Category Archives: Maine

Best Accredited Online Schools For Medical Billing And Coding Waterboro ME

How to Select the Right Medical Billing and Coding School near Waterboro Maine

Waterboro ME medical billing and coding class instructor with studentNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field by enrolling in a medical billing and coding school near Waterboro ME, it’s crucial that you choose the appropriate school to ensure that you receive the necessary education to ensure your success. As you may already know, healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the Country, and increasingly more options are available both on campus and online to get the training that you need. But just where does one start? A number of future students begin by looking for programs that are within commuting distance of their residences and then comparing tuition. Or they may search the internet looking for online classes and pick the least expensive one. But while cost and location are important issues when making your selection, they should not be the sole ones when comparing medical billing and coding schools. Such qualifications as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will cover a list of questions that you should ask the medical billing and coding training programs you are assessing in order to learn what you need to know before making your decision. But first, let’s take a look at what medical billers and coders do and the academic and certification options available.

Medical Coder Job Duties

Waterboro ME patient medical recordsMedical coders work on the front line of the billing systems for Waterboro ME private practices and hospitals. They have the responsibility to review the medical records of patients and assign universal codes to all services provided. These services can be for medical, diagnosis or dental procedures, or any medical supplies or equipment used. There are various codes that are utilized in the conversion, including:

  • CPT codes (Current Procedural Terminology).
  • ICD codes (International Classification of Diseases).
  • HCPCS codes (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding).

Medical coders depend on information from sources including physician and nursing notes, patient charts, and lab and radiology reports. Medical Coders must not only know what services were provided in total for accurate reporting, but must have a working knowledge of all government and private payer rules that affect coding also. Incorrectly coded claims can lead to services not being covered, services being paid for at a decreased rate, or the provider being penalized for fraudulent or improper billing. Since improper coding can actually cost Waterboro ME physicians and medical facilities multiple thousands of dollars in earnings annually, a good medical coder is a vital asset to the healthcare organization. They can work in any kind of healthcare facility, including family practices, clinics, hospitals and critical care centers. It is not uncommon for seasoned medical coders to operate at home as an offsite employee or an independent contractor.

Medical Biller Job Summary

Waterboro ME patient billed for medical careAs essential as the medical coder’s function is, it would be for naught without the collaboration of the medical biller whose efforts produce revenue. Medical billing clerks are very important to Waterboro ME healthcare facilities and are essentially responsible for keeping them in business. In many cases the coder and biller are the same person within a medical facility, but they can also be two separate specialists. When the coder has carried out her or his duty, the biller uses the codes supplied to complete and submit claim forms to insurance carriers, Medicare or Medicaid. After they have been adjusted by the appropriate organization, patients can then be invoiced for deductibles or additional out of pocket expenses. On a routine basis, a medical biller can also do any of the following:

  • Confirm medical insurance benefits for patients and assist them with billing concerns or questions
  • Follow up on patient claims submitted and appeal any that have been denied
  • Function as an intermediate between the medical provider, the insurance carriers and the patients for proper claim resolution
  • Generate and oversee Accounts Receivables reports
  • Produce and deal with unpaid patient collections accounts

Medical billers not only are employed by family practices, but also Waterboro ME hospitals, urgent care facilities, medical groups or nursing homes. They can practice in any type of healthcare facility that depends on the incomes generated by billing third party payers and patients.

Medical Biller and Coder Training and Certification

Waterboro ME Medical Billing and Coding SpecialistIt’s important that you receive your education from a reputable school, whether it’s a community college, technical or trade school. While it is not a requirement in many cases to earn a professional certification, the program you select should be accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). Most programs only require that you have either a high school diploma or a GED to appy. The most expedient way to becoming either a medical biller or coder (or both) is to earn a certificate, which generally takes about one year to complete. An Associate Degree is also an option for a more comprehensive education, which for the majority of colleges calls for two years of studies. Bachelor’s Degrees in medical coding and billing are not abundantly offered. When your education has been completed, although not required in the majority of states, you may want to earn a professional certification. Certification is an effective method for those new to the field to show potential Waterboro ME employers that they are not only qualified but committed to their career. Some of the organizations that provide certifications are:

  • American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
  • Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC).
  • The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS).
  • American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Completing an accredited medical billing and coding course, together with attaining a professional certification, are the most effective ways to advance your new vocation and succeed in the fast growing Waterboro ME healthcare field.

Online Medical Billing and Coding Colleges

woman attending medical billing and coding classes online in Waterboro MEIf you are interested in convenience and the flexibility of attending classes from home, then choosing an online medical billing and coding program may be a good alternative. They can be particularly appealing to those living in Waterboro ME who plan on going to school while still working or have additional commitments that make attending classes on campus challenging. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently cheaper than the standard classroom alternatives. Expenses for such items as tuition, course materials and commuting may be minimized or eliminated. But be cautious, as not all online programs are reputable. That’s why it’s important to confirm that the online school you choose is accredited to guarantee a superior education. We will cover the advantages of accreditation in the next section. Just make sure to establish that any online instruction you are looking at is accredited by one of the national accrediting organizations, for instance the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. So if you are disciplined enough to commit yourself to this style of learning, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Medical Billing and Coding Schools

Questions to ask Waterboro ME medical billing and coding schoolsNow that you have a general idea just what a medical coder and biller does, along with what training options are offered, you need to start the process of evaluating colleges. But since there are numerous training options offered at community colleges as well as vocational, technical and trade schools within the Waterboro ME area, you should have a ready list of questions to assess each one. And when you include all of the online colleges that offer medical coding and billing classes, the task can become rather daunting. As we have already covered, location and cost are going to be important issues, particularly if you have a limited budget and will be driving to classes from your Waterboro residence. And verifying that the program and school are accredited must be part of your vetting process also. So let’s review a few of the other questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing so that you can evaluate each one and make the appropriate choice.

