School is Cool But Only When It’s Legit

BBB warns to carefully check out online schools claiming they can teach you medical billing and coding. A Monroe woman says she’d like to find a legitimate school to do this but says the more she looks on the internet the more confused she gets.

The reason? There are host of companies advertising you can get a medical billing degree or certificate program if you enroll in their school. They claim you can earn thousands of dollars per month working from home as a medical billing and coding specialist. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the reality is few consumers who pay for medical billing opportunities find clients or make any money, let alone earn the promised substantial income.

The FTC says competition in the medical billing market is fierce and many doctors’ offices process their own medical claims. Doctors who contract out their medical billing often use established firms—not people working from their home. Even if you find a legitimate, accredited school offering such a degree, it can be very difficult to find clients and make money doing this work from your home.

While it is a good practice to keep up with technology, learn a new skill and perhaps advance your education for a better career, BBB recommends to do your research well before enrolling with an online program.

Keep in mind:

  • Vocational schools cannot guarantee employment for their graduates
  • The school should be accredited by an accrediting agency
  • Before signing anything, be sure you clearly understand all the terms of the enrollment agreement
  • Carefully review any financial arrangements, such as government loans that will need to be paid back, before signing a contract

There are several programs available out there. Find one that best fits your needs but make sure it is a program you can trust. Visit bbb.org.

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About Howard Ain

Howard Ain has been reporting consumer news on Cincinnati television for the past 38 years. He also writes a newspaper column alerting readers to consumer scams. He now joins BBB|Cincinnati as a correspondent.