If you enjoy precision and detail, consider a medical coding career. As a medical coder, you’ll review medical documentation provided by physicians and translate it into numeric codes that represent diagnoses and treatment. In addition to coding, courses also cover anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, diseases, health data management, and computer applications. The coded data are used for many purposes, including healthcare claims and research.
Graduates of this program are employed as entry-level coding specialists in hospitals, clinics, physician practices, surgery centers, care facilities, consulting companies, billing services, and insurance companies.
Graduates are eligible to take the Certified Coding Associate exam of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Additional certification exams and career opportunities are available for those with on-the-job coding experience.
Estimated Program Cost
Medical Coding Specialist
This program will cost about $4,700* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.
* Tuition and fees are subject to change.
- Living responsibly
- Refining professionalism
- Cultivating passion
- Collect health data
- Apply coding and reimbursement systems
- Model professional behaviors and ethics
- Use electronic applications to support coding and data collection
To enroll in the Medical Coding Specialist program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program’s Essential Functions. You can find a link to this document below. The last step for admission to the program will be to complete an Intent to Enroll form. Please see the details below.
- Medical Coding Essential Functions
- Contact the Welcome Center to make an appointment to complete your Intent to Enroll Form. Prospective or returning students should meet with an Admissions Coach. Current students should meet with a Health and Public Safety College Advisor.
Software and Technology
Most of Western’s classes require the use of a personal computer or laptop, standard software, internet access, and other technology-related items.
If you do not have a personal computer or laptop, or if the one you have does not meet the following criteria, resources may be available. Submit a Student Resource Request using our online form.
- Smartphones are not recommended for completing assignments.
- Chromebooks are not recommended due to issues with installing software that is needed for classes, such as Office 365.
- Web camera with microphone (usually built into newer laptops or can be purchased separately) is necessary for online participation.
- Western uses the Blackboard Learning Management System. Some courses may use Zoom or Microsoft Teams to meet and work virtually. Visit our website for guidance on how to access and use these tools.
- Office 365 (available to download for free once you have a student email)
- Recommended web browsers: Chrome or Firefox
For detailed specifications, please review Technology and Software Recommendations for Most Classes on Western’s IT Knowledgebase.
- Western has several computer labs available. Visit our website to find open hours and locations on the La Crosse campus. Or find information on how to access resources on our Regional Locations web page.
- The Learning Commons has computers, webcams, and microphones available for in-house use. Our librarians recommend checking your local public library for computer access on the weekends. Staff members can also provide information on free, off-campus Wi-Fi spots. Contact them at LearningCommons@westerntc.edu or call 608-785-9198.
- Contact the Learning Commons! The staff are happy to answer questions, provide individualized assistance, and direct you to other supports as needed.
Our Health and Public Safety programs are required to report additional information to prospective students, including certification exams, licensure, program completion rates, etc. You can find this information in the document below:
Program Chair, Medical Coding Specialist