Oregon Medical Coding and Billing Schools

Many Oregon medical coding and billing schools can be found throughout the state and through online options. Oregon has more than 50 colleges, universities, community and technical colleges to choose from, many of which offer medical billing and coding programs.

Certificate, diploma and degree programs are the most common offered. Expect to spend from 9 months to a year for a certificate program (anything more and you may be paying too much--unless more detailed coursework in medical coding, for example, is offered). An Associate's Degree typically takes about two years to complete and gives you a broader, more in-depth education than either certificate and diploma options.

Oregon Medical Coding and Billing Schools

Research is the key to finding a good program--and can help you avoid the bad ones. Spending extra time up front can ensure you get the education you need, and thus make you more marketable when looking for a job. Programs that look good at first glance sometimes fail to deliver on their promises, but using the following guidelines can help you avoid missteps.

  • Check for Accreditation. The quality of Oregon medical coding and billing schools can vary widely, and being sure to choose a program which is accredited is one way to weed out the less desirable programs. Accreditation means certain standards of quality are in place, and that an educational committee regularly reviews curriculum to ensure those standards are continually being met. Various types of accreditation are available, so ask for information about the accrediting institution, then research it online to be sure it's legitimate.
  • Be sure the Oregon medical coding and billing schools you are considering offer hands-on experience. Students learn by doing, not listening, so coursework should include a large amount of practice by giving students mock-documents which mimic the billing and reimbursement cycle. Some, but not all, programs offer internships at actual medical practitioner facilities, which gives you not only short term hands on experience, but also a potential reference for a job well done which you can bring to a job interview.
  • Be sure instructors have direct experience in the medical billing and coding field. Staff should have practical experience and skills either obtained in a medical practitioner office or related setting, or by having run their own medical billing business. Ask the school to outline the experience of the teaching staff.
  • Talk to current and former students, as well as instructors. Ask former students how well prepared they felt for employment after completing the program. Ask current students how much hands-on experience they are actually receiving. Ask what kind of career placement assistance they received, and how much it helped them gain employment. Ask teaching staff how they help students learn the material, and why they like the medical billing field.

    Post Oregon Medical Coding and Billing Schools Employment

    After your education at one of the Oregon medical coding and billing schools is complete, the best opportunities for employment can be found in metropolitan areas where a greater concentration of medical practitioners is available.

    But an increasing number of people are turning to opening a medical billing business from home, where proximity to clients isn't important. With virtually all medical billing and coding tasks able to be accomplished remotely, your clients need not be nearby. In fact, one of the principal owners at Everything Medical Billing runs a successful billing business from home where over 90% of clients do their business in another state hundreds of miles away.

    The U.S. Department of Labor's  Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) conducts bi-annual wage data surveys for all industries nationwide. According to the most recent BLS survey in 2014, the Beaver State has a mean hourly wage $19.74 and a mean annual wage of $41,060 in the medical billing field. This represents an annual increase of over $5,000 from the previous wage survey in 2012. The Department of Labor also reports the following area and wage data for the state of Oregon:

    Area Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage +/- Change Since 2012
    Portland - Vancouver - Beaverton, OR-WA $20.67 $42,990 +4K
    Salem, OR $18.89 $39,300 +8K
    Linn County, OR $16.39 $34,080 -2.7K
    Eugene - Springfield, OR $19.07 $39,660 +4.4K
    Medford, OR $16.56 $34,440 +3K
    Bend, OR $17.94 $37,320 +3K
    Coastal OR $18.20 $37,850 +3.8K
    Corvallis, Oregon $18.58 $38,660 +5.5K
    North Central Non-Metropolitan Oregon $18.54 $38,570 +5K
    Eastern Oregon $15.68 $32,610 -3.3K

    Much good news came out of the BLS data, including some strong gains statewide--most impressive are areas like Salem, North Central OR, and Corvallis, which gained between $5,500 and $8,000 in annual salary! Although a few areas posted disappointing losses, most areas are trending in an upward direction.

    Overall, once your training at Oregon medical coding and billing schools is complete, long term job outlook is positive for the medical billing and coding field. 

    The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Oregon's population grew by 12% between 2000 and 2010. A corresponding increased need for healthcare translates into increased need for medical billing services, making this field an attractive one for the long term.

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