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Medical Coding and Billing in Hawaii

Medical billers and coders are concerned with far more than just matters of finance. A medical billing and coding specialist is a health professional who is adept at understanding medical documentation and abstracting information from it. The main duty is generally to assign codes and modifiers which are needed for reimbursement and/or research. Many other duties may fall within the scope of duty, though. An expert medical coder may be expected to educate health professionals about compliance regulations and to identify issues with billing and even quality of care.

How does a coding expert advance? Accuracy is generally regarded as the most important factor. In a 2009 work survey by the AAPC, 91% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their value to their employer was determined by their accuracy. Very high levels of accuracy can help a person advance. Nationwide, some positions post for medical coding specialists with 95% or even 96% accuracy.

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Medical Billing and Coding Training in Hawaii

Medical billing and coding is a unique health care field in that professionals rarely work with patients. Instead, they work in offices -- and some of those office are in fact in their own homes. Education in the medical billing and coding field mirrors this. Many medical billing and coding training programs are conducted online. Coursework generally includes medical terminology and anatomy, ICD-9-CM, HCPCS, and CPT-4 coding systems, reimbursement policies and compliance issues, as well as computer technology used in coding.

Medical billing and coding training programs generally prepare students to sit for credentialing exams through a national agency. Hawaii’s employers often look favorably on either AHIMA or AAPC certification, though sometimes you will see one that prefers AHIMA. Advanced education may put a person ahead. Employers may list an HIM program or other associates degree program as a preferred qualification.

Medical coding is a challenging profession. It's getting tougher, in the current economic climate, to land that first job, and the AAPC has issued a challenge: If a person can code 800 scenarios virtually and score high enough, he or she will be awarded a higher certification status. No more will he or she have to compete for jobs with apprenticeship status! It is possible to take up to three attempts, but scores will be impacted. The only way to get a score of 90% or above is to do very well the first time.

The most ideal way to prepare for the certification exams is to gain the appropriate education. Find a medical billing and coding training program that is convenient for you below.

Medical Billing and Coding Salary and Job outlook in Hawaii

Another advantage to formal education can be externship opportunities where candidates practice their skills in healthcare settings. These help them become better medical coders or medical billers, and they can also help them make connections within the field. A representative of Heald College says that externships are valuable for more than just passing board examinations. When employers really likes an extern, they are sometimes able to offer a paid position.

One will sometimes see an ad in Hawaii for a position where there is no requirement for previous experience. Such posts are in the minority, however. What else, besides the field connections one has made, can help a new graduate secure that first position? Medical coders may also break into the healthcare arena in related fields like customer service or as medical records clerks. If one already has this experience, they may be at an advantage for medical billing and coding jobs.

Ultimately, Hawaii’s billing and coding specialists can expect to make a good income. The BLS categorizes medical billing and coding as health records and health information technologies and reports that Hawaii has the second highest wages in the nation. $19.88 per hour is listed as the average. Honolulu is listed at $20.58 and the nonmetropolitan areas of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai at $16.79. Many factors, including experience, credentialing, and job setting affect actual income. The range is quite large, with those at the 10th percentile earning $13.65 and those at the 90th percentile making $28.59.

Get started toward a career as a medical billing and or medical coding specialist by choosing an appropriate training or degree program below.

You may also want to check out the medical assisting programs in Hawaii. This is another exciting career entry path to the health care field.

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