Medical Coding Classes: What You Will Learn

 Medical Coding Classes


The demand for qualified professionals in the medical records and health information fields is quite high. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field is expected to increase by 15% between 2014 and 2024. This growth rate is astronomical compared to other professions and it is also noted by the U.S. BLS that 217,600 people will be employed in the health information industry, including medical coders and medical billers, by the year 2024.
With the industry on an upward swing, you may be thinking about taking medical coding classes to get certified by passing the AAPC exam. If that’s the case, you’ll want to know what to expect. Below, we’ve provided some information on what you’ll learn when you’re admitted into Allied Prep, a leading medical coding school in New Orleans:
Exam Preparation
In order to become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC), you’ll need to pass the AAPC exam. You do not need a professional degree to enter into this profession. During our 16 week medical coding program, you’ll be taught by an instructor that has years of real world experience in the health information industry. The AAPC exam will cover codes utilized by medical facilities, hospitals, and private practices across the country. During your coursework with Allied Prep, we’ll help you learn the codes and terminology you need to pass your exam. You’ll also be given practice tests so you feel prepared and confident when you take the real exam.
Anatomy of the Body
As part of the medical coding program, you’ll be taught human anatomy. This will enable you to bill insurance companies for not only the correct codes, but also the right body parts. Many people don’t know this, but the medical codes used are body part specific. Therefore, you’ll need to possess an in-depth understanding of the body’s function, layout, and anatomy.
Terminology for Medical Coding
Terminology is not only a huge part of the AAPC exam, it will also be a big part of your day-to-day job as a Certified Professional Coder. Medical providers use certain terms when describing illnesses, diagnoses, and courses of treatment. They will use this terminology when entering their notes and it is up to medical coders to be able to transcribe and understand what the medical professional has written and said. Medical professionals may also use certain abbreviations or shorthand. In order to bill insurance companies appropriately, medical coders will have to recognize these terms with ease.
Ready to Get Started?
The great thing about our program is that it can be completed in-person or online. You’ll have complete flexibility, yet learn the skilled you need to get an entry level position as a medical coder once you’ve completed your certification. To learn more, contact Allied Prep today! We’d be happy to tell you more about our programs, requirements, as well as how we make education affordable for our students.

What to Look for in a Medical Billing and Coding Program

Medical Billing and Coding School


Are you looking to start a new career in medical billing or medical coding? If so, you’re probably wondering what you need to do first. If you do a little research, you’ll find that in order to get a job as medical coding or billing professional, you’ll need to get certified. And, the only way to do that is by passing what is known as the AAPC exam.
Thankfully, there are many programs you can choose from and some are even taught online. However, before you invest any money into a program, we suggest you look for the following:
1. How is the Program Taught?
You’ll want to know is if the program is taught exclusively in a classroom or if you can take it online. Different learning environments can be a good thing as each student is unique. Also, consider who is teaching the program. Is it just an instructor that has general knowledge or an expert in the industry? At Allied Prep, our medical billing program and medical coding program is led by teachers who have years of practical experience in the industry students are studying. This means our students learn from actual professionals who are more than equipped to answer their questions, teach them what they need to know, and impart the knowledge they need to pass their certification exams.
2. How Long has the School Been Around?
You want to work with a school that has a long-standing reputation and that has been around for a long time. This means the school has a structure that students appreciate and is credible. You’ll also want to see what the school’s students have to say. Take a look at the school’s website for testimonials or even ask to speak with the school’s administration.
3. Compare Costs
Whenever you are about to earn a professional certification, there is an investment involved. You’ll want to know exactly how much you’ll be spending. Furthermore, you’ll want to know if the school offers financial aid options which may make your certification more affordable. For example, at Allied Prep, we offer our students a pay as you learn plan so they are not overwhelmed by the expense of their education.
4. What is the School’s Mission?
It’s one thing to help students get certified, it’s another to do everything possible to ensure they are successful. At Allied Prep, we always put our students first and have done so for over 20 years. We want them to leave our school fully prepared so they can enter into exciting new careers with confidence.

5 Reasons Why You Should Choose Allied Prep

Professional Certification School


When it comes to choosing a school for medical billing, medical coding, pharmacy technician, IT support, or CPMA certification, we know there are many options to choose from. However, we believe our institution stands apart from the others for numerous reasons. Read on to learn more:
1. Our Courses are Convenient

At Allied Prep, we know that students appreciate flexibility when they are working toward their professional certifications. We also understand that no two students are the same. Some students learn better in a traditional classroom setting and others do better online where their curriculum is more self-paced. That is why we offer both in the classroom and online learning options for some of our programs.

