If you decide to become a medical billing and coding specialist with accredited medical billing and coding schools in Rhode Island, you will have the opportunity to launch a career in healthcare that is one of the most-popular in the region. The need for qualified allied health workers is growing and the next decade is shining bright for the healthcare field as a whole.

Becoming a medical billing and coding specialist in RI

Medical billing and coding specialists in Rhode Island and nationwide are regulated at a national level. The regulating organizations are detailed 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 Rhode Island?

To see the current process for becoming a medical biller or coder in RI is detailed in the following four steps.

Step 1 – Do you want to get certified?

Prior to doing anything else, you’re going to first want to figure out if you are going to get a medical billing and coding certification, or search for a position without one. Not only will this choice impact the roles you will be eligible to interview for, but it could additionally dictate how long it will take before you start your career.

As you may probably imagine, deciding to take some time to become certified offers several considerable benefits. Certification is also becoming viewed as a must by some employers who view it as a way to safeguard their practices against possible lawsuits and soaring insurance costs.

Even medical care facilities that retain the services of non-certified medical coding and billing specialists are starting to adjust their positions. As a condition of continuing employment, non-certified personnel are now being asked by employers to get a certification.

With all of that said, you should begin looking for a position as a non-certified medical coding and billing specialist immediately should that be your preference. But then again, if you do choose to pursue your certification, you’ll be able to continue to Step 2 below.

Step 2 – Complete a formal training program

You’ll find a few different types of credentials that may be earned by finishing a formal medical coding and billing training program – certificate, two-year associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree. Either type of credential is accepted by the majority of employers, but you’ll want to be cognizant of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Diplomas and Certificates

The curriculum for certificate or diploma courses focuses solely on teaching you the daily skills you’ll use as a coder or biller, and can usually be completed in 12-15 months. A wide array of schools provide these popular programs, and many of them are made available in an online format too. This is a significant difference from associate and bachelor’s degree programs that hold the same added requirements as regular college courses.

Associate Degree

Associate degree courses are usually two years long, and the information discussed is more thorough in scope. Admission requirements and tuition costs for these courses are higher because they tend to be available at either traditional junior colleges or trade schools.

The benefits of earning an associate degree tend to exceed those of the certificate or diploma, therefore the additional challenges are normally considered to be well worth it.

Bachelor’s Degree

The four-year bachelor’s degree in medical coding and billing is the top credential available, and covers the greatest volume of material. These programs are provided by trade schools and standard four-year universities, so admissions standards and tuition costs are normally higher.

The benefits of holding a bachelor’s degree are many, and consist of such things as higher salary and greater opportunity for promotion.

Each of these alternatives is a viable approach to begin your professional career, provided that it meets your personal goals and economic circumstances. Should you have to start working sooner rather than later, and are worried about tuition fees, then the diploma approach may be the better option. Keep in mind, that you could go back at a later time and finish a degree after you have begun working.

The better choice is typically the associate or bachelor’s degree in situations where you do have a definite career objective which will call for higher education at some time.

How to decide on a coding and billing program in RI

Medical coding and billing training in Rhode Island is managed by the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). You will need to graduate from a program approved by one of these bodies to become approved to test to become certified in the state.

There are several things you may want to look for when you are selecting a course to attend. When comparing your possible choices, you should take the following into consideration:

  • Only attend CAHIIM or AAPC accredited training
  • Get the actual percentage of course graduates that previously passed their exams
  • BE sure that all of your classes will fit into your personal schedule
  • Verify all costs and make sure they will fit within your budget

Much like any decision, you will need to initially decide what your main concerns are. In case you’re worried about tuition costs, start your search by figuring out which programs fit into your finances. You would then think about the second-most pressing thing to help narrow the list down even further.

Applying this approach, it’s possible to reduce your possibilities down to only two or three schools. By deciding between training programs that meet your needs, you are far more apt to experience a good end result with your schooling.

Step 3 – Complete an internship or acquire job experience

A prerequisite for many of the billing and coding certification exams is that the applicant must have already acquired job experience or finished a formal internship. For this reason, it’s highly suggested that you either find an internship or a non-certified job while completing your education.

The majority of accredited medical billing and coding schools make it possible for pupils arrange internships with community companies. It’s recommended that you speak with your instructor to determine which opportunities are available to let you gain the experience required to be approved for certification assessment.

Step 4 – Finish the certification process

Medical billing and coding specialists in Rhode Island need to pass one of the five national certification examinations in order to earn their certification. These examinations contain segments on each major area of knowledge you would have studied in your study course.

Several of the major national certification assessments recognized in Rhode Island are outlined here.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – These well-known, highly-regarded national certifications are provided by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and are recognized by just about {all employers}.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This national credential is respected by the majority of employers, signifies a nicely balanced competency in medical billing and coding, and can qualify its recipient for almost any medical billing and coding job opening.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA is awarded to individuals who have finished a diverse course of study in medical coding studies, and is accepted by virtually all facilities.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS certification signifies a targeted specialization in the abilities necessary to excel in the billing and coding industry.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – Ideally suited for anyone planning on concentrating on billing jobs, the CMBS and CMRT are credentials that show advanced proficiencies in a variety of billing-relevant competencies.

Medical coding and salary salary and jobs in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, as well as the rest of the country, demand is very high for medical coding and billing specialists. Up through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% increase in new positions for medical billing and coding specialists in Rhode Island. The vast majority of new positions are expected to be created in physicians offices and hospitals. Certain registry organizations also hire records technicians.

The potential to become acquainted with EHRs (electronic health records) makes the billing and coding field ideal for individuals planning on advancing into another career in the health information sector.

Below is a record of the major metropolitan areas in Rhode Island and more data on medical coding and billing salary by location and county.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Yearly$25,070$38,040$62,840
Rhode IslandHourly$12.73$18.55$28.95
Yearly$26,480$38,590$60,220
Norwich-New London, CT-RI Metropolitan NECTAHourly$14.61$22.86$37.02
Yearly$30,390$47,550$77,000
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan NECTAHourly$12.71$18.49$28.60
Yearly$26,430$38,450$59,500