Medical Billing and Coding

Applications for Fall 2016 are accepted Sept. 1, 2015 through April 1, 2016.

Medical Billing & Coding

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Medical Billing & Coding program prior to enrolling in any Medical Billing & Coding program courses.

Entrance into the Medical Billing and Coding program is competitive.   

 

Course Sequence and Application Requirements explained on this webpage are effective for the  Fall 2016 admission. For Fall 2015 admission, refer to the college catalog for Course Sequence and the above Application & Procedures link for application requirements.   

 

More Information

Review the menu below for a career overview, program overview and additional information.

Career Overview

Job Description

Billers and Coders:

  • Locate medical codes such as CPT and ICD codes
  • Obtain insurance referrals
  • Process insurance claim forms
  • Bill third-party payers and patients
  • Track insurance claims
  • Write appeals on claims

Performance Essentials

To successfully complete the program and practice as a Medical Biller and Coder, student must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Career Resources

The SWIC Career Activities and Employment Center offers a Career Mentor program, including job shadowing.

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook provides additional career information.

Job Opportunities

A variety of employers are seeking individuals trained in Billing and Coding:

  • Small and large group practices
  • Dental offices
  • Health clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmacies
  • Nursing homes
  • Mental care facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Insurance companies
  • Health maintenance organizations

Career Outlook

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that medical information and claims processing will continue to grow much faster than other occupations throughout the year 2018.

Salary

Starting Salary

Starting salaries are about $25,320 annually, depending on the facility and the training and skills of the medical biller and coder.

Salary with Certification

Certified Professional Coders make approximately 5 to 10 percent more than non-certified coders.

Applicants

Application Requirements

Materials Needed to Apply

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Medical Billing & Coding program before beginning program courses. Applicants must submit the following to the Enrollment Services Office:

1. Medical Billing & Coding application

  • Applications are available between Sept. 1 and April 1 each year for fall start.

Supporting documentation (transcripts, test scores, etc.) must be on file by identified deadlines.

Proof of completion of prerequisite courses:

Prerequisite courses in biology, algebra and keyboarding/typing must be completed to be considered for admission.   

  • Prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of April 1.
  • Grades earned must be at least a C, although higher grades earn more points toward application.
  • College grades supersede high school grades when both appear on official transcripts.
  • The most recent grades in courses meeting these requirements will be used.

2. Official Transcripts

  • Official high school transcripts or proof of GED
  • Official transcripts from all colleges, universities or accredited schools of Medical Billing & Coding attended
  • SWIC transcript evaluation form, a requirement for the transfer of credits from another institution

3. Test Scores

  • ACT or SWIC GPA Option
  • The COMPASS test identifies skill levels in math, reading and writing. Students must score high enough to be eligible to enroll in ENG 101 and MATH 97. If COMPASS results are too low, students must complete required developmental courses prior to enrolling in MATH 94, ENG 101, BIOL 157, BIOL 158, PSYC 151 or SPCH 151.

Questions?

For an individual review of your application, contact the Health Sciences coordinator's assistant.

Prepare to Apply 

Complete Prerequisite Requirements

Prerequisite courses in biology, algebra and keyboarding/typing must be completed to apply for the Medical Billing &Coding program.

Fill out the Planning Guide

Entrance into the Medical Billing & Coding program is highly competitive. The Medical Billing & Coding Planning Guide explains application requirements and offers suggestions on how to maximize points in each section to increase chances of being accepted to the program.

Understand the Application Point System

Applications are rated by a point system, with points based on:

Questions?

For an individual review of your planning guide, contact the Health Sciences coordinator's assistant.

Applicant Selection 

Application Point System

Applications for the Medical Billing & Coding program will be rated on a point system, with points based on:

Notification of Acceptance:

Applicants will be notified of their status regarding admission as quickly as possible given the number of applications received.

Fewer Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are fewer qualified candidates than there are spaces available, applications will continue to be accepted until the program's maximum capacity has been reached at each of the campuses or until the first week of classes during the fall semester.

The college reserves the right to fill the program in those years when there are fewer applicants than spaces available by whatever means it deems necessary to assure both academic integrity and fairness in the selection process.

More Candidates than Seats Available:

Applicants residing outside the SWIC district or in a district that does not have a joint agreement with SWIC for this program will not be eligible for consideration or admission if there are more applicants than positions to be filled. Search the college catalog for Interdistrict Cooperative Agreements. Residency status is determined by address on file with the Enrollment Services Office by April 1 for fall admission.

