Many medical billing schools in Alabama offer medical billing and coding programs. Alabama is home to more than 15 public 4-year universities, 26 public 2-year colleges, and 16 Non-Profit Independent Institutions; a variety of programs are available to meet students specific educational goals.
Coursework in the medical billing and coding field ranges from certificate, diploma and degree programs. For those looking for employment in a traditional medical practitioner's office or who are planning to open their own home based medical billing business, the shorter certificate program may be adequate; certificate programs typically take from 9 to 12 months. For those planning to work as a medical coding specialist, a two year Associate's Degree is preferable, since potential employers tend to expect more in-depth coursework in coding.
Evaluating each program to ensure it is both a quality program and that its focus meets your goals for future employment is imperative. Check to see that programs you are considering are accredited. Accreditation is one way to determine whether a program has met minimum standards; this is especially important for Associate's Degree programs, although a number of good online programs exist, for example, which are not necessarily accredited.
Ask for a list of references and call them. Speak with instructors and both current and former students to see what their impressions of the program are. Get specific with your questions as they pertain to your employment plans: do they offer an internship or other real-world experience? Do they offer employment placement assistance, and if so, what is their success rate in placing students? Do graduates of the program feel they were adequately prepared for their work environment? Asking these types of questions will help you home in on the best program for your specific needs.
Once your education at one of the medical billing schools in Alabama is complete, the best opportunities for employment are in urban areas such as Mobile, Huntsville, Dothan, Auburn and Gadsden and those listed below. The U.S. Bureau of Labor (www.bls.gov) reports that in 2014 the average mean hourly wage for medical billing specialists in Alabama was $15.35 hourly and $29,210 annually.This is up from $14.04 hourly and $31,930 annually from their last update in 2012. In addition, areas of Alabama report the following wages:
|Area||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Birmingham - Hoover, AL||$16.20||$33,690|
|Florence - Muscle Shoals||$14.90||$30,990|
|Auburn - Opelika, AL||$13.11||$27,270|
In comparing the wage data between the current report from 2014 and the previous data from 2012, the good news is that most areas of Alabama have increased their annual income. Areas that have increased include Birminham (+3K), Montgomery (+3K), Decateur (+4K), Florence (+4K), Northwest Alabama (+4K), Southeast Alabama (+2K), Southwest Alabama (+2K). On the negative side, there have been some unfortunate decreases in several areas of the state. Tuscaloosa took a hit, losing $4K annually, and Northeast Alabama also went down $2K.
Employment options are available in a variety of settings, including general medical practitioner offices, podiatrists, chiropractors, orthodontists, occupational and physical therapists, in nursing homes, hospitals, outpatient clinics and many other specialists. In addition, starting a medical billing business from home is growing in popularity. With the advent of technology, virtually all medical billing tasks can be performed remotely. We know of a couple who have run a successful medical billing business from their home in Maine for over 20 years, the majority of whose clients are in Georgia.
With a 7.5% population increase from 2000 to 2010 reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, translating into an increased need for healthcare and related services such as medical billing and coding, medical billing specialists will continue to be in high demand. Long term job outlook for graduates of medical billing schools in Alabama continues to be positive.Home › Medical Coding and Billing Schools
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