Staying focused on your studies is never easy. The struggle only gets harder if you have a day job, have a family to look after, or have other demands on your time. Whether you’re learning medical coding or medical billing in a classroom or online, here are three simple tips that can help you stay focused on your studies.
1. Eliminate distractions
If you are attending medical billing school online, the hardest part may be finding a time that you can focus on lectures. When you sit down to your coursework, help yourself focus by going into a room where you can be by yourself. If you have kids, arrange for someone else to watch them, or try to do your work while they are at school, if you can. Once by yourself, silence your phone and put it away. The last thing you need is text messages and Facebook notifications distracting you from your work.
If you’re doing your coursework in a class setting, it’s still important to minimize distractions when you study at home, and when you’re listening to lectures in class. You should put that phone away, too, and block distracting websites while you’re in class so you’re not tempted to let your attention wander.
2. Take notes
One simple way to stay focused while studying is to take notes. If you’re listening to a lecture, write down key points. If you’re reading a text book, make notes in the margins or highlight key passages. This simple task will help you retain the information much better than simply listening or reading.
3. Schedule time for studying
If you’re attending medical coding school in person, it’s easy to let yourself believe that you will study when you have a free moment. But free moments don’t just magically appear. You need to set aside time for yourself to study, the same way you set aside time for class.
If you’re taking the course online, setting aside time is even more important. Plan a schedule for when you will listen to lectures and do coursework. Try to stick to the schedule as best you can. Treat your schedule like a solid commitment, not something you can move around whenever you feel like it. This attitude will help you stay on track.
AHIMA and the AAPC talked to a number of recently certified medical coding professionals about their strategies for passing their certification exams. The organizations gained a lot of great insights from these individuals. Here are some of their top tips for getting your medical coding or medical billing certification:
1. Take your exam as soon as you can.
Many students make the mistake of postponing their certification exam for a few months or more after finishing their medical billing course. This is a big mistake. The closer you can schedule your exam to the end of your course, the more likely you will be to pass. It makes perfect sense — you’ll do best when all of the information is fresh in your mind. Delaying will only cause you to lose confidence and forget some of the finer points of the course.
2. Don’t try to cram.
Some people blow off most of their coursework in favor of a last-minute cram session before the medical coding certification exam. This strategy rarely (if ever) works. The skills needed to become a successful medical coder can’t be learned overnight. Your best strategy is to give your coursework the time and attention that it requires. Stay up-to-date on your assignments, and get help as soon as you come across an area that you find confusing. Take advantage of all the resources available to you through your course.
3. Check your problem areas with practice exams.
Practice exams are an incredibly helpful tool while preparing for the actual test. You won’t see the exact same questions on the actual exam, but practice exams can help you get a feel for the format of the test and the types of questions that you’ll see. Practice tests can also help you identify areas where you need more work and give you a sense of whether or not you’re ready for the actual exam.
4. Create a support system.
It’s much easier to learn when you have other people on your side. Whether you’re interested in medical billing or coding, the programs at Allied Prep can provide you with all of the training and support that you will need to succeed. You can study at home through our online program or in class with other students who share your goals. In either case, you’ll have access to knowledgeable instructors who can help answer your questions and guide your studies.
If you’ve been working as a medical biller or a medical coder for the last few years, you may feel ready to take the next step in your career. For many medical coders, that step is becoming a certified professional medical auditor, or CPMA.
CPMAs are in demand in hospitals, at doctor’s offices, and in government agencies that regulate health care facilities. They can make substantially more money than billers or coders, because they must have more experience, more training, and a second certification in medical auditing.
If you’re already working full time as a medical biller or coder, how can you find the time to get the training you need to pass the CPMA exam? The answer is online CPMA school.
At Allied Prep, our online CPMA certification program lets you take your career to the next level without sacrificing your current job or your schedule. Online coursework lets you plan your studies around your schedule. You can go at your own pace. Maybe you’d like to cram through the course during a few weeks of vacation. Or maybe you’d like to set aside a few nights a week for regular lectures and study time. If your schedule is unpredictable, you could even fit in coursework here and there as you are able until you have time to finish.
