Medical Billing and Coding in Maine
Maine manages, under the banner of MaineCare, a number of programs for needy residents. There is CubCare which provides not only basic medical care but dental care, eyeglasses, hearing tests, and physical or occupational therapy to children under nineteen whose families meet eligibility guidelines. Other MaineCare programs serve needy adults as well as families. There are a lot of health professionals on the team, delivering healthcare. Among them are Maine’s medical billing and coding specialists.
- Earn your RN-to-BSN online from Capella University
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the Registered Nurse
- Online Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Nursing Programs and Certificates
Medical billing and coding is a profession which requires both skill and training. medical billers and coders must correctly enter in codes and modifiers to make sure that services will be covered as expected without complication. Different organizations have their own rules. There are, for instance, a limited number of codes a chiropractor’s office can use to bill MaineCare. Complex procedures and visits which involve multiple professionals can also be difficult to code. It’s not just reimbursement policies that coding experts must understand, however. Coders also must have a basic understanding of medical terminology and medical procedures in order to make sense of the information on medical charts and other documentation. Some medical coders become experts in specialized branches of medical knowledge.
Interested in exploring a career in medical coding and billing? It begins with a solid education.
Medical Billing and Coding Training in Maine
Prospective medical billing and coding students will find a broad, but sometimes puzzling array of choices. Medical billing and coding is one of the few medical professions that doesn’t involve direct patient care, and therefore less field experience is necessary. Accredited and approved medical billing and coding training programs in Maine can be found online as well as at traditional institutions
What does it mean, in the medical billing and coding field, for an institution to be accredited? If a person wants a more comprehensive health information technologies education, they should select a program accredited by CAHIIM, the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management. If they want to focus exclusively on medical coding, they can select any school that will prepare them for national certifying exams through AHIMA or AACP.
CCA, or Certified Coding Associate, is AHIMA’s entry level the entry level certification. Many medical billing and coding training and health information technology programs are designed to help students reach this level of proficiency. AHIMA recommends the next level of certification CCS, or Certified Coding Specialist, for medical coders with three years of experience, but some educational programs do give students the skills to pass it.
The most basic certification through AAPC is CPC-A, Certified Professional Coder Apprentice. Medical coders normally become CPCs after two years of full time work experience, but a new AAPC simulated coding program allows students with very high scores to drop their apprentice status.
Medical Billing and Coding Salary and Job outlook in Maine
Medical billing and coding is a job with good growth potential, particularly for those who prove their skills through accurate coding. A couple years experience in the field will qualify a worker for many lucrative positions. Making the school to work transition? AfterCollege.com lists billing and coding positions in Maine that don’t require a lot of experience. There are also various positions one can start in while gaining connections within the field. Medical billing and coding expertise can be helpful, for instance, for a position as accounts representative. On the Indeed.com forum, some coders suggest networking to make connections within the field.
The Portland metropolitan area employs the most workers in medical billing and coding and other health information technologies. The average hourly wage for this region is $14.93, according to statistic from the Bureau of Labor. Bangor is at $15.32 and the Lewiston-Auburn metropolitan area $15.61. While there is a nationwide trend toward lower salaries in nonmetropolitan areas, some of Maine’s more rural regions report strong wages. $15.28 is the average for the southwestern nonmetropolitan regions. The northeastern one, though, report only $13.81. Actual salaries vary considerably with certification, education, and years on the job.
Maine Medical Center in Portland, Mercy Hospital with locations in Gorham, Westbrook and Portland, Brighton Medical Center in Portland and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor are some of the largest employers in the Maine health care sector. These facilities employ medical billing and coding specialists, mostly experienced. They are good places to learn about what employers are looking for as well as where to begin a job search. Take the first step and find a medical billing and coding training program in Maine that can help get you started in this career.
The Medical Assisting programs in Maine have also proven to be excellent for career preparation in the state.