If you are looking for a career that is growing in popularity and does not have extensive prerequisites, medical coding and billing classes in Maine is perfect for you. See what the allied health career is about in our detailed breakdown of the career here. Below we cover what it takes to become a medical coder or biller in Maine and what you can expect from day one to certification.

Becoming a medical biller or coder in Maine

Medical coders and billers in Maine are regulated nationally by the two agencies 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 biller or coder in Maine?

Becoming a medical biller or coder in Maine is detailed and summarized in the following 4 steps.

Step 1 – Do you want to get certified?

Coming to a decision if you’re going to become certified is the first step you’ll need to take if you want to start working as a medical coding and billing specialist. This particular choice could affect your future in two ways: the kinds of positions you’ll be able to interview for, and the time it’ll take you to become employed.

As you may likely assume, deciding to make an effort to get certified offers several important benefits. Being certified is also becoming seen as a prerequisite by many employers who see it as a way to protect themselves against potential lawsuits and rising insurance premiums.

This is also true of employers who have previously hired non-certified staff. As a requirement of continuing employment, non-certified employees are now being ordered by their employers to earn a certification.

With all of that said, you could start looking for a position as a non-certified medical coding and billing specialist immediately if that’s your choice. Step 2 and the subsequent steps shown in this article apply only if you have made the decision to earn a certification.

Step 2 – Finish the necessary education

There are a few different types of credentials that may be received by finishing a professional medical billing and coding course – diploma, two-year associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree. While all three credentials may make you eligible for entry-level medical billing and coding opportunities, there are a number of significant distinctions between the three.

Diplomas and Certificates

The syllabus for diploma or certificate classes concentrates entirely on showing you the everyday skills you will make use of as a biller or coder, and can oftentimes be completed in 12-15 months. A wide array of institutions offer these popular training programs, and many of them are provided in an online format as well. In comparison, associate and bachelor’s degree programs call for pupils to attend additional classes in non-related subjects.

Associate Degree

if your primary career goal is to someday move into specialized healthcare or a professional-level career, two-year associate degree courses are typically the better choice. As traditional degree programs, this degree is most often available from vocational schools and junior colleges.

The benefits of holding an associate degree tend to far exceed those of the certificate or diploma, so the extra challenges are usually considered to be well worth it.

Bachelor’s Degree

Regardless of which approach you choose, make sure to base your decision on your extended professional aspirations and economic situation. In the event you need to start working as soon as possible, and are concerned about college tuition costs, then the diploma approach may be the best option. Many medical billing and coding specialists elect to return to school later and earn a degree after starting out with a diploma or certificate, so bear this in mind as well.

The best option is usually the associate or bachelor’s degree in cases where you have a definite career objective that will require higher education at some time.

Regardless of which approach you choose, make sure to base your decision on your extended professional aspirations and economic situation. In the event you need to start working as soon as possible, and are concerned about college tuition costs, then the diploma approach may be the best option. Many medical billing and coding specialists elect to return to school later and earn a degree after starting out with a diploma or certificate, so bear this in mind as well.

The best option is usually the associate or bachelor’s degree in cases where you have a definite career objective that will require higher education at some time.

Comparing billing and coding programs

The bodies in charge of overseeing medical coding and billing classes in Maine include the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Only students who finish their education at a program approved by one of these bodies will be able to test for certification. You can click on the links above to search their databases of programs in your area.

Picking out the best training for your specific circumstances usually requires some considerations. As you weigh your options, you should take these factors into consideration:

  • Take courses only accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Get a clear look at the % of course graduates passed their certification exam
  • Get classes and studies to fit into your schedule
  • Get all of your programs costs to fit within your budget

You should get started by ranking, in order, the things which are most-significant to you about a class. If you’re concerned with tuition expenses, begin your search by figuring out which programs fit your budget. Next, move on to the second-most important thing (e.g. class availability, etc.) and use that criteria to narrow down your choices.

By using this approach, it’s possible to reduce your possibilities down to just a handful of schools. By simply deciding between programs that meet your needs, you are a lot more likely to have a good end result with your training.

Step 3 – Finish an internship or accumulate some work experience

A precondition for most medical billing and coding certification exams is that the student must have already acquired job experience or completed a professional internship. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you either go through an internship or an entry-level non-certified job during your education.

Most accredited coding and billing schools make it possible for each student reserve internships with local businesses. It is highly recommended that you have a talk with your instructor to see what opportunities are available to allow you to secure the experience needed to become qualified for certification evaluation.

Step 4 – Successfully pass the certification assessment

Medical billing and coding specialists in Maine need to pass one of the national certification tests in order to complete their certification. These examinations incorporate segments on all principal areas of knowledge you would have studied in your course.

The most-popular main national certification tests recognized in Maine are detailed here.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – every facility.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – The NHA certification is respected by businesses almost everywhere in the country, and signifies that its holder has a comprehensive set of medical billing and coding skills.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) is granted to individuals who have finished a diversified program in medical coding studies, and is recognized by the majority of facilities.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) presents a certification for medical billing and coding specialists.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – Ideal for those interested in concentrating on billing positions, the CMBS and CMRT are credentials that represent advanced proficiencies in a number of billing-relevant skills.

Medical biller and coder salary and jobs in Maine

There’s a very high demand for medical billing and coding specialists throughout the United States and in Maine. Through the year 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% gain in new job opportunities for medical billing and coding specialists in Maine. Hospitals, physicians offices and outpatient clinics are projected to fill the vast majority of all new openings. There will also be some demand at registry agencies.

As a result of the rapid growth of electronic health records (EHRs) in the healthcare industry, the coding and billing field is particularly popular among those considering working in health information.

To view income data for Maine by location and county, feel free to take a look at the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Yearly$25,070$38,040$62,840
MaineHourly$12.26$17.23$25.22
Yearly$25,500$35,840$52,460
Lewiston-Auburn, ME Metropolitan NECTAHourly$13.29$18.76$27.01
Yearly$27,650$39,010$56,190
Portsmouth, NH-ME Metropolitan NECTAHourly$12.43$18.76$31.01
Yearly$25,850$39,020$64,490
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME Metropolitan NECTAHourly$13.36$18.23$27.07
Yearly$27,790$37,920$56,310
Southwest Maine BOSHourly$12.17$16.97$25.15
Yearly$25,310$35,290$52,310
Bangor, ME Metropolitan NECTAHourly$11.24$15.73$23.10
Yearly$23,380$32,720$48,050
Northeast Maine BOSHourly$10.89$14.00$20.96
Yearly$22,640$29,110$43,590