The admission procedures for the Medical Billing & Coding program are in accordance with Illinois law. The law requires that programs with insufficient space and resources to accommodate all applicants will accept the best qualified applicants using rank, ability and achievement scores as guides, with preference given to students residing in the district.

Other Requirements

The following criteria are required of students enrolled in the program and all information will be explained in detail at program orientation meetings.

Orientation and Performance:

Students who are given permission to enroll in this program must attend all required orientation sessions and be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Insurance:

Auto and health insurance are required during clinical education courses. Students are personally responsible for any costs incurred for injuries occurring during their clinical experience.

Medical Requirements:

These requirements do not have to be fulfilled until they are explained at the orientation meeting. Medical Billing and Coding students will be required to show proof of immunizations, TB test and physical examination before beginning any clinical experience.

Background Check:

View background check and drug testing requirements. View a list of disqualifying convictions from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Graduation Requirements:

Student enrolled in the program must follow the requirements for graduation at the time they are admitted and must meet all course, program, degree and sequencing requirements specified. Students are responsible for program policies as listed in each year's Medical Billing and Coding Student Handbook. Students who fail to meet program specific requirements will be dropped from the program.

Program Overview

Course Sequence

The Southwestern Illinois College Medical Billing and Coding certificate program prepares graduates to submit claims to insurance companies or Medicare in order to receive payment for services provided to a patient by a medical doctor or other licensed health care provider.

Medical Billing and Coding Degree

Medical Billing & Coding Associate in Applied Science Degree (0032)

This is a 69-credit-hour program, which can be completed in two years.

The Medical Billing and Coding program allows students outside of the Medical Assistant program to gain recognition for completing the core courses of billing and coding. The curriculum is a component of the Medical Assistant and the Health Information Technology programs which includes medical terminology, medical office procedures, medical insurance and coding, clinical coding, business law, accounting and assigned clinical experiences.

Prerequisites may be required for some courses. Refer to the college catalog for specific course information.

General Education Courses

General education courses can be completed prior to admission. These courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City or Red Bud campuses. If general education courses are not completed prior to admission, they must be completed during the semesters indicated above.

Medical Billing and Coding Courses

Billing and Coding classes begin each fall at the Belleville Campus. These courses are only offered during the day. Click the link above to view the course list.

Clinical Education Experiences

Students are assigned two clinical experience/practicums after the first year of the program. Clinical experiences are completed at hospital/clinical facilities throughout the district and in the St. Louis region. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses. Background checks and drug testing may be required prior to clinical experiences. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

Program Capacity 

Belleville Campus Capacity

The Billing and Coding and HIT program collectively accepts approximately 24 applicants at the Belleville Campus each fall semester.

Program Location

The Medical Billing and Coding program consists of general education courses, MA pre-fix courses, HIT pre-fix courses, and assigned clinical education experiences. Specific locations depend on the course type.

General Education Courses

These courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City or Red Bud campuses or online.

Medical Billing and Coding Courses

These courses are only offered at the Belleville Campus during the day.

Clinical Education Experiences

Students are assigned two clinical experience/practicums after the first year of the program. Clinical experiences are completed at hospital/clinical facilities throughout the district and in the St. Louis region. Students may be required to travel outside the college district for clinical experience courses. Background checks and drug testing may be required prior to clinical experiences. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

Program Cost 

Medical Billing and Coding Degree

For details, see the Medical Billing and Coding cost sheet.

Time Commitment

Full-Time Students

The Medical Billing and Coding program is only offered during the day. Students should check the location and schedule of classes. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and attendance at any of the classes and clinicals assigned by the program.

More Details

Certification Requirements

Certified Professional Coder Exam

After successfully completing 69 credit hours, students will earn a Medical Billing and Coding degree and will be eligible to take the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders. Although certification is not required to practice Billing and Coding, it is strongly advised as many employers require it.

Certification Benefits

Certified Professional Coders make approximately 5 to 10 percent more than non-certified coders.

Contacts

For more information about this program, please contact:

Coordinator's Assistant Candice Rodgers

618-235-2700, ext. 5355
Candice.Rodgers@swic.edu

Enrollment Admissions Evaluators

618-235-2700,
ext. 5541 or 5542