2. Classes Led by Experts
Our classes are not just led by teachers, they are led by experts with years of relevant, real-world experience in the industries students are studying. Each of our teachers is highly skilled and prepared to give students the information they need to obtain their professional certifications in a short amount of time.
3. 20 Years of History
Allied Prep is not a new educational institution. We have been around for over 20 years and in that time, we have acquired an impeccable reputation. We’ve helped thousands of eager students step into rewarding, new careers.
4. We’ve Made Education Affordable
When students decide to further their education, a big obstacle is funding their courses. At Allied Prep, we understand this challenge and help our students overcome it by offering affordable financial aid options. Whether students want to pay for their classes with a credit card or want to pay as they learn, we are fully prepared to help them finance their education with minimal stress involved.
5. Putting Students First
Ever since we opened our doors, we have put our students first. We want every student to be successful and do all that we can to ensure that they get the education and training they need to start their new careers in little time.
If you’d like to learn more about what you can accomplish by enrolling at Allied Prep, contact our administration today! We’d be happy to discuss opportunities with you.

Becoming an IT Specialist in New Orleans

IT Specialist New Orleans


Think of the American corporate workforce. What does it run on? If you answered technology, email, and the Internet, you answered well. Visit any workplace and you’ll see that Information Technology is everywhere. And, while the majority of workers rely on this technology, most do not know how to implement, monitor, or even maintain it. That’s why Information Technology Specialists (IT Specialist for short) are in demand.

You may be wondering what IT Specialists do. The truth is, their roles vary and really depend on the need of the organizations that employ them. However, generally speaking, IT Specialists administer databases, technological systems, and computer networks. They may have to analyze office networks to improve efficiency, audit technology that is in place, or oversee the security of servers and databases used by the company. Information Technology always has been a growing field because technology continues to evolve at lightening-speed. This means that Information Technology Specialist jobs are pretty abundant across the country, particularly in New Orleans.

IT Specialist Jobs in New Orleans

Are you someone who loves technology and likes to wear many hats? If so, an IT Specialist job may be ideal for you. Not only will you be in a field that you love and that will keep you on your toes, you’ll also have an opportunity to make a great salary. According to Glassdoor, Information Technology Specialists in New Orleans, LA make an average annual salary of $55,526.00. And, if you move out of the state, there will be comfort in knowing that the national average salary for IT Specialist jobs happens to be $69,088.00 a year.

If a high annual salary is not enough to convince you to become an Information Technology Specialist, perhaps this statistic will. Computerworld.com reports that jobs within computer related occupations will increase by 22% by the year 2020. The most in-demand IT jobs will fall within the field of software development which has an expected increase of 28-32%.

How to Get Started

If you you’re looking for IT Specialist jobs in New Orleans, the best thing you can do to get started is to get your certification. Certification will set you apart from other candidates in the field. Getting certified is easy too thanks to Allied Prep. The school has an IT Support Technician program that provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to not only pass the CompTIA A+ Certification exam, but also enter into positions as computer technicians, IT technicians, field technicians, desktop support technicians, or PC support technicians.

Ready to learn more? Contact Allied Prep today and ask to receive information on our IT Support Technician program. Also inquire about our financial aid options as we’re committed to making education affordable for every student.

2017 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting has been Released

 2017 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines


Recently, it was announced that the 2017 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting was released. The newest iteration of the Guidelines can be accessed and downloaded from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ website for those who are interested. According to reports, the latest version has several key changes and the newly established guidelines actually explain what changes have been made to the code set.

It’s important to note that four organizations are responsible for approving the Guidelines before they are released. These organizations are the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

What are the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines?

Many people wonder what the Guidelines are. Essentially, the Guidelines are a set of rules that must be followed by healthcare professionals. They were developed to accompany the instructions set forth by the ICD-10-CM. However, the instructions set forth by the ICD-10-CM take precedence over the Guidelines. When diagnosis codes are assigned to patients’ medical records, medical coders must adhere to the Guidelines. This is required and mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All healthcare providers in the U.S. have adopted the diagnosis codes under HIPAA.

Why are the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines So Important?