Online learning also has a financial benefit. Allied Prep’s online course lets you get CPMA certification training for a set, low price that is much more affordable than an in-class alternative. All you need to succeed in an online course is an internet connection and a little determination. It’s by far the most flexible option for furthering your learning and moving your career forward.
In our online CPMA course, you’ll learn advanced medical coding, basics of statistical modeling, how to identify and report fraud, and many other skills. Once you pass your exam, you could be qualified for an in-house auditing position at your current workplace, or you could look for a job with an auditing agency. These positions let you travel around and work with new people all the time. There are lots of different ways to be successful as a CPMA, and the room for growth into more senior, even better paying positions is excellent.
Learn more about our online CPMA program by taking the time to contact our team! We’d be happy to address any questions you may have about our CPMA school.
Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other medical companies are having trouble finding enough medical coding and billing professionals to fill their job vacancies. Medical billers and coders are in high demand, but you need to be certified to qualify for these jobs. That’s where Allied Prep comes in.
Our 16-week courses can give you all the skills you need to obtain your certification and step into an entry level medical billing or coding job. Here are five things you’ll learn about in our in-class and online programs:
1. Basic anatomy and types of medical procedures
To be successful as a medical biller or coder, you need to understand what doctors and nurses are referring to when they talk about specific medical procedures. The first step to being a great coder is understanding what the most common medical procedures and terms mean.
2. Medical codes
The most important job of a medical coder is translating the procedures written down by doctors and nurses into the appropriate medical codes. This helps keep records straight, keeps patients safe, and simplifies the billing process. Whether you’re interested in medical billing school or medical coding school, you will learn the basic codes.
3. How to find information you need
No one can memorize every single medical code. Therefore, it’s important for medical coders to be able to look up the correct codes for more obscure procedures quickly and correctly. This research skill will make your job as a medical biller or coder much easier.
4. How medical offices run
You’ve probably been to the doctor many times in your life, but you may have never been in a medical billing office. Beyond coding, our program will help you understand how medical insurance works, the claims process, and how to communicate with doctors and insurance providers. In other words, we’ll set you up with the skills you need to do the full job, not just the coding part.
5. How to pass your AAPC exam
You can’t become a medical biller or a medical coder if you don’t pass your certification exam. That’s why we make the exam a big part of the course. You’ll have multiple opportunities to take practice exams, learn the question format, and get your questions answered by experienced instructors. With so much practice, you should be fully prepared to pass your exam the first time around.
Learn more about our medical billing and medical coding programs by contacting our helpful staff today!
If you’ve reached a plateau in your career as a medical biller or medical coder, it might be time to head back to school so that you can take the next step in your professional life.
Certified Professional Medical Auditors (CPMAs) are medical coders or billers with at least a few years of experience who have taken the time to get certified in medical auditing. This certification is harder to obtain than a basic medical coding or billing certification. It shows that you have the necessary expertise to identify errors or even fraud within the work of other billers and coders.
Because CPMAs have more experience and need to obtain a second certification, they are paid much more than other medical billers. They are in high demand, as medical offices and hospitals need to regularly submit to outside audits from federal and state agencies. Many medical offices also hire internal auditors to stay on top of their own records and avoid problems down the line.
In order to pass the CPMA exam, you will need advanced knowledge of medical coding as well as in depth knowledge of statistical sampling, quality assurance measures, medical fraud, and the accompanying documentation and reporting methods. Some people choose to study for the CPMA certification exam on their own, but it is much easier to prepare through a CPMA school.
At Allied Prep, our CPMA coursework gives you all the necessary tools to pass the exam the first time around. You’ll have access to knowledgeable instructors, the opportunity to take multiple practice exams, and support from fellow students. In a matter of weeks you’ll be ready to get CPMA certification off your checklist and move your career forward. Having your certification will make you a more valuable asset in your current job and open up possibilities of promotions and pay raises.
