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!
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
- Integumentary System
- Musculoskeletal System
- Respiratory System
- Cardiovascular System
- Hemic & Lymphatic Systems
- Digestive System
- Urinary System
- Male Genital System
- Female Reproductive System
- Maternity Care & Delivery
- Endocrine System
- Nervous System
- Special Senses (Ocular and Auditory)
- Pathology & Laboratory
- Evaluation & Management Services
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 9:00 a.m.-3:15 p.m. and night classes are available Monday-Thursday 6:00 p.m.-10:12 p.m. Clinicals are not required for this course.
- Application Fee $100.00 (non-refundable)
- Books Fee $570.00
- Materials Fee $630.00
- Tuition $5570.00
- Technology Fee $300.00
- Medical Terminology Online Portal $300.00
- AAPC Membership $125.00
- AAPC Student Online Portal $400.00
- CPC Study Guide $125.00
- CPC Practice Exam $130. 00
- CPC Exam (2 attempts) $425.00
- EHRS National Certification Exam $125.00
Total Program Cost $8800.00
Required Textbooks / Workbooks:
American Medical Association (AMA) CPT Editorial Panel. (2021) CPT 2022 Professional Edition. AMA. Chicago, IL. ISBN: 978-1-64016-087-3.
American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). (2021). ICD-10-CM Expert. AAPC. Shawnee, KS. ISBN: 978-1-646313-139.
American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). (2021). 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). (2021). 2022 Medical Coding Training: CPCâ. AAPC. Shawnee, KS. ISBN: 978-1-646313-952.
American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). (2021). 2022 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.)
Students will need general school supplies such as: pens, pencils, paper and highlighters.
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.
In order to be considered for admission prospective students must:
- Attend a Career Overview session to gain information re: programs offered and expectations
- Interview with Academy staff
- Complete entrance assessment (basic reading and math skills). Note: Results are used for advisement purposes only. No passing score identified.
- Submit the following:
- Official high school or GED transcript
- Two written references
- A photo id
- Completed Program Application
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.
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.