Is the Program Accredited? It’s essential that the school and program you select are accredited by a respected accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools. If it’s an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. Not only will accreditation help guarantee that the education you receive will be of the highest quality, it could help secure future employment also. Many Waterboro ME healthcare organizations will only employ entry level prospects that have completed an accredited medical coding and billing training course. And financial aid and student loans are frequently only available for colleges that have earned an accreditation.

What is the School’s Reputation? Before choosing a medical billing and coding program, find out what its ranking and reputation are compared to other programs. This is especially imperative if you have no experience in the field, since potential employers will mainly be evaluating you based on the quality of your training. As we have discussed, verifying that the program is accredited is a first step. Checking with school rating organizations, for instance U.S. News and World Report, can validate the quality of the school as well. An alternative is to check with some Waterboro ME medical organizations that you might have an interest in working for and find out which colleges they suggest. Bear in mind that even when the school itself does not have an excellent reputation, its medical billing and coding program may still be highly regarded.

Is there a Job Assistance Program? Obtaining a job in Waterboro ME after graduating in your new profession may be difficult without the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs and what their job placement rates are. A rapid and high placement rate is an excellent indication that the billing and coding school has a sizable network of healthcare employers where they can refer their graduates. It also indicates that the college’s graduates are sought after in the marketplace.

Where is the School’s Location? If you are intending on driving to class from your Waterboro ME residence, then the location of the school will be of prime importance. Of course if you choose an medical coding and billing online program, then the location of the school will not be a factor. One thing to remember is that if you attend classes at a junior or community college, most require a higher tuition for enrollees that reside outside of their districts. So you may prefer to first consider those colleges that are within your local area.

What is the Complete Cost? Medical billing and coding certification programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the type of credential obtained and the amount of training provided. But remember, tuition is not the only cost of your education. Expenditures also include such items as the cost of supplies, books and commuting. Financial assistance may be accessible to help offset some of the cost, so be sure to contact the college’s financial aid department to see what is available in Waterboro ME. Of course if you decide to enroll in an online college, a portion of these additional costs, particularly for commuting may be lessened or even eliminated.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? A number of students continue working while going to college and need a convenient class schedule. If you can only attend classes during the evenings or on weekends near Waterboro ME, verify that they are offered at those times. If you can only attend on a part time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers that alternative. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering a Billing and Coding School near Waterboro Maine?

If you are planning on attending a medical billing and coding training program near Waterboro ME, following is some important information about the location of your new school campus.

Waterboro, Maine

The town includes the districts of North (04061), South (04087), and East (04030) Waterboro, in addition to the largest development in southern Maine, Lake Arrowhead Community. The introduction of Maine subdivision regulation, and Maine Planning Boards, is the direct result of the creation of the largest subdivision, Lake Arrowhead Community. The reaction of the Maine State Legislature was mandatory Planning Boards, and subdivision regulation.

Abenaki Indians called the area Massabesic, meaning "the place of much water", a reference to the region's lakes. It was part of an extensive tract of land purchased in 1661 by Major William Phillips of Saco from Chief Fluellin. Known as Massabesic Plantation, it included most of modern-day Waterboro, Alfred and Sanford. Phillips died in 1683, and the plantation eventually passed from his heirs to 10 proprietors. One of those proprietors was Colonel Joshua Waters, for whom the town would be named.[4]

Lumbering began to thrive there about 1764. Captain John Smith from Kittery was the first permanent settler, arriving in 1768. On March 6, 1787, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated the township as Waterborough. In 1790, Old Corners became the site of the Court of General Sessions, although in 1805 the county seat shifted to Alfred. In 1895, the name was shortened to Waterboro.[4]

Choose the Best Medical Biller and Coder Training near Waterboro ME

Choosing the right medical coding and billing degree or certificate program is a crucial initial step to help assure your success in this exciting specialty of healthcare. Medical billing and medical coding are two of the most rapidly growing careers in the health sector. As a result, there are numerous vocational schools, community colleges and other institutions that offer education and training in medical coding and billing. You originally came to our website because you had an interest in Best Accredited Online Schools For Medical Billing And Coding. As we have covered, you can elect to attend classes either online or on campus. It’s also essential that the college you choose has an accredited program with an exceptional reputation within the medical care field. But however you elect to receive your education, by following the previous guidelines and posing the appropriate questions, you will be better qualified to analyze your options and choose the ideal medical billing and coding college. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your career objective to become a medical coding and billing specialist in Waterboro ME.

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