and billing courses separately and for good reasons. They treat each specialization as respective careers in their own right and each track has a detailed course outline to help you advance in your chosen field.
Their coding course will help you build a solid foundation on anatomy, physiology, pharmacotherapy, and all things medical coding-related. The School boasts of alumni with high scores and their online coding course will prepare you for the most sought-after certifications, Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) and Certified Professional Coder (CPC).
- The structure and use of medical language
- How to use the different coding systems for procedure and diagnosis coding for physician services
- The differences between inpatient and outpatient coding
- Numbering and filing systems for storing medical records, data collection, indexes, and registers
- Healthcare rules and regulations related to medical coding and billing
- Combines inpatient and outpatient coding which is often tackled separately by other course providers
- Great balance between academics and practical experience
- Plenty of consistently good reviews online so you can see what alumni have said
- Hard-copy medical code books and other materials are all included
- No extension feed if you need more time to complete your course
- Offers their medical billing course separately, although for a lower price point
- Website looks a little dated
Who it’s for: Andrews School alumni have written about the hard work needed for this course, but if you’re a beginner or an intermediate who doesn’t shy away from the challenge of learning coding from scratch and getting certified, this course is excellent.
Overall: Andrews School has been around since 1990 and you can trust the School’s solid track. They have produced not only successful coders who not only complete the course, but also pass with high scores and land medical coding jobs.
3. Medical Billing Training Course for Certification (Andrews School)
Platform: Andrews School | Length: 4 months at 15 to 30 hours a week
Plenty of courses labeled as programs for medical coding and billing touch on billing but heavily focus on coding. Andrews School goes in-depth in medical billing through this standalone course that offers a deeper dive into medical billing and all the skills that go along with it.
And it doesn’t cost as much as their medical coding course, so you can take this program without worrying about paying the same fees.
- The differences between various insurance providers and how to bill them
- About healthcare rules and regulations related to medical billing and reimbursement
- How to explain benefits and fees to patients
- Communication skills in interacting in a healthcare environment
- In-depth exploration of medical billing as a career
- Provides instructor guidance so you can have your questions answered
- Practical learning experience using billing software and claims forms
- Includes medical billing books
- Offers the ability to inquire and hear directly from the director to receive support rather than commissioned salespersons
- Includes the same courses on medical terminology, which you might have to repeat even if you’ve already taken their exclusive coding course
- Requires a substantial time commitment since it’s intense
Who it’s for: Aspiring medical billers and reimbursement specialists will benefit best from this course. No background in healthcare is required but if you’re already working as a medical office specialist, secretary, or medical administrative assistant, you can advance in medical billing through this program.
Overall: Andrews School is well-recommended not only for their intense curriculum, but for their personalized touch in the whole learning experience through instructor feedback. It’s 100% online and while the workload may be demanding, the challenge will help you be more confident in advancing in your career as a medical biller.
4. CPC + CPB Preparation Course (AAPC)
Platform: AAPC | Length: 6 to 7 months
A dual certification in coding and billing can set you apart from the rest, and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) can help you bag both the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and the Certified Professional Biller (CPB) credentials.
AAPC is one of the main credentialing organizations in medical coding and billing, so training with them means learning from the creators of the CPC and CPB certifications themselves. With AAPC, you can choose between an instructor-led or self-paced online course.
- Guidelines in assigning medical codes for diagnoses, procedures, and services performed by physicians and other healthcare providers
- About the full medical billing and reimbursement cycle and the role of both coders and billers
- Types of medical insurance, the claims and appeals process, and compliance regulations
- Prepares you for certifications for both medical coding and billing
- Includes membership to the AAPC with discounts to future classes and workshops
- Offers online practice exams and exam vouchers for the CPC and CPB exams
- Provides learner support and gives tips on strengthening areas of weaknesses
- Doesn’t cover fundamentals in medical terminology, anatomy, and other required fields
- Requires prerequisites such as two years of experience in the healthcare field or their Fundamentals of Medicine course
- Incurs extension fees if you need more time to complete the course
Who it’s for: Best for those who have no background and coding in billing, but are prepared to or have already acquired a solid foundation on medical terminology, physiology, and other required knowledge areas in the field.
Overall: This is a rare course that helps you prepare for a dual certification in both medical coding and billing, so you can breeze into your career in healthcare and stand out from the rest.
5. ICD-10-CM Essentials Course (Contempo Coding)
Platform: Contempo Coding | Teacher: Victoria Moll | Length: 2.5 hours
Want to get right into the nitty gritty of medical coding and skip everything else? This course is for you.
Victoria Moll has more than 15 years of experience in the field of medical coding and she’s the creator of Contempo Coding, a popular online resource for aspiring medical coders. While Victoria doesn’t delve into medical billing, she’ll help you understand and verify codes, a crucial skill for either role.
