Medical Coding Specialists translate written medical documentation, provided by physicians and other health care providers, into a numeric form. The Medical Coding Specialist assigns and sequences diagnostic and procedural codes using universally recognized coding systems, e.g., an anterolateral myocardial infarction (heart attack) is translated to I21.09.
Coded Information Serves Many Purposes
- Reimbursement - codes are printed on the claims submitted to insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid.
- Research - physicians can access medical records for research purposes based on coded information. For example, a physician may request to see the medical records for all patients who were treated for gastric (stomach) ulcers in the past two years. These records would be identified in a computer list of patients with diagnosis codes of K25.0-K25.9.
- Public Health - a government or public health agency may use coded diagnostic information to track the occurrence of certain diseases. For example, they may find an increased incidence of a certain type of cancer in a certain region of the country.
- Patient Care - a medical device manufacturer may issue a recall on a specific device, such as a pacemaker, and the records of such patients could be identified and retrieved based on the procedure code for pacemaker insertion.
The Medical Coding Specialist technical diploma at Madison College will prepare you for a career in this high-demand field.
Aptitudes and Interests
Possessing these aptitudes and interests may help you succeed in the Medical Coding Specialist program:
- Ability to be precise and detail-oriented
- Ability to adhere to standards and guidelines
- Passion for medical information
- Ability to communicate well with others
- Ability to accept challenges and problem-solve
- Respect for confidential information
The Medical Coding Specialist Program is offered on a part-time basis only; it will take at least two years to complete the program. Classes are offered in the online format, including optional online-live discussions in some classes. A few classes require students to take proctored final exams on campus or by other arrangements.
Medical Coding Specialist is all online – virtual campus
The Medical Coding Specialist program will prepare you for entry-level coding specialist positions in health care facilities such as hospitals, managed care organizations, skilled nursing facilities, coding and billing services, physician practice groups, governmental agencies, home health agencies, computer software companies, clinics, consulting firms, insurance companies and veterinary hospitals.
Career Outlook and Salary
The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in the health information management field will continue at a steady growth (7% or more) through 2031.
The 2023 Madison College Graduate Employment Report (six months after graduation) indicates an average annual salary of $46,405 ($22.31/hour) for new graduates of the MCSP.
A 2023 national survey done by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) indicates the average annual wage for certified professional coders (CPC) is $58,895 ($28.31/hour) and for certified outpatient coders (COC) is $64,267 ($30.90/hour). Survey results for Wisconsin show the average annual wage for coding and billing professionals to be $60,204 ($28.94/hour).
A 2019 national survey done by the American Health Information Management Association indicates the average annual salary for a coding professional is $66,370 ($31.90/hour). It also showed those with mastery-level coding credentials (CCS and CCS-P) garnered higher average salaries than those with entry-level coding credential (CCA): CCS - $79,060; CCS-P - $77,790; CCA - $53,790.
As of June 2023, the website www.salary.com indicates the annual salary range for a medical coder in the Madison area is $41,119 - $68,612 ($19.77 - $32.99 per hour) with the median salary at $53,421 ($25.68/hour).
There are several certification exams that can be taken to earn national coding credentials. The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam demonstrates entry-level skills. The other certification exams demonstrate mastery level (experienced) skills. Many employers require certification. Certification may result in a salary increase and/or promotion.
- Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
- Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
- Certified Coding Specialist - Physician-Based (CCS-P)
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
- Certified Outpatient Coder (COC)
- Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
- Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC)
Curriculum and Experience
Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2023-2024 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.
Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:
- Progress toward your specific requirements
- Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements
If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.Pre-Program CoursesCore Program CoursesCluster 1Cluster 2Cluster 3
Students need to complete the petition process to get into core-program classes for this program. Before submitting an application, it’s important to review the Petition Process webpage which also includes estimated wait times for each program.
- View the admission requirements for application deadlines, materials, and requirements
- There is no current estimated wait time between acceptance into pre-program and the start of core classes. The estimated time to enter the core-program is subject to change based on the variable number of students ready to petition each semester.
- Learn more about the Madison College experience and get help with the admissions process
Once you have been accepted in a pre-program status, your next step is to complete the Petition Requirements. See the Petition information in the next section.
Students are required to meet the current admission and petition requirements. Requirements are subject to change based on updates to accreditation requirements or Madison College program assessment data.
- View the admission requirements for application deadlines, materials, and requirements
After you have been admitted into a pre-program status, complete all of the Petition Requirements for your program. Login to your student account and run a Degree Progress Report to review the Petition Requirements and see which requirements you have completed and which need to be satisfied.
