Medical Billing and Coding


Program Description

The Medical Billing and Coding Program is designed for persons interested in becoming medical billers and coders. Medical coders check medical records and notes to assign codes for illnesses, injuries, procedures and diagnoses. Medical billers know insurance plans, regulations, and guidelines. Both use this knowledge to assign codes for preparing insurance claims and preparing invoices. They maintain records in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. 

Career Opportunities

Medical billers and coders work in inpatient facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) and outpatient facilities (clinics, physician offices, ambulatory clinics, etc).  Graduates may also be employed by state or federal health agencies, insurance firms, or pharmaceutical companies. See Health and Wellness » Medical Billing and Coding for more career and employment information.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of SPSCC’s Billing and Coding One Year Certificate Program are prepared to use their skills in critical thinking and data analysis as well as their understanding of relationships and responsibilities to:

  • Demonstrate competencies as a valuable member of the administrative medical office team by accurately performing billing and coding procedures to effectively and efficiently process medical claims
  • Demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors within the medical billing and coding work environment
  • Communicate effectively and professionally electronically, orally, and in writing with peers, clients, and other health care professionals in a diverse interdisciplinary environment

Program Requirements

All MED courses must be completed with a “C" or better to continue in and complete the program, and no MED courses completed more than 5 years prior to completion of the program will be accepted as part of the program.


Entry into the Medical Billing and Coding Program does not guarantee students a job placement, nor does it guarantee a practicum placement in Thurston County. Practicum placements require successful interviews and background checks.  Due to increased competition for practicum placements with other schools in Washington State, South Puget Sound Community College cannot guarantee that the practicum will be in the last quarter of the program or that it will be located within Thurston County.

Additional Costs

(dollar values are approximate and subject to change):

TB testing & immunization may be required by some externship sites       Cost Varies
Washington State Patrol background check                                                $12.00
Malpractice insurance                                                                                  $18.00
AAPC annual student fee                                                                             $80.00

Additional Program Information



Educational Plan

Medical Billing and Coding

Certificate of Completion 
62-64 credits 

Core Requirements

OFTEC101 Keyboarding 1 2 Credits Search Schedule
Learning the alphabetic, numeric, and symbol keys by touch. Basic keyboarding theory. Designed for the novice keyboarder or the typist who needs to break bad keyboarding habits. This course was formerly known as CIS 101. Prerequisite: None.
OFTEC108 Introduction to Microsoft Office 3 Credits Search Schedule
Introduction of major software application packages as tools in business. The following operating and applications software will be covered: Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. OFTEC 101 (formerly CIS 101) recommended or ability to type by touch at least 20 words a minute. This course was formerly known as CIS 108. Prerequisite: None.
BIOL&175 Human Biology w/ Lab 5 Credits Search Schedule
Covers elementary anatomy and physiology of the human body. Appropriate for non-majors (not for Nursing or Biology majors). Core requirement for the Medical Assisting program. Prerequisite: None.

MED102 Medical Law, Ethics and Bioethics 2 Credits Search Schedule
Examines how ethics are derived from culture, religion, education, and environment, and then applies to medical ethics and bioethics. Includes, professionalism, risk management, and scarcity of resources. Explores health occupations, local community resources, and death and dying issues. Legal guidelines for healthcare employees and knowledge of federal and state healthcare legislation and regulations are also explored. Prerequisite: None.
MED103 Medical Terminology I 3 Credits Search Schedule
Study and construction of medical terms by learning and combining word roots, suffixes and prefixes. Emphasis on construction usage, definition, pronunciation and spelling. Prerequisite: None.
MED104 Medical Terminology II 5 Credits Search Schedule
Using basic word roots, combining forms, prefixes, and suffixes: correlates basic human anatomy and physiology with medical terminology. Major medical specialties, aspects of pathology, and surgical and diagnostic procedures included. Pharmacological terms, medical abbreviations, and overview of diagnostic and imaging procedures addressed. This course was formerly known as MED 112. Prerequisite: MED 103 with a "C" or better.
MED110 Medical Insurance Billing for the Medical Office 5 Credits Search Schedule
Covers legal issues associated with procedural and diagnostic coding, use of patient chart information, and translation of insurance information into numeric and alphanumeric codes. Prerequisite: MED 103 with a "C" or better and eligible for ENGL& 101.
MED111 Advanced Diagnostic and CPT Coding 5 Credits Search Schedule
Covers the practical application of diagnostic and procedural coding skills using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), International Classification of Disease (ICD) and Healthcare Common Procedure coding systems (HCPCS), including complex coding scenarios. Prerequisite: "C" or better in MED 115 and MED 120.
MED115 Diagnostic Coding for the Outpatient Coder 5 Credits Search Schedule
Focuses on the translation of patient data and written diagnoses into diagnostic codes that identify diseases, conditions, and signs and symptoms. Emphasizes accuracy in coding and the rules of diagnostic coding. Prerequisite: MED 103 with a "C" or better and eligible for ENGL& 101.
MED120 CPT Coding for the Outpatient Coder 5 Credits Search Schedule
Provides instruction for outpatient coders to interpret various source documents and translate written narrative into numeric procedure codes. Uses CMS 1500 insurance claim forms and includes an overview of HCPCS. Concurrent enrollment in MED 115 is recommended. Prerequisite: MED 103 with a "C" or better and eligible for ENGL& 101.
MED130 Electronic Health Records and Data Entry 6 Credits Search Schedule
Introduces the use of electronic health records to manage health information. Students will practice data entry, including data by touch on the ten-key pad, while creating electronic medical records (EMR) for both inpatient and outpatient settings using software applications. Speed, accuracy, and proper technique are emphasized and practiced. Prerequisite: MED 115 with a "C" or better.
MED169 Medical Billing Externship 3 Credits Search Schedule
Involves a 90-hour externship in a medical office setting performing medical billing and coding administrative tasks. Prerequisite: "C" or better in MED 110, MED 111, MED 115, MED 120, and MED 130.


General Education Requirement

ENGL&101 English Composition I 5 Credits Search Schedule
Develops writing skills by focusing on strategies and techniques writers use to convey ideas, evaluate information, make a point, and participate in multiple discourse communities. Emphasizes both the process and the product of writing. This course was formerly known as WRIT 101, College Writing I. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement test scores OR appropriate completion of ENGL 095, ENGL 095X, or ENGL 098 OR concurrent enrollment in ENGL 110 with instructor's permission.

5 Credits in COMPUTATION
MATH 101 or any math class listed under the Quantitative Category on the Distribution Requirements for General Education for the Associate in Arts /Associate in Science direct transfer degrees

3-5 credits - Choose from General Education AAS list.

Effective Catalog Year 2017-2018, Revised May, 2016