Medical Billing and Coding in Alaska
Working in the health care industry doesn’t necessarily mean spending years of your life in school. In fact, there are many health care specialties that you can start working in with only a few months to a year of education. Learning about how medical procedures are coded and billed can make you a valuable asset to a health care employer.
Medical coding and billing specialists may become an even more important part of Alaska health care in coming years. The Healthcare Task Force in Alaska is addressing national reforms that are affecting the medical industry of this state.
Standardized medical coding and billing ensures that patients and insurance companies do not overpay, while making sure that medical professionals are properly compensated for their services.
Ready to explore a new career path in the health care industry? Learn more about medical coding and billing programs in Alaska.
What to Expect in Alaska Medical Coding and Billing Training
Since medical coding and billing is so specialized, you may think that you need to spend years learning about this field before you can start working. However, when compared to other medical career paths, coding and billing actually requires much less training. At some Alaska schools, you can complete your education in just one semester. If you want to earn an Associate’s degree, you may need to spend closer to two years in school.
Although these programs may be shorter than other options, they are still very rigorous. In your coursework, you should learn about medical procedures, the anatomy of the human body, the business environment of health care institutions, and standardized coding and billing expectations. To reach these goals, you may take courses like Introduction to Diagnostic Coding, Introduction to Procedural Coding, Medical Office Basics, Electronic Health Records, and Health Claims & Insurance.
Work experience is an essential part of this program. As you learn, you may spend quite a bit of time working with different coding and billing programs. To end your program, you may land an externship or internship, which allows you to put your skills to work in a real health care environment.
Financial aid programs in Alaska aim to expand the health care workforce of the state. A large source of financial aid in Alaska is the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
Working as a Medical Billing and Coding Professional in Alaska
Once you complete your education, it is time to get active in the workforce. Although you do not have to be licensed to work in this field, earning optional certification can boost your career options and display your skills to potential employers. AAPC is the largest certification organization in this specialty.
Alaska coding specialists may enjoy a strong job outlook for years to come, since job openings are expected to increase 22% by 2022 (O*Net, 2014). The average salary in Alaska is $40,600 per year, which is considerably higher than the national average (O*Net, 2015).
Most employers that play any part in the health care industry hire medical billing specialists, so you may look for opportunities at hospitals, clinics, health insurance companies, and government agencies.
It’s time to find out how a career in health care can change your life. Learn more now by contacting medical billing and coding schools in Alaska.