Courses & Programs

Medical Billing & Coding Certificate

what will you learn?

The purpose of this certificate is to provide students the opportunity to learn and practice in the field of Medical Billing & Coding as an entry into the field of Health Information Management. Students will have the opportunity to perform medical billing and coding procedures in order to complete health insurance claims according to the requirements of the health insurance industry. 

Upon completion of the certificate, students are prepared to work in physicians' offices, long-term care facilities, insurance and billing departments, health information management departments and hospitals.

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

Upon completion of the program, the student will:

  • Be able to describe the field of electronic medical records. 
  • Demonstrate a basic proficiency in anatomy and physiology to the extent required for medical billing, coding and insurance personnel. 
  • Be able to prepare billing and insurance documents and provide record quality control. 
  • Practice medical billing and coding skills in an electronic environment. 
  • Able to dictate, transcribe, format, and edit various types of medical reports and correspondence.  
  • Be proficient in the use of ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM, ICD-9-CPT, ICD-10- PCS & HCPCS Level 2 coding systems.
  • Upon completion of their case-study based Practicum, be workplace ready upon graduation.
  • Be eligible to sit for the following Massachusetts State and National Exams: 
    • Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS) Exam through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
    • National Certified Insurance & Coding Specialist (NCICS) Exam through the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT).
    • Certified Professional Biller (CPB) Exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). 
    • Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) Exam through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
    • Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Exam through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). 
    • Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), for Apprentice status.   
    • Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) Level 1 through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
    • Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) Level 2 through the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).

what will you do?

Job and career opportunities include:

  • Medical records administration.
  • Health information services management.
  • Clinical documentation specialist.

Learn more at HCC's Advising, Career & Transfer CenterWhat Can I Do With This Major? and Billing & Coding Job Opportunities.

26 total credits

26 Program Requirements

No online courses are available for this certificate.


An introduction to the terminology of medicine and health care, based on the study of medical word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Terminology is presented according to physiologic systems. In addition to basic medical terminology, the course introduces medical abbreviations and some common pharmacological terms.
An orientation course in record keeping theory and practice including material on the organization and functions of the medical record department and duties and responsibilities of Health Information Technicians. Communication, team-work, diversity, sexual harassment, time management, professional etiquette, and personal strategies for managing stress will also be addressed. Basic legal and regulatory issues, as well as coding and reimbursement issues will also be covered. Career opportunities in various allied health professions will be explored. Pre/Corequisite: NoneNo program restrictions for registration, with availability for mandatory programs.
An introduction course to medical billing, medical insurance and the influence of today's managed care environment. Requirements for Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance claims will be discussed. This course provides the opportunity to use basic data entry skills to do medical billing and practice management, needed by clerical workers staffing a healthcare facility, by utilizing a computerized billing/coding Practice Management software program. It includes the principles of medical billing related to proper claim form preparation, submission, and payment processing, including the follow-up process. Differences in reimbursement methodologies will also be covered. Pre/Corequisites: HTH 114 and HMC 103.Note: If HTH 114 is taken as a corequisite it needs to be a specific section for M043/M010 programs. No program restrictions for registration, with availability for required programs.
This course presents the use of an integrated Practice Management and Electronic Health Record system (PM/EHR) in a medical office setting. Students will learn the conceptual framework both for medical billing & coding and for the use of Electronic Health Records in medical documentation and patient management, by simulating the use of an Electronic Health Record. Prerequisite/Co-Requisites: None. No program requirements for registration, with availability for M043 program. Max number TBD each semester for number allowed for students not in M043.
This course presents an overview to Human Anatomy, Physiology and fundamentals of Disease Processes for the Medical Billing, Medical Assisting or Health Information Management student. Human anatomy is presented by body systems, including the cellular components of the body. The discussion of physiology and disease processes include mechanisms of disease process, classifications of diseases and the treatment of representative diseases. Pre/Corequisites: HTH 114. Note: Students who take HTH 114 as a corequisite will be required to take the specific HTH 114 section (for M043/M010 programs), as it is set up to coincide with our HIM 107 class for our programs. No program restrictions for registration, with availability for mandatory programs, Max number TBD each semester for number allowed for students not in M043/M010 programs.
This course provides the proficiency to understand Medical Records, format and edit medical reports, report templates, and review guidelines. Emphasis is placed on formatting and editing different types of medical reports, such as: Chart Notes, History and Physical Examinations, Consultation Reports, Discharge Summaries and Operative Reports. Accurate dictation and transcription of medical reports found in medical records of hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory care facilities, and other types of health clinics is reviewed. Dictated case studies, medical records, and medical correspondence, including audio files will be used for practicing the formatting of various types of medical reports and for practice transcribing all types of medical correspondence and reports. Upon completion of course, students will have a proficiency level appropriate to obtain and test for a Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) Level 1 (Basic RMT) Certification and/or Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS) Level 2 (Advanced CMT) Certification. Prerequisites: HTH 114 and HMC 107 or BIO 111 or BIO 217 and BIO 218. No program restrictions for registration, with availability for M043 program. Max number TBD each semester for number allowed for students in M043 program.
This course will provide the student with an understanding of Diagnosis Coding and their accurate utilization. Emphasis is placed on coding and classifying diagnoses using the ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM coding classification systems. A Practice Management billing/coding computer software program is also utilized for computerized billing, coding, and insurance claims. Prerequisites/Co-Requisites: HTH 114, HIM 103, HIM 104, HIM 106 & HIM 107.
This course is designated to provide the student with an understanding of Procedural Coding and their accurate utilization. Emphasis is placed on coding and classifying procedures using the ICD-9 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) & ICD-10 Procedure Coding System (PCS) coding classification systems, including: Evaluation and Management (E&M), Surgery, Radiology, Anesthesia, Pathology & Lab and Medicine coding sections. In addition, the usage and application of Modifiers and HCPCS codes in coding procedures will also be covered. A Medical Billing & Coding/Practice Management computer software program is also utilized for computerized billing, coding, and insurance claims. Prerequisites/Co-requisites: HTH 114, HIM 103, HIM 104, HIM 106, HIM 107 & HIM 220.


