Learn more about our Professional Coder PLUS Program

The Most Successful Billing and Coding Program in Chattanooga

  • Our 20-week program fully prepares you for a career as a Professional Billing and Coding Specialist. You receive focused one-on-one instruction from our certified instructors. Starting annual salaries can exceed $50,000 in our area.   

Attend School with No Money Out of Pocket

  • With Pell Grants and Student Loans available, you may graduate with little or no student loan debt. Qualifying students may also receive money to use for living expenses while they attend school as well. 

Our Graduates Get Jobs!

  • The Academy partners with every major hospital and physician’s group in the greater Chattanooga area. Over 96% of the Academy’s graduates go to work in their chosen field immediately upon graduation!

The Academy is a Unique and Special Place!

  • Read our reviews on Google and Facebook and you’ll see that our students love our culture and how different we are from other colleges and universities. Our amazing instructors and relaxed environment allow our students to grow both personally and professionally.

Course Summary

Course Content

Length

Fees

Admission Requirements

Authorization

Course Summary

The Professional Coder PLUS (PC+) program is offered in partnership with the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Because the CPC is the premier certification required by employers, we chose to seek the approval of AAPC as a licensed educational facility to offer the PC course. AAPC approval was received in February 2018. Licensed instructors teach our PC course and graduates are eligible to take the CPC certification exam. The AAPC curriculum and educational resources are used to teach the program. This in-depth course thoroughly prepares individuals for a career in medical coding. This program prepares students to code patients’ medical records correctly and to optimize reimbursement for a full range of medical services.


Upon completion of this program, the student is eligible to take the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is the gold standard for medical coding in the physician office and hospital settings. PC exam preparation is also a major benefit of taking this program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for certified medical coders will increase 22 percent through the year 2022. Prepare yourself to meet the industry demand by becoming a Certified Professional Coder and increase your chances of being hired in a competitive job market. The Professional Coder Plus (PC+) program includes medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology and an extensive understanding of the electronic health record, all of which serve as the foundation for proficient coding practices. Students are introduced to several techniques for identifying and applying the correct codes in today’s standard coding systems. The Professional Coder Plus program utilizes lecture, textbooks, coding books, power points, computer programs, online coding exercises through AAPC, and hands-on demonstration in order to become skilled as a coder in any medical setting. The CPC exam preparation is also a major benefit of taking this program.


Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to: Properly audit patient records for compliance; Accurately abstract clinical information for reports; Comply with all HIPAA requirements; Identify the purpose of CPT, ICD-10-CM code set, and HCPCS Level II code books; Understand and apply the official ICD-10-CM coding guidelines; Apply coding conventions when assigning diagnosis and procedure codes; Identify the information in appendices of the CPT manual; Explain the determination of the levels of E/M services; Code a wide variety of patient services using the key coding books; List the major features of HCPCS Level II Codes; and Provide practical application of coding operative reports and evaluation and management services. Objectives include but are not limited to: Review and assign accurate medical codes for diagnoses, procedures, and services performed by physicians and other qualified healthcare providers in the office or facility setting (e.g., inpatient hospital); Appropriately identify a wide range of services, including evaluation and management practices, anesthesia, surgical coding, radiology, pathology, and medicine. Learn proper adherence to documentation guidelines. Understand how to integrate medical coding and payment policy changes into a practice’s reimbursement processes. Develop a sound knowledge of medical coding guidelines and regulations including compliance and reimbursement, medical necessity processes, properly work claim denials, bundling issues, and charge capture.

Content includes, but is not limited to:

  • The Business of Medicine
  • Review of Anatomy
  • Overview of ICD-10-CM
  • Applying the ICD-10-CM Guidelines
  • Accurate ICD-10-CM coding
  • Introduction to CPT-4
  • HCPCS Level II
  • Modifiers
  • Integumentary System
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Respiratory System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Hemic & Lymphatic Systems
  • Mediastinum
  • Diaphragm
  • Digestive System
  • Urinary System
  • Male Genital System
  • Female Reproductive System
  • Maternity Care & Delivery
  • Endocrine System
  • Nervous System
  • Special Senses (Ocular and Auditory)
  • Anesthesia
  • Radiology
  • Pathology & Laboratory
  • Evaluation & Management Services
  • Medicine

Length of Program

The Professional Coder PLUS Program is a 612-contact hour course for both the day and night classes. Total class time is 20 weeks for day classes and 39 weeks for night classes. Day classes are available Monday-Friday 9:00am-3:15pm and night classes are available Monday-Thursday 6:00pm-10:05pm. Clinicals are not required for this course.

Fees

  • Application Fee $100.00 (non-refundable)
  • Books Fee $570.00
  • Materials Fee $400.00
  • Tuition $7600.00
  • Technology Fee $450.00
  • Student ID Badge $15.00

     Additional Costs:

  • AAPC Membership $140.00
  • AAPC Student Online Portal $400.00
  • CPC Practice Exam $125.00
  • CPC Exam (2 attempts) $475.00
  • EHRS National Certification Exam $125.00

    Total Program Cost $10,400.00


The deadline to apply for Financial Aid is 2 weeks prior to each program’s start date.   The Academy cannot guarantee access to Financial Aid resources after this deadline.


