Those looking for Pennsylvania medical billing and coding schools have many options, ranging from a traditional classroom setting in a college campus to online medical billing schools with flexible schedules.
The minimum education typically required for a medical billing and coding job is certification, which usually takes from nine months to a year to complete. Local community colleges and vocational schools often offer a two-year associates degree, which is also popular.
Pennsylvania boasts over 150 public, private, theological, technical and professional degree granting institutions of higher education.
As you research your options, match coursework to your career goals. Hoping to work in a traditional medical practice? You probably don't need intensive coverage of medical coding, since your focus will be on the billing and reimbursement process. Looking to open your own medical billing business from home? Some coursework in Business may be helpful since you will need to not only understand medical billing but the nuts and bolts of running a business.
Look for Accredited programs, and do your due diligence by checking with the Better Business Bureau and a simple google search with the name of your program and the word "scams" to see what might turn up. Get references and follow up by speaking with people who have actually completed any program you are considering.
Look for programs that offer you hands-on learning so that you get actual practice doing medical billing. Ask about any career placement assistance that might be offered and when you speak with references, find out how useful this assistance is--unfortunately, we've run across "assistance" that consists of handing students a list of area doctors and telling them to cold-call them: not very useful at all.
Once coursework is completed at Pennsylvania medical billing and coding schools, employment opportunities may be found in the Keystone State's major metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, especially with hospitals such as Jefferson’s Methodist Hospital, Temple University Hospital, and UPMC Presbyterian.
Additionally, cities such as Harrisburg, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre PA also offer a number of employment options. A number of people in rural Pennsylvania have started their own medical billing businesses from home; since the majority of tasks related to billing being done online and over the phone, setting up a home business is gaining in popularity.
The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) conducts bi-annual wage data surveys. The latest survey, in 2014, has found these areas reporting the following wage data:
|Area||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage|
|Newark - Union NJ-PA||$31.26||$65,020|
|Allentown - Bethlehem - Easton PA-NJ||$16.40||$34,110|
|Northeast PA Non-Metropolitan Area||$17.09||$35,550|
|Scranton - Wilkes-Barre, PA||$17.21||$35,800|
|East Central PA Non-Metropolitan Area||$16.67||$34,670|
|Harrisburg - Carlisle, PA||$17.94||$37,310|
|West Central PA Non-Metropolitan Area||$16.72||$34,770|
|York - Hanover, PA||$16.01||$33,300|
|Far Western PA Non-Metropolitan Area||$16.70||$34,750|
|Youngstown - Warren - Boardman OH-PA||$16.69||$34,710|
|State College, PA||$15.49||$32,220|
Between 2010 and 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that medical billing professionals in Pennsylvania have increased their annual salary $3,000 from $33,310 to $36,410. Gaining almost 10% is a strong sign that the field is enjoying good growth and shows good long term job prospects.
In addition, those within range of the Newark will reap the benefit of working in the Top Paying metropolitan area in the country, with a mean hourly wage of $31,26 and a mean annual salary of $65,020.
But for the majority of Pennsylvania residents, wages are a bit more typical for the rest of the country. Bright spots include Reading, with a mean annual salary of $42,040; Lebanon, with $37,000; Johnstown, at $39,290; and Philadelphia, with an annual salary of $37,330.
Overall, long term job prospects look good for the Keystone State, making Pennsylvania medical billing and coding schools a good option.
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