Medical billers and coders have a difficult job to do as they must assign the correct diagnosis codes to patients’ records. Failure to do so can have an adverse impact not only on healthcare professionals administering treatment, but also patients. Therefore, healthcare providers and medical coders must work as a team to ensure all documentation is correct. This includes the assignment of codes as well as documentation of procedures, treatments, and diagnosis. The guidelines were specifically created to help medical coders and healthcare providers when they need to identify diagnosis. If these diagnosis codes did not exist, patient documents would not be accurate. Furthermore, other healthcare providers who may need to review a patient’s record would have a difficult time understanding what conditions the patient has been diagnosed with as well as the treatments he/she has received. The codes ensure that all professionals involved have only the most accurate, up-to-date information and protect the patient.

If you have additional questions related to the 2017 ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, we encourage to visit CDC.gov for more detailed information.

Medical Billing from Home: Study Online, Work Online

 Learn Medical Billing


One of the many benefits of working as a medical biller is that you might be able to work from home. A number of companies that offer medical billing jobs allow billers to do their work entirely over the internet, letting them work from home, a coffee shop, or really anywhere in the world.

If you’re interested in medical billing from home, you might want to consider contract positions with hospitals, doctor’s offices, or other medical facilities. Some of these companies will also offer full-time medical billing jobs that can be done remotely.

Working from home has a lot of great benefits. For one thing, it lets you be more flexible with your time. If you prefer to get work done late at night, you can do that. Or if you need to work around the schedules of your kids or other important commitments, that’s possible, too. Working from home also gives you more flexibility about where you look for jobs – you don’t need to be within driving distance of the company you work for. It also gives you back all the time that you would otherwise spend commuting.

But what about school? Is it possible to learn medical billing from home?

Absolutely. At Allied Prep, we offer medical billing school online, letting you take practice exams and learn from qualified instructors all from the comfort of your own home. This makes it possible for people who are currently employed to get the training they need without losing their current jobs. It also makes it possible for people who need scheduling flexibility to learn medical coding according to their own timetable.

Medical billing jobs are in high demand, and they can offer a rewarding career path for people looking to go in a new direction as well as students fresh out of high school. Invest in yourself with a medical billing course that will give you the skills and knowledge to step into a rewarding career.

To learn more about Allied Prep’s online medical billing course, contact us today. We can provide you with additional information about what will be covered, what medical billers do, and our financial aid options.

CPMA Exam Tips and Preparation

CPMA Exam Tips


The Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) exam is the test that you must pass in order to step into a job as a medical auditor. These jobs can be quite lucrative and are a great next step for professional medical coders or billers.

CPMA exams cover a number of topics, including general coding concepts, quality assurance, communication of results, the medical record, and government guidelines for medical documentation fraud and abuse reporting. Currently, the exam costs $350 to take and allows one free retake.

CPMA Exam Prep

The first step in CPMA exam prep is understanding the format of the exam and what will be expected of you. In your years of experience as a medical biller or medical coder, you’ll have already gained a lot of the experience necessary to do well on the test. But you will need to expand your knowledge, particularly of fraud detection and other auditing skills, in order to pass the exam.

The exam is a 150 question test made up entirely of multiple choice questions. You’ll be given five hours and forty minutes to complete the test, and you will be able to use your coding manuals during the whole thing. The AAPC recommends that test takers bring their own copy of the Current CPT, ICD-10-CM, and HCPCS Level II manuals.

Prepare the Smart Way

CPMA exams are notoriously difficult, so it’s important to prepare diligently in advance.

The best way to do that is with a CPMA certification course. By meeting regularly with a qualified instructor, either online or in a classroom, and practicing your skills in advance of the test, you can greatly increase your odds of passing the first time. Our best CPMA exam tips are to take practice tests early and often, and you’ll be able to do exactly that in our CPMA certification program.

Beyond exam prep, Allied Prep’s CPMA course also helps prepare students for a career as a medical auditor. The course will provide you with practical knowledge and skills that will help you step into a medical auditing job quickly and excel at your work.

Learn more about Allied Prep’s CPMA certification program by contacting our school today. You can also stop by the campus or fill out this form to request more information.

Allied Prep Financial Aid Overview: Helping Students Get the Education They Deserve

Allied Prep Financial Aid


Here at Allied Prep, we believe that every person deserves the chance to get the career training they need in order to support themselves and their loved ones. We work hard to make our courses as affordable and accessible as possible so that every student who wants to learn from us has that opportunity. It’s why we started our programs to learn medical billing and coding online, and it’s why we offer a variety of payment options to ease the burden of tuition.

The first option is to pay your course and material fees online with a credit or debit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. If you pay this way, your full payment is required at the time of registration.

