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Medical Billing & Coding Community Education 

The Community Education Department is pleased to continue the tradition established in 1998, to offer Medical Billing and Coding (MBC) education for new coders and now we’re expanding to meet the needs of those professionals preparing for the rollout of ICD-10 in fall 2015.

Knowledgeable medical billing and coding assistants are needed in virtually all aspects of the health care industry – wherever a physician’s patient orders are coded. This means you can choose employment opportunities in such settings as hospital medical records departments, physician offices, home infusion companies, pharmacies, clinics, nursing homes, insurance companies and more.

Entry-level Billing and Coding Course

This 10-week, entry-level MBC course is intended for individuals interested in a career in an outpatient clinic, specialty clinic or insurance setting utilizing CPT, ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM and HCPCS codes. This course does not specifically address coding for acute care hospitals.

As an offering of Community Education, there are no specific admissions requirements to participate in this program. However, there is significant content reading and a rapid pace during class sessions, which are held on campus in the evenings and include lecture, group discussion, homework and quizzes/exams to test your comprehension. In addition to tuition, this course requires participants to utilize three (3) textbooks which are available for purchase or rental from the Mercy College bookstore vendor.

Following successful completion of the course, students are equipped for the national exam of the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

One Course for Professional Coders in Advance of the New ICD-10 Rollout

The Community Education Department will launch a new advanced course for experienced coders preparing for the transition to ICD-10, just in time for the new federal mandate of October 1, 2015. With the transition, it is anticipated that Coders will begin to use more than 155,000 codes in ICD-10 (compared to 18,000 in ICD-9). This dramatic increase is due to the increasing need to understand anatomy, and the locations of most arteries, veins, bones, muscles, sinuses, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and lymphatic vessels.

The two-week course will require the purchase of two textbooks.

Length of Program

MBC Certificate courses are scheduled for evening classes twice-a-week.

Entry-level MBC Course Objectives

  1. Comprehend general anatomy with medical terminology overview.
  2. Understand an introduction to health insurance companies and claim filing requirements.
  3. Apply CPT, ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM and HCPCS coding.
  4. Examine and implement proper methods for filling out insurance forms, especially CMS 1500 form.
  5. Explore employment opportunities as a medical biller and coder.

Advanced MBC Course Objectives

  1. Understand an introduction to health insurance companies and claim filing requirements.
  2. Apply CPT, ICD-10-CM and HCPCS coding.
  3. Examine and implement proper methods for filling out insurance forms, especially CMS 1500 form.

Expected Level of Income for Entry-level Coders

In Des Moines, Iowa, the pay rate for a medical billing/coding assistant is $12 to $13 per hour ($24,960 to $27,040 annually).

Quick Info

Entry-level MBC Course Offerings (10-week Course; Tue/Thu evenings):

Fall 2015: September 8-November 12, 2016 (Course will transition to ICD-10 content)
Spring 2016: January 12-March 17, 2016 (Course will provide instruction in ICD-10)

Course Fee: $950.00
Full payment is due 15 days prior to the start of the first class.

Advanced MBC Course (2-week Course; Saturdays 9 a.m. - Noon):
Fall 2015: October 3-24, 2015 

Course Fee: $500.00
Full payment is due 15 days prior to the start of the first class.


Patricia Sommerfeld, BA, CPC
Medical Billing & Coding Instructor

Application Process:
Priority registration is requested 30 days before the first class session. Others will be accommodated on a space-available basis. The Community Education Department reserves the right to postpone this course due to low enrollment. This decision will be made 15 days before the scheduled start date.



To apply contact:
Jessica McMillan

Community Education Secretary
jmcmillan@mercydesmoines.org