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Career Overview: Medical Reimbursement and Coding

It is not about billing customers.

That is what professors in Bryant & Stratton’s Medical Reimbursement and Coding degree program say many new students think of when they think medical coding.

But crunching numbers is not how graduates in this field will spend their days.

Instead, reimbursement and coding specialists immerse themselves in understanding biology and medical terminology. They have to understand how the body works, what diagnosis is linked to that body part and then learn to correctly code those so that insurance companies can accurately pay each claim.

Students will pick one of two tracks to study: hospital (inpatient) or physician’s office (outpatient).

Once the claims are coded, the billing side of the operation then submits the claims. Depending on the size of the employer, there may be a separate department for each step in the process, meaning employees may only code or only bill. In a smaller physician’s office, a much smaller staff may be tasked with the entire process.

This field also offers a huge ability to work from home and potentially work for yourself, completing coding assignments for different physicians. However, that requires experience and becoming well-known in medical circles.

Basic facts for Medical Administrative Assistant and Medical Coding, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (for 2012, the last available data)

Median Pay: $34,160 per year ($16.42 per hour)

Number of jobs, nationwide: 186,300

Rate of job growth: 22 percent per year

What will you study: physiology, biology, HIPPA laws

Growth Opportunities: Some doctors will hire experienced employees without credentials, if you have any dreams of moving up in the industry, or working from home as a contractor, you have to become credentialed and work toward earning more certifications to add to your degree.

Professional Resources: To learn more about careers as a medical reimbursement and coding specialist, check out these professional associations related to the field. Each of these organizations can help you find information, connect with mentors and research job opportunities.

The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists,

American Health Information Management Association,

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Millennial Job Hunters: Join the Management Ranks Now!

Are you looking to become a millennial manager? Well, the odds are definitely in your favor. Nearly one-third of your 21- to 32-year-old peers who have bachelor’s, master’s or postgraduate degrees hav not only paved the way, but may also be in a position to hire you. According to The 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce study, commissioned by Elance-oDesk and Millennial Branding, 27 percent of millennials are already managers, 5 percent are senior management and 2 percent are executives. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that millennials will soon be the largest generation in the workforce.

What will take for you to join them in the ranks?

Technical Competency

In recent years there has been a trend of employers evaluating job candidates’ more on soft skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving, than on hard skills.

However, The 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce study indicates that hard skills may be making a comeback as the priority for this group. Roughly 55 percent of hiring managers say they focus more on hard skills when hiring millennials and 45 percent of them expect to become even move skill-focused in ten years.

Since there is almost no way to determine on a case-by-case basis which of these your desired employer deems most important, would-be millennial managers should be prepared to sell their hard and soft skills, along with interpersonal and technological skills, too.

Interpersonal Skills

Today’s workplace is becoming more and more diverse in many ways. Typically, the more diversity there is among groups, the greater chances that conflict will arise. Millennials need to demonstrate that they recognize the value in diversity and that they know how to manage it to achieve organizational goals.

The best way to manage diversity, whether in preferences for communication (email, face-to-face, telephonic), workplace attire, etiquette, protocol, or work style is to use relationship skills.

“New managers need to build relationships with superiors, peers and team

members,” said Brian Braudis, an executive coach certified through the International Coach Federation. “Relationships can save you. It takes skill, finesse and talent to build relationships while holding people accountable.”

Technological Skills

Although it may seem unnecessary these days to point out how technologically savvy you are, it’s not. Just don’t state the obvious. Most millennials probably have umpteen social media accounts, know how to use the Microsoft Office Suite of products, and use email to communicate on a regular bases. What less common technological tools can you use? In what unique or creative ways have you used them to accomplish professional goals? What sets you apart from others who consider themselves technologically savvy, too?


Finally, the old saying that knowledge is power still holds true.

Jacob Engel, author and business consultant, suggested, “Read extensively (or listen to audiobooks). Be knowledgeable about business in general and leadership in particular.




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Staff Spotlight: Senior Admissions Representative Elizabeth Evans

Sometimes things around the office can get a little hectic, especially for our admissions team. Between helping students get into class, speaking with interested students who are ready to enroll and handling any other responsibilities each day, our admissions representatives have a lot on their plates.

That’s why Senior Admissions Representative, Elizabeth Evans can be found at the river by her house from spring to fall relaxing with a fishing pole in the water.

“I love to go fishing,” she said.  “Well, I love to sit on the bank and pretend I know how to fish. There’s something relaxing about ending the day watching the sun set over the river.”

Elizabeth also shares something in common with each and every one of our online students, she took online classes with Bryant & Stratton College as well. She enrolled in a Paralegal Certificate program just over a year-and-a-half ago and lived the life of an online student as she worked towards completion.

Of the many lessons she learned, the one that stood out the most to her was the importance of knowing your day-to-day schedule each week. She noted that having a plan of attack for each day and week will ensure that you manage your time properly and get all of your work done in a timely manner.