CPMA professionals are in demand around the country, and the opportunities are only expected to grow over the next ten years. Learn more about the responsibilities and benefits of being a Certified Professional Medical Auditor by visiting our campus or giving us a call today. We have online and in-class learning options, a flexible payment plan, and financial aid opportunities. Call 504-304-8826 now to learn more.
If current trends remain in place, 2017 looks to be a great year for job seekers. A number of factors are stacking up in favor of people looking for careers this year, especially skilled jobs like medical coding or medical billing jobs.
While many people fear that their job will be taken over by a machine, the vast majority of jobs simply can’t be done by current technology, according to most experts. The jobs that are getting automated are the ones that are repetitive and that require no creativity or judgement. Skilled jobs, therefore, are quite safe from automation.
In fact, the US added an average of 180,000 jobs per month in 2016, which is considered remarkably good. A large number of those jobs are in technology. People who are trained to work with specific machines or in specific computer programs have a significant leg up in the current marketplace. Certifications for technical jobs can also be incredibly helpful. So-called soft skills like creative thinking and marketing skills are valuable, but they need to be backed up by technical know-how in order to land the best jobs this year and in the years to come.
If you’ve been putting it off, 2017 just might be the ideal year to invest in your technical education. A certification in medical billing can open up all sorts of doors across the country. Medical coders and billers are in high demand in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and research facilities. These jobs can be found in every state, and there is room to grow, but you need to be certified in order to meet the basic job qualifications.
At Allied Prep, our 18-week medical billing and medical coding courses will give you all of the preparation you need to pass your certification exams. Once certified, you’ll be able to apply for a wide variety of medical coding jobs with regular business hours, great pay, and benefits.
Whether you’re looking to start a new career, fresh out of school, or trying to get back into the workforce, our medical billing and coding program might be the perfect choice for you. Give us a call at 504-304-8826 or stop by campus today to learn more.
If you’ve thought about joining the health information industry as a medical biller or coder, now is truly the time to take action! Job growth has never been higher and salaries continue to rise. Still not convinced? Consider these facts below:
Between 2014 and 2024, the health information field is expected to grow by at least 15% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There is a huge gap in employment. AHIMA reports that each year, 6,000 new positions are available in the health information industry. However, only 2,000 new people enter into jobs in this field each year. Why is there such a gap? Baby boomers are retiring, leaving once filled positions vacant. On average, health information job postings remain open 35 days before they are filled. That’s 2 days longer than the national average positing time of 33 days.
The salaries of employed medical billers and coders vary state-to-state. However, in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that health information professionals had an average salary of $34,160. Even better, the AAPC conducted a survey of 12,000 Certified Professional Coders (CDC) and found that the average salary among those surveyed was $46,800.
People within the medical coding and medical billing professions also benefit from steady employment. The AAPC reported that people who are Certified Professional Coders (CPC) had a very low unemployment rate of 1.7%. For some perspective, the national unemployment rate is over 7%.
As you can see, professionals in medical billing and coding have lots of advantages including many job opportunities, job growth, excellent salaries, and low unemployment. The other major advantage is that you do not need an advanced degree or years of training to become a Certified Professional Coder (CDC). All you have to do to become a CPC is pass the AAPC exam and then you can start looking for an entry level position at any hospital, health facility, or private practice near you.
At Allied Prep, we make the certification process extremely easy for our students by offering both in-person and online class options. During our 16 week program, our students learn anatomy, terminology, and medical codes from a teacher that has extensive health information industry experience. Our goal is to make sure that each of our students receives the knowledge and skills they need to pass their AAPC exam with ease.
To learn more about our medical billing and coding programs, contact our school today! Whether you have additional questions or would like to get started immediately, we’re happy to help you along the way.
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:
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.
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.
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.