Requirements vary by program, and may include some or all of the following:
- Petition Workshop: This is done online and can be found in Blackboard after you have been admitted in a pre-program status
- Prerequisites (examples: Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry, Biology, English and Reading): This varies by program
- Course Requirements (examples: Anatomy and Physiology, Intro to Psychology, etc.): This varies by program
- Testing Requirement (examples: ACT, HESI, TEAS): This varies by program
You can view the Petition Requirements for this program using the links below.
After completing the petition requirements, students are then selected for entry into core-program courses through the Petition Process.
After completing the Medical Coding Specialist program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be prepared to:
- Collect health data
- Apply coding and reimbursement systems
- Model professional behaviors and ethics
- Use electronic applications to support coding and data collection
Graduate Report Summary Overview
2020 2021 2022 Number of Program Graduates 30 26 22 Number of Surveys Sent 30 26 22 Number of Surveys Returned 22 20 16 Percent of Surveys Returned Available for Employment 21 19 16 Percent Available for Employment 95.50% 95.00% 100.00% Not in Labor Market Percent Not in Labor Market 4.50% 5.00% 0.00% Available for Employment
2020 2021 2022 Graduates Employed 17 14 14 Percent of Graduates Employed 81.00% 73.70% 87.50% Employed in Related Occupation 12 9 7 Percent Employed in Related Occupation 70.60% 64.30% 50.00% Employed in Unrelated Occupation 5 5 7 Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 29.40% 35.70% 50.00% Employed - No Response 0 0 0 Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Seeking Employment 4 5 2 Percent Seeking Employment 19.00% 26.30% 12.50% Reaction To Training at Madison College
2020 2021 2022 Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.5 3.6 3.8 Number of Satisfaction Responses 22 20 16 Very Satisfied (4) 13 14 12 Percent Very Satisfied 59.10% 70.00% 75.00% Satisfied (3) 8 5 4 Percent Satisfied 36.40% 25.00% 25.00% Unsatisfied (2) 1 0 0 Percent Unsatisfied 4.50% 0.00% 0.00% Very Unsatisfed (1) 0 1 0 Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 5.00% 0.00% Primary Reason for Attending Madison College
2020 2021 2022 Number of Primary Reason Responses 22 20 16 Preparation for Getting a Job 6 5 5 Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 27.30% 25.00% 31.30% Career Change 15 13 10 Percent Career Change 68.20% 65.00% 62.50% Improvement of Existing Skills 0 1 0 Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 0.00% 5.00% 0.00% Preparation for Further Education 0 0 0 Percent Preparation for Further Education 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Personal Interest 1 1 1 Percent Personal Interest 4.50% 5.00% 6.30% Other 0 0 0 Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% When Employment was Obtained
2020 2021 2022 Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 17 14 14 Before Enrollment 4 3 8 Percent Before Enrollment 23.50% 21.40% 57.10% While Attending the College 4 5 0 Percent While Attending the College 23.50% 35.70% 0.00% After Training at the College 9 6 6 Percent After Training at the College 52.90% 42.90% 42.90% Location of Employment (related and unrelated)
2020 2021 2022 Number of Employment Location Responses 12 9 9 In College District 12 8 9 Percent In College District 100.00% 88.90% 100.00% In Wisconsin, Not in District 0 0 0 Percent of In Wisconsin 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Outside of Wisconsin 0 1 0 Percent Outside Wisconsin 0.00% 11.10% 0.00% Employer Location Unknown 0 0 0 Percent Location Unknown 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Salary Trend Salary Trend 2020 2021 2022 Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 10 8 7 Average Monthly Wage $3,336 $3,502 $3,838 Average Hourly Wage $19.40 $20.36 $22.31 Average Work Hours per Week 40.2 40.5 40 Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 2 1 Average Hourly Wage $20.30 $16.75 Average Work Hours per Week 26 8
Graduate Employers for academic year: 2022 Employer(s) Job Title City* State** Positions UW Health Medical Coding Specialist UW Health Coding Specialist I UW Health Medical Coder 2 UW Health Senior Sterile Processor UW Medical Foundation Medical Coding Specialist I Middleton Wildwood Family Clinic Medical Coder
* - Only cities outside of Madison will display.
** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.
*** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you enjoy puzzles and detective mysteries? Medical coding might be just the right fit for you. Become a health information sleuth.
There are 22 recent graduates of this Madison College program.
100% of our recent graduates report they are satisfied with their Madison College education.
Our recent graduates of this program reported an average starting salary of $46,056.
Medical Coding Specialist
Program Number: 315302
Area of Study:
Estimated Time to Complete:
35 Credits | Finish diploma in 1.5 years
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