“As an online student you’re faced with new tasks and responsibilities that you didn’t have previously,” she said. “But if you’re prepared from the get-go, you’ll know exactly when you will have time to get work done and will be set up for success.”

Elizabeth’s first-hand experience as an online student has paid off in each and every relationship she forms with students. She said that working closely with her students is her favorite part of her job and playing such a large role in a stranger’s life is extremely rewarding.

For over three years Elizabeth has been helping guide students towards their educational goals. Hopefully you’ll have a chance to build a relationship with her just like so many students before you.

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Workplace Capabilities: Perseverance and Problem Solving

One of the workplace capabilities listed on each supplemental syllabus is perseverance. Perseverance requires a level of patience and maturity. In the long-term, perseverance is what allows someone to complete a degree. However, in the short-term, it is what helps us work through the smaller obstacles that can ultimately derail a career path.  Perseverance means going through the sometimes frustrating process of working through technical issues, continuing to grapple with tough course material, and completing projects when there is every possible distraction.

What will perseverance look like in the workplace? It will mean attempting to resolve issues with challenging co-workers, spending time researching a case or file, and being able to stay focused on long-term goals such as a promotion. Thinking about how your coursework will help you cultivate perseverance will be a great strength to showcase in an interview. Being able to specifically demonstrate focus on long-term goals will make you that much more appealing to future employers, and more confident in your own abilities. Read More…

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Career Overview: Medical Administrative Assistant

If you are looking for a career that includes a wide range of duties, a medical administrative assistant degree is a great choice. The list of tasks each day will be widespread and may change according to the type of doctor you work for. Medical administrative assistants do patient intake, schedule appointments, basic office paperwork, organize files and may even expand into billing and coding.

Students at Bryant & Stratton attend a type of billing bootcamp at the end of their degree program to prepare for the medical and billing specialist exam. The best part is, the entire expense is covered by the university. If students pass, they will be certified as medical and billing specialists and will be able to earn more money on their first job with that certification and their associate’s degree. Read More…

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The Difference between Associate Degree Programs and Certificate Programs

Many students enter the continuing education arena with the belief that an associate degree program and a certificate program are the same thing. While associate degree programs may prepare a student to obtain certification in their chosen area or career field, it is not the same thing as a certificate program. In general, an associate degree is a very broad term, encompassing a varied educational platform. Certificate degrees are extremely focused in their objective(s) and are related to a specific job or career niche.

Besides this general difference, there are three main differences between the two: the requirements to begin the program, the length of time towards completion, and the number of transferable education units earned at the end of the program.
Read More…

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Real-World Experience: Why it Matters

College students hear it over and over again – to get a job when you graduate, you need to have some real-world experience under your belt. While it may feel repetitive, the sentiment rings true when it comes to what employers want. One study found that Approximately 79 percent of employers expect real-world experience from college graduates when they evaluate potential hires.

But why do employers want applicants with real-world experience? Here are three reasons:  Read More…

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What Employers Want: Five Skills to Gain in College

Do you ever wish that you could read the minds of employers to figure out what they want? Unfortunately, this is not possible, but a number of books, movies and television shows suggest that mindreading isn’t a very good idea anyway.

Luckily, you don’t have to read minds to become more employable. Through Bryant & Stratton College’s EmployableYOU program, we work closely with employers in the fields of study that we serve to make sure that what is taught in the classroom is relevant in the workplace. Based on input from industry experts, coursework is designed to teach you not only the technical skills of your trade, but also the essential core capabilities that make you versatile, adaptable and valuable in any workplace.

Here are five key skills Bryant & Stratton College focuses on to help every student on their path to a successful career: Read More…

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Traveling for the Tassel at Bryant & Stratton College Online graduation

Bryant & Stratton College Online is proud to have produced nearly 400 graduates in 2015. One of the most unique aspects of our Online campus is that we have students in every corner of the United States. many of our students are making their way to Buffalo, NY to cross the stage as part of the Class of 2015.

Just over 20% of our Online graduates will be making their way to Buffalo while nearly 23% will travel to other Bryant & Stratton College graduation ceremonies in the coming weeks. Our graduates will cover 23,134 miles in total as they travel to Buffalo with some students traveling over 2,000 miles to cross the stage.

The infographic below details even more about where our Online graduates are coming from this year as they travel for the tassel (right click and select View Image to see the full size graphic). Read More…

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Get Hired: Four Ways to Prove Your Employability

Go to school; get a job. Like many students, you may have been taught to expect that doing the former will ensure the latter. But many recent grads are struggling in their search for an entry point to their career. The reason why? Employers don’t think they’re ready.

In a survey conducted by Bryant & Stratton College and Wakefield Research, 80 percent of 18-34 year olds said they believed they were job-ready and possessed all the skills, experience, and education needed to advance in their desired career path or obtain their next job.

But a study by McKinsey & Company found that almost 40 percent of employers looking to hire new employees had openings for six months or more. These employers claim that they are unable to fill positions due to the lack of skills, qualifications, and training in entry-level applicants. Read More…

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