The healthcare field is growing at a ridiculous rate and medical coding and billing classes in Hawaii are no different. In our latest article we cover the basics of training for coders and billers and what they can expect in their programs. From start to finish we cover the details and what the future holds for the career as a whole.

Becoming a medical coder or biller in Hawaii

The medical billing and coding profession in Hawaii like the rest of the states in the country is regulated on a national level. The certifying bodies are listed below.

Certifications for billing and coding are recognized from several different national bodies. Employers in the state recognize a wide range of certifications from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), National Healthcare Association (NHA), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and the Medical Association of Billers (MAB).

What is the process for becoming a certified coder or biller in Hawaii?

To see the process to become a medical biller or coder in Hawaii check out the following four steps.

Step 1 – Decide if you want to earn your certification

Making the decision whether or not to become certified is the initial step you’ll want to take if you want to start working as a medical billing and coding specialist. This decision will influence your future in two ways: the kinds of opportunities you’ll be able to interview for, and the time it will take you to become employed.

As you can probably guess, deciding to take the time to get certified provides several considerable advantages. Because of the increased amount of litigation that medical professionals face and the corresponding surge in insurance costs, most employers now require their team members to be certified.

This is additionally true of employers who’ve previously employed non-certified staff. An increasing number of business employers across the United States have started to ask their non-certified staff to enroll in certification training courses as a condition of remaining employed.

Nonetheless, it’s possible to begin looking for a job as a non-certified medical billing and coding specialist right away if you’ve opted against signing up for formal training. But then again, if you do opt to get your certification, you’ll be able to move on to the next step below.

Step 2 – Finish the necessary education

Medical billing and coding programs give a few different types of credentials to their students: a two-year associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, and a certificate. Even though all three credentials can make you eligible for entry-level medical billing and coding opportunities, there are some significant differences between the three.

Diplomas and Certificates

The curriculum for diploma or certificate courses focuses solely on showing you the everyday skills you are going to use as a biller or coder, and can oftentimes be completed in 12-15 months. A wide array of institutions provide these popular programs, and many of them are provided in an online format as well. This is unlike associate and bachelor’s degree courses which include general education and many other university classes as well.

Associate Degree

If your main career goal is to move into a specialized area of medicine or a professional-level job, associate degree programs are generally the best way to go. As traditional college degree programs, coursework for this credential is typically available from trade schools and junior colleges.

The benefits of holding an associate degree usually far exceed those of the certificate or diploma, and so the additional challenges are normally considered to be worthwhile.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degree programs typically last at least four years, and will require students to acquire a significant mastery of billing and coding principles, and additional general education material. Since these programs are administered solely by four-year schools and vocational schools, the cost of gaining this degree is generally considerably higher.

Carrying a bachelor’s degree is frequently looked at by employers as a huge asset, and one can typically look forward to better pay and responsibilities as a consequence

Each of these alternatives is a viable approach to start your professional career, as long as it fits your personal goals and economic circumstances. The diploma or certificate approach is typically the better option for people who are concerned with being able to commit the money and time necessary for an associate or bachelor’s degree. There is the possibility of going back later and pursuing a higher degree after getting one of these credentials as well.

If you are planning on progressing quickly in your medical career, and already have a larger objective on your mind, then the extra time and expense necessary to complete a degree might make sense for you.

What to search for in a medical billing and coding program

Medical coding and billing programs in Hawaii are required by state guidelines to be approved by multiple agencies including the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). In order for you to become able to test for certification, you need to first finish a program that is approved by one of these organizations. CLick on the links to search for training near you.

It is very important to look for a few things when deciding where to enroll for training courses. Take into account the following things in a program when comparing it to another:

  • Take programs that are currently accredited by the CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Find the % of program grads passed their certification exams
  • Be certain that will classes fit into your personal schedule
  • Make sure that program costs are going to fit within your budget

As with any decision, you must first establish what your main concerns are. For example, if you are concerned with how much your classes will cost, you can begin by eliminating any programs that don’t fit your budget. Next, you can analyze every program based on your second-most important requirement and to eliminate any that aren’t acceptable.

Repeat this process with every criteria that is important for you, and you will eventually have just a couple of schools to choose from. Being sure that the class you go with will fit your individual situation can greatly improve your likelihood of graduating.

Step 3 – Do an internship or acquire job experience

Many medical coding and billing certification exams require you to have finished an internship or acquire a specified amount of workplace experience prior to being approved to challenge testing. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you either go through an internship or a non-certified position while finishing your education.

Most accredited medical billing and coding schools help pupils reserve internships with area businesses. Nevertheless, it is a good plan to figure out whenever possible if your school will help you with this certification test requirement.

Step 4 – Successfully pass the certification assessment

In Hawaii, you are legally required to pass one of the nationally-administered examinations for medical coding and billing certification. The examinations consist of segments on each main area of knowledge you would’ve been exposed to in your course.

Some of the main national certification examinations recognized in Hawaii are listed here.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – These popular, highly-respected national certifications are sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and are recognized by just about {all organizations}.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This certification is recognized by nearly all business employers, represents a well-rounded proficiency in medical billing and coding, and may qualify its recipient for almost any medical billing and coding job opening.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA credential is a nationally-accepted credential that certifies its recipient for a broad number of positions in medical coding.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS credential symbolizes a targeted expertise in the competencies necessary to excel in the billing and coding field.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – A good choice for individuals planning on focusing on billing jobs, the CMBS and CMRT are certifications that show high level proficiencies in a variety of billing-relevant skills.

Medical biller and coder salary and jobs in Hawaii

In Hawaii, and the remainder of the country, demand is very high for medical billing and coding specialists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 15% increase in new jobs across the nation and a 9% growth in the State of Hawaii through 2024. The bulk of new jobs are expected to be produced in hospitals and physicians offices. Some registrar organizations additionally hire health information technicians.

As a consequence of the fast growth of electronic health records (EHRs) inside the professional medical community, the medical coding and billing profession is extremely desirable with those interested in a career in health information.

Below is a record of the largest cities in Hawaii and even more specifics on medical billing and coding pay by area and county.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Yearly$25,070$38,040$62,840
HawaiiHourly$13.31$21.38$34.99
Yearly$27,680$44,480$72,790
Hawaii/Maui/Kauai BOSHourly$15.14$18.45$32.90
Yearly$31,490$38,380$68,430