Many Kentucky online medical billing school options, as well as traditional college programs, are available to fit a variety of students' needs. Kentucky's post-secondary institutions include 24 private colleges and universities, 16 community and technical colleges, and 8 public universities, many of which offer medical billing and coding programs to Bluegrass State residents.
To select the best program available for your specific educational and employment goals, thorough research is in order, especially with Kentucky online medical billing school programs, whose quality can vary widely. Though good programs can be found online, a large number of poor quality programs are also offered, which research will help you avoid.
First, determine your focus in the medical billing and coding field. Is your goal to work in a medical practitioner's office where billing will be your primary focus? You may not need a full Associate's Degree to be employable; a 9 to 12 month certificate program which teaches you the specifics of the billing and reimbursement cycle may be enough. Is your goal to work at a larger facility in the medical coding arena? An Associate's Degree is probably expected by potential employers, who will want someone with an in-depth knowledge of coding only found with the two year degree. Is your plan to someday open your own medical billing home business? Be sure your program offers coursework on how to run a business, such as writing a business plan, pricing your services, and selecting the best medical billing software.
Second, determine the program's quality. Is the program Accredited? Although not absolutely necessary (good programs can be found which are not accredited, especially shorter Certificate programs, for example) this will assure you that the program has met certain standards by the accrediting agency, and can help you narrow your list. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against them--again, Kentucky online medical billing school programs, in particular, can be made to sound much better in the literature available than they are in reality. Ask for a list of references, and call them. Do former students feel they were adequately prepared for employment? What kind of assistance were they given in searching for employment?
Third, determine how much "hands-on" experience the program offers. A program which is presented largely as a series of power point presentations showing you how to do medical billing and coding is no substitute for actually practicing the billing and reimbursement cycle yourself. Materials which mimic real billing documents should be part of your work, where you actively engage in the billing process. Ideally, some kind of internship in a real-world setting may be offered where you can put your new skills to work--and perhaps gain a valuable reference to present to potential employers.
Once you have completed your education at a Kentucky online medical billing school, or another Kentucky medical billing and coding program, the best opportunities for employment will be found in urban areas with many medical practitioners. Look beyond the general family practices that first come to mind to other specialists such as dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical and occupational therapists, and the like to expand your job search.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) indicates that the mean hourly wage of Kentucky medical billing specialists is $17.01 and the mean annual wage is $35,380. The Department of Labor also reports wage data for the following areas in Kentucky:
|Area||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage||+/- Change Since 2012|
|Lexington - Fayette, KY||$17.74||$36,900||+$700|
|Bowling Green, KY||$16.68||$34,700||+1K|
|Covington, KY - Cincinnati, OH||$21.37||$44,460||+12K|
|South Central KY||$15.14||$31,480||+2K|
|West Central, KY||$17.06||$35,480||+5K|
The BLS conducts bi-annual reports of wage data across the country. Many areas of Kentucky have made huge gains since 2012: the biggest winners are medical billing specialists in the Covington, KY/Cincinnati, OH area, where annual wages have risen a whopping $12,000 since 2012! Following close behind is Owensboro, with an $11,000 increase during the same time period.
In fact, ALL areas of Kentucky saw increased salary for medical billing professionals; in addition, the smaller non-metropolitan areas of Western Kentucky employ the 2nd most medical billing specialists in the country, with 600 jobs. Higher job availability, coupled with substantial increases in pay make the job outlook very positive indeed.
Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau reports a 7.4% increase in Kentucky's population in the ten year period from 2000 to 2010. This increase in population translates into an increased need for healthcare and related fields like medical billing and coding, making it a good career choice for the future.Home › Medical Coding and Billing Schools › Kentucky Online Medical Billing School
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