Virginia Medical Coding and Billing Schools

Virginia medical coding and billing schools may be found in many of The Old Dominion State's 15 four year public colleges and universities, 24 private colleges, and 23 community colleges. In addition, many online options for with flexible scheduling offer a convenient alternative to the college campus setting.

Virginia Medical Coding and Billing Schools

When evaluating the various Virginia medical coding and billing schools, be sure to determine whether your goals match the programming presented. Certificate, diploma and degree programs are among your options; a certificate program generally lasts from 9 to 12 months (although additional coursework on medical coding may take a bit longer), while and Associate's Degree can typically be obtained in 2 years.

Research is a must to determine which program best suits your goals for employment in the medical billing field. Those interested in starting their own medical billing business will need to find a program which includes coursework on running a business, including writing a business plan, organizing a home office and supplying it with the proper software and supplies, and pricing your services.

Those interested in the related field of medical transcription should be sure your program has a component which focuses on that aspect.

All prospective programs should allow you to contact instructors and current or former students to hear first hand what the program is like and to see if it truly meets your needs.

Programs which don't readily provide such contact information should be treated with caution, as this is a big red flag; move on to another program which encourages greater transparency to ensure your education will provide what you think it should.

Check to determine that the instructors have real-world experience in the medical billing and coding field. Ideally, these instructors have worked in a medical practitioner setting, or have run a successful medical billing business themselves.

And be sure your program offers a significant amount of time focusing on hands-on experience, either in an internship in a medical facility, or with a specifically designed mock-up of typical medical billing procedures so you can work with the billing software and be familiar with the entire billing and reimbursement cycle. 

Virginia Employment Opportunities

Once your education is complete at Virginia medical coding and billing schools, the best options for employment can be found in the urban areas of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond, Newport News, and Arlington, or in the District of Columbia.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) conducts bi-annual wage data surveys. The #1 Top Paying State in the nation for medical billing professionals is nearby Washington, DC, which boasts a mean hourly wage of $33.22 and a mean annual salary of $69,100. Those close to the DC area may be able to reap the rewards of such jobs

Other areas in Virginia report the following wage data for 2014, the most recent information available:

Area Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage
Washington - Arlington - Alexandria, DC-VA-MD $25.42 $52,870
North East VA Non-Metropolitan Area $17.74 $36,900
Richmond, VA $17.33 $36,050
Virginia Beach - Norfolk - Newport News, VA $17.60 $36,600
Southside VA Non-Metropolitan Area $16.15 $33,590
Lynchburg, VA $16.57 $34,470
Danville, VA $16.19 $33,680
Roanoak, VA $17.46 $36,320
Southwest VA Non-Metropolitan Area $14.79 $30,770
Northwest VA Non-Metropolitan Area $18.51 $38,510
Kingsport - Bristol - Bristol, TN-VA $16.47 $34,250
Harrisburg, VA $16.21 $33,710
Winchester, VA-WV $16.33 $33,960

The greater Washington -  Arlington - Alexandria area also boasts the distinction of being the 8th most highly paid metro area in the country. The mean hourly wage for those areas combined is $25,42, while the mean annual salary is $52,870.Other high points in the state include Richmond, at 36,050 per year; Roanoak, at $36,680 per year; and Virginia Beach - Norfolk - Newport News at $36,600 per year.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Virginia's population increased by 13% from 2000-2010, which is above the national average of 9.7%. This increased population results in greater need for healthcare, and thus an increased need for medical billing services, giving the medical billing field good prospects for the future.

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