The next option is to use PayPal Credit. This is also an online payment, but it doesn’t require that you have a credit card or a debit card. To use this option, you will need to create a PayPal account and submit your full payment at the time of registration.

The final and most flexible option is our “pay as you learn” option. This option lets students break their payments into two or three pieces. You will pay $600 when you register, and then you’ll have until the midpoint of your course (twelve weeks) to pay the rest of your balance. The one drawback of this option is that it requires a $50 administrative fee to set up. There are also penalties if you are unable to pay the remainder of your balance by the midpoint.

If none of these options will work for your situation, give our office a call at 504-304-8826 to learn about more financial aid opportunities. We don’t want cost to be what keeps you from learning, so we strive to meet you wherever you may be in life.

Whether your goal is to become a pharmacy technician or become an IT support technician, we want to help you get there. In just 18 weeks, you could be stepping into a rewarding, respected, and well-paying career. Give us a call or drop by the campus to learn how we can help you reach your dreams.

Medical Billing & Coding: Career Facts You May Not Know

Medical Billing and Coding Jobs New Orleans

Medical Billing & Coding: Career Facts You May Not Know


Medical billing and coding jobs are expanding around the country. As the population of the United States ages and medicine gets better, more people need medical care on a regular basis, which means that professions within the health care field are growing and will continue to grow for at least the next ten years.

If you’re thinking about getting certified as a medical biller or a medical coder, here are a few things about medical coding and billing careers that you may not know:

Medical Billers and Medical Coders Do Different Jobs

The terms “medical billing” and “medical coding” often get used interchangeably, but medical billers and medical coders actually do different (though related) jobs. Medical coders are the people who look at personal medical records and figure out how to properly code medical procedures, prescriptions, and diagnoses so that the person’s insurance company can be billed.

Medical billers are the people in charge of making sure that people are billed correctly. They work with insurance companies, patients, and medical coders to ensure that things don’t get overlooked and the right party pays for the right service. Both jobs require strong attention to detail and are usually done out of offices.

Medical Coding and Billing are Evolving

The latest coding system that medical billers and coders have to know is ICD-10. That stands for the tenth version of the International Classification of Diseases. This coding system gets updated every few years to reflect new technology, better classifications, and medical advances. It’s important for people who learn medical billing and coding to stay on top of their training over the course of their careers.

Medical Billers and Coders Don’t Need Advanced Degrees

You don’t have to go to a two- or four-year school to be successful as a medical biller or coder. As long as you have your high school diploma or GED, you can learn everything you need to know in order to pass your medical coding certification exam in just 18 weeks.

Allied Prep offers both online and in-class courses and financial aid opportunities to make it as easy as possible to earn your certificate. Learn more about our programs and about the career opportunities for medical billers and coders contacting us today!

Medical Billing and Coding Jobs in New Orleans on the Rise

medical_billing_coding_jobs_new_orleans_blog


According to PayScale.com, medical billing and coding careers are smart paths to be on. Medical billing and coding jobs in New Orleans are on the rise, as they are nationally. This is partly due to the fact that our population is aging, and partly due to the fact that people are living longer thanks to constant improvements in medicine.

PayScale reports that New Orleans medical billing and coding jobs have a median entry level salary of over $33,000 per year. The jobs with the highest starting salaries are regularly found in hospitals. As your years of experience go up, so will your salary. For example, people with three to five years of experience in New Orleans make a median salary of $38,460. People with eleven or more years of experience make $45,999.

Again, those are the median salaries. Depending upon where exactly you find a job, you might make less, or you might make more. Ten percent of medical coders make $45,000 as their starting salary.

Jobs in medical coding and billing also have room to grow. After working as a medical coder for a while, you could gain the experience necessary to step into a job as a certified coding specialist (with a median salary of $41,164) or a medical coding auditor (with a median salary of $50,331). The cost of living in New Orleans is quite low, so a person could support themselves nicely on even an entry level medical coder’s salary.

Plus, the majority of medical coders and billers in New Orleans also receive job benefits. According to PayScale, 58% of entry level medical coders receive dental, medical, and vision benefits. 19% receive just medical benefits, and only 10% receive no benefits at all.

Medical billing and coding careers are an excellent choice for people in New Orleans. Whether you’re looking to start your first career, change career paths, or get back to work after a few years at home, a certification in medical billing or medical coding can be your path to a more successful future. In just eighteen weeks, you can complete the necessary courses to pass your certification exam, which is all you need (plus your high school diploma) to qualify for entry level medical coding jobs.

To learn more, contact us or stop by our campus. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.