- Chapter-by-chapter guidelines on the ICD-10-CM code book
- Sequencing guidelines for medical diagnoses
- How to search and verify a medical code
- Straightforward tutorial
- Easy-to-understand slides
- Opportunity to learn from a trusted and AAPC-accredited instructor
- Uses only one coding set (ICD-10-CM)
- No personalized feedback should you have any questions
Who it’s for: If you’re already a medical coder who wants to sharpen your skills, you’ll find this course helpful.
Overall: If you want to get your feet wet in medical coding and strengthen your skill set, I recommend this class. Victoria also offers tons of free resources through her Contempo Coding platform filled with knowledge and tips on navigating a career in the field.
6. What is Medical Coding and Billing? (Udemy)
Platform: Udemy | Teacher: Arneca Franklin | Length: 1 hour
If you want to take a step back and get an overview of medical coding and billing before diving into the field, Udemy’s mini-course is an excellent place to start.
Led by Arneca Franklin, a certified medical coder who has more than two decades of experience in the medical field, this insightful introductory course explains the tasks of medical coders and billers. It will also give you an overview of the field without substantial time and financial commitment.
- Different education options for aspiring medical coders and billers
- Essential tasks in medical coding and billing
- About payment posting, claims processing, and patient statements
- Informative overview of medical coding and billing
- Free and accessible to anyone through an account on Udemy
- Touches on coding systems
- Includes demonstrations, examples, and case studies
- No certificate of completion
- No interactive Q&A with the instructor should you have more questions about the field
Who it’s for: If you’re contemplating a career in medical coding and want to have an overview of the field, this course is for you.
Overall: This mini-course is cost-free and is great for helping you make an informed decision about pursuing a career and medical coding and billing.
7. Medical Billing and Coding Fundamentals Specialization (Coursera)
Platform: Coursera | Teachers: Jennifer Zabel and Barbara Westrick | Length: 25 hours
This three-course Coursera Specialization will delve into medical coding and billing in the broader context of allied healthcare. Led by experts with over 60 years of combined experience, this covers soft skills when working in a healthcare environment, required knowledge for every health admin professional, and medical coding and billing essentials.
- Medical terminology, Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, and more
- Professional communication skills in a healthcare environment
- How to manage patient interaction and build work relationships
- Basic insurance terminology and the revenue cycle
- Offers a mix of video-based introduction, game- and scenario-based learning for an engaging experience
- Created by expert healthcare professionals
- Includes lessons on soft and technical skills
- Emphasizes medical billing more than coding
- Geared towards foundational knowledge rather than preparing for certification exams
Who it’s for: Ideal for you if you’re looking to start if you’ve already started working in allied health and want to improve your professionalism and learn about medical coding and billing.
Overall: This Specialization on Coursera welcomes newcomers and current professionals in allied health, which touches particularly on medical coding and billing essentials. It’s well-reviewed by satisfied learners and offers a great refresher on medical terminology, anatomy, insurance and billing essentials, and more.
8. Introduction to Medical Coding (AMCI)
Platform: AMCI | Length: 8 weeks
If you’re looking for a free course that focuses more on medical coding, AMCI’s program is a great option. Absolute Medical Coding Institute is a leading provider in medical coding instruction and test preparation, and they offer tons of free information.
AMCI also offers paid, rigorous training for passing certification exams, so their free resources are a great way to sample what they offer so you can decide whether it's the right fit.
- The different coding systems (ICD-10-CM, CPT, HCPCS Level II) and how to apply them)
- Medical terminology and anatomy
- About the business of medicine and how medical coders fit
- Offers a Certificate of Completion and a 20% discount should you apply for their in-depth paid programs
- Includes basic coding scenario practice
- Live class format so you can have your questions about the field answered
- Requires manuals on the different coding systems
- Space is limited to 500 seats
- Held starting January, March, May, August, and October which may conflict with the schedules of busy students or professionals
Who it’s for: Best for anyone who wants to learn the foundations of medical coding or get a beginner-level refresher course.
Overall: AMCI is recommended in the online medical coding community in review sites such as Indeed and other forums like Reddit. Their free resources are a great launchpad for anyone interested in rigorous training in the field.
9. Basics of Medical Billing & Coding Online Course (Free Medical Billing Training)
Platform: Free Medical Billing Training | Teachers: Gina and Conrad Wysor | Length: 50 video lessons totaling 57 minutes
Taught by experts who have real on-the-ground experience training new employees and operating a billing service, this free course is straight to the point and gives you a strong grasp of the fundamental concepts of medical billing and coding.
It’s a great free video course on the topic out there, with 50+ video lessons, 45 medical office forms, and over 200 pages of presentation slides packed with helpful information.
- Medical coding and billing terminology
- Medical coding basics using ICD-10
- Various types of code modifiers and how to apply them
- Different health insurance plans, types, and payers
- How to create, correct, and submit claims
- About compliance, fraud, and patient privacy abuse
- No sign-up is required, every free content is accessible on the website
- Includes a mix of video- and text-based learning for ease of reference
- Easy-to-understand presentation materials
- No hands-on practices to reinforce learning
- No certificate of completion
- Touches on medical coding but focuses more on medical billing
Who it’s for: Best for anyone who wants to explore the basics before committing to formal training or certification.
