Enter your keyword

Coding Specialist

Earn a Medical Coding Certificate in Oak Lawn, Illinois

Are you looking for a career with lifelong potential in the healthcare industry? Medical coding and billing are essential to the operation of any healthcare setting. At Northwestern College, located in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and serving the greater Chicago area, students receive the instruction, hands-on experience, and support they need to earn a medical coding specialist certificate.

Please note we are not currently enrolling students in our Medical Coding Specialist Certificate Program. However, students enrolled in our online Health Information Technology degree program can earn the medical coding specialist certificate.

Medical coding specialists translate the diagnoses, procedures, medical equipment, and medical services found in electronic health records into standardized alphanumeric codes. These codes are used in billing processes with insurance companies, and the information is an important part of public health data that is recorded worldwide. Medical coders serve as a liaison between providers, billing staff, and insurance companies. These are some of the tasks performed in medical coding:

  • Maintaining security and confidentiality with patient records
  • Classifying procedures and diagnoses accurately
  • Assessing quality standards and health outcomes
  • Organizing and maintaining clinical databases for retrieval of information

Becoming a Coding Specialist

At Northwestern College, students in our Health Information Technology program learn about medical coding and billing while using the latest technology and up-to-date terminology. The instruction offered is ideal for students who work in healthcare and want to improve their coding skills, as well as those who are new to the field. The curriculum meets all the medical law and ethical standards recommended by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Students who complete the coursework are qualified to take the Certified Coding Specialist Physician-based (CCS-P) exam.

Medical Coding Classes

Students are required to complete at least 37 credit hours to earn the certificate in medical coding. Learn how to review patient records and assign codes within standardized systems, such as ICD-10-CM (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification), CPT (Current Procedural Terminology), and HCPCS Level II (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System Level II) from experienced instructors. For the full curriculum, visit the college catalog. These classes and credit hours are included in the curriculum:

Hands On Laptop Keyboard
  • Health Data Content and Structure
  • Health Data Content and Structure Lab
  • Ambulatory Reimbursement I
  • Coding and Classification Systems I
  • Coding and Classification Systems I with Lab
  • Coding and Classification Systems II
  • Coding and Classification Systems II with Lab
  • Coding and Classification Systems III
  • Coding and Classification Systems III with Lab
  • Coding and Classification Systems IV
  • Coding and Classification Systems IV with Lab
  • Coding Exam Review
  • Advanced Coding & Abstracting
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy, Physiology & Pathophysiology I
  • Anatomy, Physiology & Pathophysiology II
  • College Success
  • Professional Development

More information is available about admissions requirements and how to apply for financial assistance.

Job Outlook

In the category of medical records and health information specialists, the job growth outlook is calculated to be 7% through 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With medical coding specialists in high demand, state, local, and private hospitals will be vying with physician offices and nursing care facilities to hire trained and certified coding specialists. The career services staff at Northwestern College is available for consultation and assistance.

Program Goals

Upon completion of the program, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and pathophysiology
  • Specialize in physician-based settings such as physician offices, group practices, multispecialty clinics, or specialty centers
  • Review patient records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the CPT coding system and familiarity with the ICD-10-CM and HCPCS Level II coding systems
  • Demonstrate proficiency in health information documentation, data integrity, and quality

Accreditations and Approvals

Northwestern College is accredited (on probation) by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St, Ste 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, 312-263-0456, www.hlcommission.org.

The college is also approved for veterans training under the G.I. Bill® for Veterans Educational Assistance.

Discover Medical Coding Opportunities Today

Medical coding and billing jobs are a fast-growing, important segment of the healthcare economy. The time to get started on your new career is right now. We offer both flexible program options and class times so that it’s easier than ever to invest in your education and your future. Get the skills you need to become a medical coding specialist by contacting Northwestern College today to learn more. Request more information about the program at our Oak Lawn, IL, campus or apply today.