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Program Outline and Requirements

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)-approved Professional Medical Coding and Billing program includes 640 hours of curriculum.

The program has been designed by experts with decades of experience working in and teaching medical coding. This experience has produced a 3-part program design:

  1. Foundations – This first section of the program will teach you things like computer fundamentals, the health information management process, and reimbursement methodologies to ensure you understand how medical coding fits within health care.

  2. Biomedical sciences – In order to correctly assign codes, you'll need a good understanding of medical terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, and this section of the course teaches all of this from a coding perspective.

  3. Code training – This final section introduces you to all of the different code sets and teaches you how to use them. You'll practice coding actual medical records and reports (provided by our employer partners) and use the 3M encoding software so you have lots of hands-on experience and graduate ready to earn your credential and start working.

Below is a breakdown of the program outline and the 640 hours:

  • Program Orientation (1 Hr)
  • Computer Fundamentals (7 Hrs)
  • Health Information Management (14 Hrs)
  • Health Care Delivery Systems (4 Hrs)
  • Legal And Compliance (3 Hrs)
  • Reimbursement Methodologies (21 Hrs)
  • Medical Terminology (50 Hrs)
  • Pathophysiology (50 Hrs)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (45 Hrs)
  • Pharmacology (30 Hrs)
  • Introduction to Coding (16 Hrs)
  • ICD-10 Coding (65 Hrs)
  • CPT/HCPCS Coding – Block 1 (40 Hrs)
  • CPT/PCPCS Coding – Block 2 (40 Hrs)
  • Advanced ICD-10 Coding (16 Hrs)
  • Coding Practicum (120 Hrs)
  • Final Exam Preparation (1 Hr)

Since this program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will differ from other students. Some students are able to complete their training program in as little as 4 months (working on the course full-time, 8 hours a day 5 days a week) while others, who are more limited in the time they can devote to the course, take longer. Students who can devote about 20 hours a week can finish in about 8 months.

Every student who enrolls in Career Step's Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS program receives an initial 12-month period of enrollment. Though the programs are designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, you'll have a full year to complete your training. If you need extra time to complete the course after your initial one-year enrollment, we have 4-month extensions available for purchase.

Your enrollment includes everything you will need to train for a successful career in medical coding and billing. Your enrollment includes:

  • Access to expert-created curriculum
  • Complete library of industry standard codebooks
  • Access to 3M encoding software
  • Online access to the 3M reference library (over $1500 worth of references)
  • Technical support
  • One-on-one help from student support
  • Valuable graduate resources
  • Complete ebook library

Since the course is completely online, your computer will play an important role in your learning experience. We recommend the following minimum computer system specifications:


  • Active internet connection (high speed/broadband connection recommended)
  • 800 X 600 minimum display resolution (1024 X 768 or higher recommended)
  • Sound card and speakers (headphones recommended)
  • USB port


  • Adobe Flash Player (ver. 10 or higher)
  • Windows Media Player (ver. 10 or higher) or Quicktime Player (ver. 7 or higher)
  • PDF reader


  • Internet Explorer 7.x/8.x/9.x
  • Javascript and cookies must be enabled

Operating System

  • Microsoft Windows (XP®, Vista®, 7 with latest service pack)

Note: Mobile browsing devices are not currently supported. However, Career Step is investigating the implementation of mobile device support, and these specifications will be updated once a decision has been reached.

Get Started Today

Take the first step! Complete the form below to receive more information about the Medical Coding and Billing Certificate program at CSUB.