Overall: This program is a great starting point for aspiring medical billers and will give you a good grasp of the foundations especially if you lean towards a career in medical billing.
10. Ultimate Medical Billing and Medical Coding Course (Learn Medical Coding)
Platform: Learn Medical Coding (LMC) | Length: 5 months and 15 days or 24 weeks
If you want an interactive instructor-led program, LMC’s live online course is an excellent choice. You’ll meet every week and interact with other students, participate in optional group discussions, and learn from a teacher who can assist you every step of the way.
Their website also offers options for on-demand and self-paced courses, as well as review programs for brushing up on your skills if you need a refresher.
You’ll learn how to:
- Code in different settings, whether inpatient, outpatient hospital services, physician offices, and more
- Prepare and pass your certification exams in medical coding and billing
- Land your first job in the field with career tips
- Master advanced skills in coding using all coding sets
- Offers a simulated online environment where you can code real-world cases
- Guarantees learner support as you can ask questions and get immediate feedback
- Extra resources such as blogs on tips for success in medical coding and billing
- Personalized coaching with one-on-one guidance throughout the course
- Has specific class start dates and times, which may conflict with busy learners
- Limits access to course materials for 1 year
Who it’s for: Best for learners who thrive with student-teacher communication and in group learning settings.
Overall: LMC can take you from beginner to advanced with their course with a comprehensive learning experience. All so that you can brighten your prospects in the field.
What are the advantages of taking a medical coding and billing course?
This growing field in healthcare attracts many with competitive salaries and opportunities to work in different settings, from doctor’s offices right to the comfort of your home. Taking an online course in medical coding and billing offers a lot of benefits,
- More flexible and affordable than classroom-based options: Associate's or bachelor's degrees in conventional institutions cost more and take more time to finish, and an online course gives you the ability to learn flexibly and at a lower course than other programs.
- Rigorous training for certification exams: Make no mistake, online programs can be just as intense if not more than in-person programs. With the right course, you can ace your certification exams and showcase your competence to your future employers.
- Opportunity to land a successful career in healthcare: Healthcare is an ever-booming job market, and medical coding and billing courses offer a chance to secure a role in the industry no matter your background.
Buyers guide: What to look out for
There are a lot of medical coding and billing courses out there, so here are a few things to
- Prerequisites: Some courses cover fundamentals on medical terminology while others expect you to already have it, so make sure to look at each course outline to see if you meet the requiremenrs.
- Certification: If your goal is to get certified, look for courses that are accredited by AAPC or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
- Cost and inclusions: Be on the lookout for what’s included in the program you’re considering. Some programs include exam vouchers which can help you save money. Some courses also already include hard copies of the codebooks and other materials, while some offer PDF copies only.
- Commitment to job placement: See if a course provider offers career support so you can more seamlessly transition into a professional role and get real-world experience in medical coding and billing.
How much does it cost?
The costs of the courses on this list range from $2500 to $4500, depending on the provider and what's included in the programs.
It also helps to know what sorts of additional costs you’ll shoulder if you’re an aspiring medical coder and biller who wants to get certified.
- Certification exams through AAPC and AHIMA cost between $299 to $499
- Codebooks and other textbook materials can range between $30 – $250
- AAPC requires a membership before allowing you to take exams which costs and this costs between $140 to $205, while it’s optional for AHIMA
All things considered, it’s still more affordable than conventional courses offered by many universities. Plus, the competitive salaries in medical coding and billing will yield a return on the investments you’ll make when you finally advance in your career.
How long does it take to learn medical coding and billing?
You can complete the online courses on this list between 4 months to 1 year and 6 months, with some students taking 2 years to complete their chosen program, although this is rare.
As for when you finally apply your skills in a real-world setting, some professional coders and billers say that it can take you a year or more to be comfortable in your job in medical coding and billing.
Ultimately, the right course will depend on your goals, how much time you can dedicate each week, and the level of intensity you can manage.
But after comparing online medical coding and billing courses, my top choice would be Preppy’s Medical Billing and Coding Certification Program. Although they’re a newer course provider compared to the rest, they stand out with their partnership with Auburn University and externship placement assistance through their affiliate organizations so you can be job-ready right away.
But if I had to go with what has been most consistently well-recommended, Andrews School is also a great option. They cover medical coding and billing in separate courses with great respect to each field as a specialized career. Plus they have good student testimonials, high passing rates, and successful medical coders and billers who have advanced in the field.
Related course: Best medical terminology course
Medical coding and billing courses FAQs
Preppy’s Medical Billing and Coding Certification Program offers a comprehensive curriculum, externship placement assistance, and the opportunity to receive a certificate of completion from Auburn University on top of passing your certification exams.
A medical coding and billing course can set you back between $1500 to $4500, but that’s still more affordable than many classroom-based programs.
It takes between 4 months to 1 year and 6 months to complete medical coding and billing courses, depending on your pace and schedule.
Gail holds a degree in International Development and has a strong background in research and writing. Her work focuses on exploring topics related to development, including education.