As a medical billing instructor, I am frequently asked if online learning is sufficient or the best way to learn medical billing. Many people going into the medical billing career are adults that already have jobs and are re-training for a better career path. Online education has a lot of benefits over the traditional classroom and a few drawbacks.
Benefits of Medical Billers Online Learning
One great thing about online learning for the busy adult is that you can usually study in your own time at your own pace. If you wish to log in and study at 2am, you can. Additionally, most online courses allow you to progress at your own pace. If you choose to go a bit slower through some material, you can. If you feel confident on other material, you can move through it quickly. Usually grades come with automatic and quick results. So, you do not have to wait for an instructor to grade an exam. Quizzes and activities usually come with quick feedback via answer keys or automatic grading. This is very handy so an adult learner can move ahead without waiting for results. Additionally, the self-paced nature of online programs helps to work studying around your own schedule and life. If you have a bad week and the kids are all sick and you can’t study, it’s not a crisis regarding your studies. Conversely, if you have extra free time, you can move right ahead without waiting for a class full of students to catch up.
The main drawback of online learning is if you do not choose a good course that has good support. It is disheartening to have a question and wait a week or more for an answer. This problem can be alleviated by choosing a course that has an available coach or instructor that promises to answer all emails within 24 hours’ time. The other drawback is that since you do not have a “class” with solid deadlines, it is easy to lose motivation and momentum and then just forget about completing the program. This issue can be alleviated by choosing a program that has instructors that reach out to you weekly reminding you to stay motivated.
For today’s busy adult learner online education is a very good option. Medical billing courses usually only take 12-16 weeks maximum to complete. Working through a gold-standard text and onlline material with the help of a qualified coach or instructor is key to success.
By: Dawn Moreno, PhD, CPC, CBCS, CMAA, MTC. Lives in the beautiful Southwest United States and has been an instructor for medical coding/billing for the past 7 years. Interested in quality medical billing training?