Gogebic Community College

Medical Coding and Billing Specialist – Online Program Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the common questions asked regarding the GCC Medical Coding and Billing Specialist Program and the answers to those questions. We hope that you find them helpful.

What is Medical Coding and Billing?

Medical Coding and Billing is actually two separate “jobs” that work together. Medical coders use the medical record to identify the diagnoses and medical procedures that take place during any given healthcare encounter and translate this into specific codes. To do this, they use classification systems, such as ICD-9-CM and CPT, to report what happened to the patient during his or her encounter to the insurance company. These specific codes determine how much the rendering facility providing the service will get paid to take care of that specific patient. Medical Billers then verify the information submitted by the medical coder and process medical claims for reimbursement to insurance companies and patients to assure that the provider gets paid. In order to do their job properly, medical coders and billers need to have knowledge of anatomy and physiology, disease process and conditions, surgical techniques, medical treatments, medications, and medical terminology, to ensure that they are able to understand what is being documented in a patient’s medical record. It is highly suggested that you do some research on this field prior to entering the program.

What are the professions (titles) related to Medical Coding and Billing that I may be eligible to apply for after receiving my certificate?

  • Billing Specialist
  • Patient Account Representative
  • Electronic Claims Processor
  • Billing Coordinator
  • Billing Auditor
  • Coding Specialist
  • Inpatient Hospital Coder
  • Outpatient Coder
  • Insurance Claims Analyst
  • Procedural Coder
  • Reimbursement Specialist
  • Coding Abstracting Analyst
  • Managed Care Organization Coder
  • Physician’s Office/Clinic Coder
  • Claims Analyst
  • Claims Assistant Professional
  • Medical Collector
  • Claims Processor
  • Claims Reviewer
  • Healthcare Facility Receptionist
  • Transcriptionist
  • Medical Record Clerk

How do I apply to the program?

Application to the program can be made by accessing the college home page. On the left hand side of the home page, you will see a listing entitled “Admissions.” By accessing this link from the web site you will be directed to an online application. The application can then be completed and submitted online. Other items that need to be forwarded to the admissions department to complete the application are listed on the Admissions web site.

The other options is to contact the college Admission Department at (906) 932-4231, ext. 207 or (800) 682-5910, ext. 207 to have a paper application sent to you.

Once the application is complete, you will be enrolled in the Pre-Medical Coding and Billing program. Upon demonstration of a reading comprehension level of ENG 101, you will be entered into the Medical Coding and Billing Program or, if the program has full enrollment, you will be placed on the program waiting list.

Is the program approved for financial aid?

Yes, the program has been approved for financial aid. All students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. For forms and more information regarding financial aid, please contact the financial aid department at (906) 932-4231, ext. 206 or (800) 682-5910, ext. 206.

Are there any Associate Degree programs that I can take while earning my Medical Coding and Billing Certificate?

Students may also pursue an Associate’s Degree in General Business along with the Medical Coding and Billing Certificate. The General Business degree is intended to give the student a broad business background, while specializing in medical coding and billing. Both programs can be taken over a 3-4 year period. (For more details on the General Business Degree, go to General Business Degree)

How do I secure a mentor and clinical site for the second year of the program?

Once the student finishes HIT 205, HIT 206 and HIT 207, they will be eligible to take HIT 103 which is the 60 hour clinical internship that is completed in the last semester of the program. The Medical Coding and Billing Program Coordinator will work with you in finding a mentor/clinical site prior to initiation of the internship.

What is the Student Internship (HIT 103)?

The Student Internship is a 60 hour clinical internship at a JCAHO accredited acute care facility in which the student will gain real life experience as a medical coder and biller. This internship is completed in the final semester of the program and is done at the discretion of the clinical internship site and the student (i.e. 60 hours in 2 weeks, once or twice a week sessions, etc).