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Steps to Become a Medical Biller and Coder in Rhode Island

The health care industry is booming throughout the country and that has led to a continualrhode-island demand for medical billers and coders. Job prospects are increasing everywhere as new medical billers and coders are finding work at a rapid pace. That has allowed medical billers and coders to be more selective when choosing a place to work. There is a certain sense of security that comes with being part of a profession that is in such demand.

 

Job Prospects and Potential Pay

In the state of Rhode Island, medical billers and coders earn an average salary of $40,480 per year. That is not where they can expect to see their salaries peak as some medical billers and coders in Rhode Island earn up to $58,550 annually. Rhode Island features new job openings every year as the number of medical billers and coders are consistently on the rise. That trend is expected to continue through each of the next eight years. With more Rhode Island health care facilities opening up, more options will be available to medical billers and coders.

Rhode Island cities with medical billing and coding education institutions: Warwick and West Warwick.

Top Rhode Island cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: Fall River, Providence, Warwick.

A few potential employers of medical billers and coders in Rhode Island:

 

Rhode Island State License Requirements

Rhode Island has not established any state license that would apply to medical billers and coders, who are also classified as health information technicians. Since there are no statewide licensing procedures, medical billers and coders in Rhode Island are capable of working at any kind of health care facility. Medical billing and coding certifications are not licenses and while recommended, they are also not required by the state of Rhode Island.

 

Meeting Education Requirements

To get started on an educational path in medical billing and coding, a high school diploma or GED equivalency is strongly recommended. Each Rhode Island post-secondary school conducts its own individual admissions process and most make it mandatory for applicants to hold a high school diploma or GED. This educational background also prepares medical billing and coding students for the coursework that lies ahead.

 

Rhode Island Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements

Since there are no formal state guidelines for medical billers and coders, certifications and degrees are prerequisites needed to attain most jobs. Earning a certification or degree in medical billing and coding is a way of showing that the necessary training and education has been completed. Working in the medical billing and coding field requires a firm grasp of knowledge and skills that are very specific to each job.

One way to learn those skills and acquire that knowledge is to enroll in a Rhode Island medical billing and coding certification program. The length of these programs span anywhere from six months to a year. Once a certification has been earned, it can then be used to acquire a medical billing or coding job in Rhode Island.

The college route is also an option as an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Medical Billing and Coding await those who complete the required coursework. This path generally takes two years to complete. An Associate’s Degree is often held in high regard by prospective employers looking to hire new medical billing and coding professionals.

Certifications are also offered by the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) or AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders), both of which are nationally recognized organizations. Medical billing and coding are not combined into one unified certification through these organizations. A RHIT (Registered Health Information Technician) certification is available in medical billing while a CPC (Certified Professional Coder) certification is available to medical coders.

 

Overview of Medical Billing and Coding

Medical billers and coders perform different job functions. While they are often mentioned in conjunction with one another, each is a completely different discipline. Medical billers and coders often work together to ensure the billing process is carried out efficiently. One person can perform both billing and coding responsibilities, yet many health care facilities assign one person to each specific job.

Medical billers prepare the actual patient bills that are called claims. These claims represent all of the services provided to a patient by a particular health care facility. Many of those claims are sent out to a third party for payment. That involves insurance companies and expands the responsibilities of a medical biller. There are many complex details involved with insurance policies and it is the job of a medical biller to know all of those details.

There is also the need to contact insurance carriers as well as patients. Medical billers often find themselves resolving claims disputes, explaining policy details, answering patient inquiries and verifying medical codes. All of those duties require strong communication skills as medical billers interact with a good deal of people. They are also required to conduct follow-ups to claims that remain unpaid and even set up payment plans.

Medical coding jobs demand much less interaction. Coding duties can usually be performed in solitude without having to consult with others. Medical coders are given medical reports, notes and transcriptions and then turn them into codes. To accomplish this task, medical coders have a strong knowledge base of the many coding systems used in the health care industry. These codes represent every kind of procedure, prescription, diagnoses and medical product. The codes are important because that is what is used in claims.

Doctors and other health care professionals do not record their day-to-day services with codes. That is why the role of a medical coder is such an important one. Accounting for every service provided to a patient is the way that health care facilities are financially compensated. A good medical coder can increase the earning of a Rhode Island health care facility. They possess a strong attention to detail and the ability to work without direct supervision.

 

Resources

Rhode Island Medical Coding Jobs

Take a look at all of the current job openings for medical coders in Rhode Island.

Health Information Technology in Rhode Island

Catch up on the latest innovations in health information technology in the state of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Medical Billing Job Listings

The medical billing profession continually advertises new openings on the LinkedIn website.

Rhode Island Health Information Management Association

The RIHIMA offers a wealth of online resources for medical billers and coders.