Required Textbooks / Workbooks:

American Medical Association (AMA) CPT Editorial Panel. (2022) CPT 2023 Professional Edition. AMA. Chicago, IL. ISBN: 978-1-64016-087-3.

American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). (2022). ICD-10-CM Expert. AAPC. Shawnee, KS. ISBN: 978-1-646313-139.

American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). (2022). HCPCS Level II Expert: Service/Supply Codes for Caregivers and Suppliers. AAPC. Shawnee, KS. ISBN: 978-1-635277-364.

American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). (2022). 2023 Medical Coding Training: CPCâ.  AAPC. Shawnee, KS. ISBN: 978-1-646313-952.

American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). (2022). 2023 Medical Coding Training: CPCâ Practical Application Workbook.  AAPC. Shawnee, KS. ISBN: 978-1-646314-041.

Cohen, B. & Jones, S. (2021). Medical Terminology: An Illustrated Guide. 9th Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. Burlington, MA. ISBN: 978-1-975136-37-6.

Shanholtzer, M. & Ensign, A. (2021). Integrated Electronic Health Records. 4th Edition (loose-leaf edition). McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 978-1-264-00465-2

          (Coding guidelines and requirements change annually, therefore students are required to have the most current editions of all textbooks.)


Additional supplies:

Students will need general school supplies such as: pens, pencils, paper and highlighters.


Cancellation / Withdrawal / Refund Policy:

In accordance with the TENNESSEE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION (THEC), The Academy of Allied Health Careers utilizes enrollment contracts/agreements and must maintain a cancellation and settlement policy for a full refund of all monies paid by a student if a student cancels the enrollment agreement or contract within 72 hours or 3 business days (Excluding Saturday, Sunday and Legal Holidays) after the enrollment contract is signed by the prospective student.  

                    1.  If the student begins classes within the 72-hour cancellation privilege period, the regular refund applies.  This refund is described below.

                    2.  If tuition or fees are collected in advance of entrance into a course, and if the student withdraws after the 72-hour expiration of the cancellation privilege but before the class has started, the Academy will retain no more than $100.

                    3.  If tuition and fees are collected in advance of the start date and the Academy cancels the class, the student may elect to transfer any tuition and fees paid to the next scheduled class if they so choose or receive a refund of 100% of the tuition and fees collected. 

For the student who begins any of the Academy’s programs and terminates or withdraws, the Academy will retain the $100.00 non-refundable Application Fee and the minimum refund of the remaining tuition will be calculated.

                    1.  Class refunds are prorated for the time you have spent in class (see guidelines below for withdrawal dates). This refund amount will be dependent on the length of course, total tuition for the course and amount of time spent in the course. You will be charged for the entire cost of tuition divided by (÷) the total number of weeks the class is scheduled, then multiplied by the total number of weeks you attended class according to our withdrawal date policy below. (For example: Tuition for Professional Coder PLUS is $5570.00. The Professional Coder PLUS class is 20 weeks of class and student attended 2 weeks of class. Therefore: $5570.00 ÷ 20 weeks = $278.50 per week. So, $278.50 x 2 weeks = $557.00. The student in this situation would owe $557.00 for tuition.)

                     2.  Tuition refunds do not include any additional fees such as: Application Fee, Book Fees, Material Fees, Insurance Used, Uniforms Purchased, Physicals, etc.

                     3.  The effective date of the termination for refund purposes will be the following:

                                        a.  The last day of attendance if the student is terminated by the institution.

                                        b.  The date of receipt of written notice from the student.

                                        c.  Ten school days following the last day of attendance.

                                        d.  Refunds will be totally consummated within at least 45 days after the effective date of termination.


Financial Assistance:

The Academy is an eligible training provider for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Information related to eligibility for both programs is available at your local American Jobs Center.  The Academy is also approved by the Tennessee State Approving Agency for the training of veterans and their eligible dependents. In addition, the Academy offers payment plans for students admitted to its programs. Further information will be provided during the interview process. Students receiving any type of financial assistances will meet with an administrator to review their responsibilities.

Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission prospective students must:

  1. Attend a Career Overview session to gain information re: programs offered and expectations
  2. Interview with Academy staff
  3. Complete entrance assessment (basic reading and math skills). Note: Results are used for advisement purposes only. No passing score identified.
  4. Submit the following:
    1. Official high school or GED transcript
    2. A copy of a government approved photo ID (examples may include driver's license or state-issued ID)
    3. Completed Program Application/Enrollment Agreement

Students sponsored by WIOA or any other funding source are interviewed a 2nd time by Academy staff. The purpose of the second interview is to reinforce the Academy’s commitment to the objectives of the funding source (i.e. job search and employment).


Immunizations / Vaccinations

The Academy does NOT require proof of any immunizations/vaccinations including, but not limited to: Hepatitis B, COVID-19, Flu, or TB skin test. However, many of our affiliated clinical sites do require these, and perhaps other, immunizations and vaccinations. Because of this, we cannot guarantee placement for students that choose not to be vaccinated.

Authorization

The Academy of Allied Health Careers is licensed to offer the Professional Coder Course as an authorized education partner of the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and is authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. This authorization must be renewed each year and is based on an evaluation by minimum standards concerning the quality of education, ethical business practices, health, safety, and fiscal responsibility.

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