Louisiana Online Medical Billing School and Campus Based Programs

Louisiana online medical billing school and campus based medical billing programs are numerous. Post-secondary medical billing and coding programs can be found at the sixteen colleges in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, ten private institutions, two universities in the Southern University System, and eight educational institutions in the Louisiana State University System, many of which offer programs in medical billing. In addition, many flexible and convenient online medical billing school options are available.

Thorough research is key to finding the best program for your specific needs. Quality can vary widely, especially among online options, so doing your homework is a must. As you evaluate each program, look for the following:

  • Is the program Accredited? Accreditation indicates a program has met specific criteria which sets it above many unaccredited programs, and ensures it meets at least a minimum of standards. This is especially important if you are considering focusing on Medical Coding, where potential employers typically expect an Associate's Degree.
  • Do the instructors have Real-World experience? All teaching staff should have experience doing medical billing themselves, either in a medical practitioner setting or having run their own medical billing business.
  • Does the program provide students with hands-on experience? Students should be given the opportunity to work in either an internship (gaining not only experience but hopefully a good recommendation as well) or at least be given mock-documents they are able to work with which mimic the real billing and reimbursement cycle.
  • Does the program match your employment goals? If your goal is to open your own home business, be sure part of your coursework includes how to set up your home office, choosing the appropriate medical billing software, writing a business plan, and pricing your services competitively. If you are planning to do medical coding, be sure your program makes coding a focus; general medical billing programs do not always provide in-depth coding classes.
  • Can you have a reference list to call? Programs that are hesitant to provide such a list may be ones to steer clear of; ideally, you should be able to call instructors and both current and former students to find out their impressions of the program. Do former students feel they were adequately prepared for employment? Do your goals match current students' goals? Do instructors seem knowledgeable and answer your questions? Interviewing program participants will quickly help you narrow down your list of Louisiana online medical billing school and campus based options.

Post Louisiana Online Medical Billing School Employment

Once your education at a campus program or Louisiana online medical billing school is complete, the best opportunities for employment can be found in urban areas where larger numbers of medical practitioners can be found. Look not only at traditional family practices, which is often the first place new graduates think to apply, but also at specialists such as Psychiatrists, Chiropractors, Orthodontists, Physical Therapists, and the like. Medical billing services are also needed in urgent care centers, nursing homes, and outpatient clinics.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics   (www.bls.gov), the average mean hourly wage in 2012 for medical billing specialists in Louisiana is $15.47, and the mean annual wage is $32,180. In addition, several areas of the Pelican State report the following mean wages:

Area Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage +/- Change Since 2012
New Orleans - Metairie - Kenner, LA $17.055 $36,510 +1.2K
Houma - Bayou Kane - Thibodeau, LA $14.33 $29,810 +3K
Baton Rouge, LA $14.94 $31,070 -2.8K
Lafayette, LA $14.88 $30,950 +$100
New Iberia area, LA $15.07 $31,340 +3K
Lake Charles, LA $13.71 $28,510 +$200
Nachitoches area, LA $16.41 $34,140 +5K
Winnsboro area, LA $14.91 $31,020 +$300
Monroe, LA $14.23 $29,610 +1.4K
Shreveport - Bossier City, LA $13.53 $28,150 -1.6KK
Alexandria, LA $16.43 $34,170 +4K
Hammond, LA $13.67 $28,440 +1.2K

Though Louisianians in the medical billing field tend to make less than the national average of $18.68 hourly and $38,860 annually, the relatively low cost of living brings those numbers more in line.

Since 2012, hourly and annual wages have seen mixed results. Some areas of Louisiana have seen strong wage increases, such as Houma (+3K), the Nachitoches Area (an impressive +5K), and Alexandria (+4K). This good news is dampened by losses in annual wages in places like Baton Rouge (-2.8K), Shreveport (-1.6K), and Hammond (-1.3K). Still, the overall trend is upward statewide.

Long term job outlook in the healthcare industry in general, and thus the related medical billing field, look positive; this makes a program at a Louisiana online medical billing school or another campus based medical billing program an attractive choice for the future.

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