Researching Connecticut medical billing schools online will help you narrow your focus and choose the best billing and coding program for your specific employment goals; defining what those goals are will help you home in on the right program for you. Connecticut has 12 community and technical colleges and 35 state and private colleges and universities, many of which offer medical billing and coding programs. In addition, many online programs and courses can also be accessed by Constitution State residents. The following tips will help you find the program that best suits your needs:
Is your goal to work in a medical practitioner office? To open your own home medical billing business? To work more on the Coding side of the field? Deciding upon your employment goals helps narrow your focus.
Certificate, diploma and degree programs are available, and which one is best for you depends on your answer to the questions above. Working in a medical practitioner office where you will be primarily focused on the billing and reimbursement cycle typically requires less of an education than working at a job where coding will be a significant part of your job. Those planning on the former may be fine with a certificate or diploma program; a 9-12 month program should suffice to give you the skills you need to be successful that setting.
Coding requires an in-depth knowledge of the specific medical codes used to determine insurance coverage; an Associate's Degree is typically expected of potential employees, and will take approximately two years to complete. A person planning to open a billing business from home where billing is the primary focus will also do well with the shorter programs.
Most areas of the state have seen income in the medical coding and billing field increase over the past few years; detailed wage data is explained in greater detail at the bottom of the page.
Thoroughly researching those programs you are interested in is a must, especially for those Connecticut medical billing schools online, where quality can vary a great deal. Look for Accreditation, which means a program has met specific benchmarks of quality by a third party accrediting body. Get references and call them to determine whether a program lives up to its claims, and if the students feel they were well prepared for the job market. Find out how students feel about the quality of the instructors and whether they have the skills and knowledge to cover the material thoroughly. Ask questions that match your specific needs and goals to see if the program lines up with your expectations.
While you are calling references, ask about how much hands-on learning they provide. Are they given documents which mimic the billing and reimbursement cycle on which to practice? Are any internships available? Conversely, is everything shown as Power-Point presentations without any hands-on experience at all, as is the case with some programs? Speaking with instructors, and both current and former students will quickly shed light on how the program actually is presented, and whether you will keep this one on your short list or cross it off.
Once your Connecticut medical billing schools online or on campus education is complete, the best opportunities for employment will be found in more heavily populated areas where more medical practitioners can be found. Look for often overlooked specialties such as podiatrists, ophthalmologists, chiropractors and the like where potentially fewer applicants may be searching.
The U.S. Department of Labor (www.bls.gov) completes wage data surveys for all types of jobs every two years. The most recent report, in 2014, shows that the mean hourly wage for Connecticut medical billing specialists was $21.23 and the mean annual wage was $44,150, which is significantly above the national averages of $17.26 and $35,900 respectively. This represents an average increase of over $2,000 per year over the last report in 2012. In addition, the Department of Labor reports the following wage data for areas of Connecticut:
|Area||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage||+/- Change Since 2012|
|Bridgeport - Stamford - Norwalk, CT||$19.07||$39,670||+3K|
|New Haven, CT||$24.33||$50,600||+4K|
|Norwich - New London, CT-RI||$22.64||$47,090||+3K|
|Hartford - East Hartford - West Hartford||$20.20||$42,020||-1K|
The good news is that most areas of Connecticut have experienced real gains in salary from the last BLS report in 2012. New Haven comes out as the real winner in the state with an average increase of $4,000 per year; unfortunately, the Hartford area actually saw a $1,000 decrease in salary during that same time period.
With 4.9% population growth between 2000 and 2010 (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), Connecticut should see steady growth in both healthcare and the related field of medical billing. Long term job outlook continues to be positive, making choosing one of the Connecticut medical billing schools online a solid option for the future. And graduates of Connecticut medical billing schools online or on a campus who are able to choose the area in which they work could reap some real rewards.Home › Medical Coding and Billing Schools › Connecticut Medical Billing Schools Online
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