Acceptance: Acceptance to the Medical Billing & Coding Certificate program at Holyoke Community College will be on a selective basis.

Pre-requisites include:

  • High School Diploma, GED or HiSET Equivalency Test.
  • Students must place in college level English (ENG 101), or be eligible to have this requirement waived. Students who have a prior college degree OR who have completed a college-level ENG 101 class, with a C or better, are deemed ENG 101 eligible and do not need to take and pass both sections of the ENG Placement Test (Reading/Sentence Skills) at HCC.
  • Students must successfully complete a Medical Terminology class (HTH 114) with a C or better, before the start of classes OR successfully pass a HTH 114 Challenge Exam (with a C or better).

Prospective students to this program must: 

  • File a General Application with the Admissions Office, indicating Medical Billing & Coding Certificate (M043) as their major.
  • Have a current High School transcript, GED or HiSET Equivalency Test scores sent to HCC prior to being accepted.
  • Have any required pre-requisite classes, not taken at HCC, approved for transfer credit.

Applications will be accepted each Fall (for the following Spring semester acceptance) and each Spring (for the Fall semester acceptance), on an available rolling admission basis, up until the start of classes for the semester in which you are applying.· A student's GPA may be considered during the selection process.

Additional Information: 

  • The program is designed to be completed in 3 consecutive semesters.
  • The program begins every Fall and Spring, and is offered only in the evenings or online. This program cannot be taken entirely online.
  • Students who feel they have prior work or training experience, may choose to test-out of an entry-level medical billing & coding class, by paying a testing fee ($30), and taking a Challenge Exam for the comparable subject. Students may choose to test out with Challenge Exams up to a maximum total of 50% of the required number of credits in the program (13 credits maximum for Medical Billing & Coding). Credit for passing a Challenge Exam (scoring a C or higher) will appear on a student's Transcript as Transfer Credit. However, that credit earned for Challenge Exams is not transferrable to other institutions.

Available Challenge Exams for this program include:

  • HTH 114: Medical Terminology (3 credits) 
  • HIM 103: Introduction to Health Information Management (2 credits) 
  • HIM 104: Health Insurance Reimbursement & Computerized Billing (4 credits). 
  • HIM 106: Electronic Health Records (3 credits) 
  • HIM 107: Human A&P & Disease Processes (4 credits)   
  • HIM 220: Diagnosis Coding (3 credits) 
  • HIM 221: Procedure Coding (3 credits)

Students who have completed MEA 109: Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Assistants, with a C or better, within the last 7 years will only be required to complete the Disease Processes portion of the HIM 107: Human Anatomy, Physiology and Disease Processes for Medical Billing class. A student's Final Grade from MEA 109 will be used as half of a student's final grade for their HIM 107 class. Students will still be required to register and pay for the full 4 credit HIM 107 class.

Students who have completed BIO 111: Human Biology or BIO 217 & BIO 218: Human Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2, with a C or better within the last 7 years do not need to take HIM 107: Human Anatomy, Physiology and Disease Processes for Medical Billing.