Obtaining medical coding and billing certification is essential to get your desired position in this specialized field. In fact, most of the employers look for job aspirants with accreditation from top professional organizations like the AAPC and the AHIMA.
Medical coding and insurance billing are the key skills required for tracking the patient care and claims in the field of health insurance sector. Both are distinct yet mostly performed by the same professional. Medical billers and coders are responsible for the hospital and patient records on inpatient and outpatient basis and billing details. There is a great demand for both the professionals who have medical coding and billing certification. The jobs are available in the hospitals, clinics, volunteer and charity organizations, doctor’s office, private or non-profit healthcare institute and insurance companies.
How to Apply for Medical coding and Billing Certification
Medical billers and coders record the diagnosis made by the doctor in the form of alphanumeric codes. These records form complete database regarding patient’s diagnosis, therapy, bills and insurance claims. As part of the billing process, medical billers and coders are also responsible to keep track of insurance claims among different insurance companies like Medicare, Medicaid to ensure the privacy of patient information and reimbursement of charges.
According to the state and federal laws, there is no need for certification in medical billing and coding. Yet, it is advised to opt for one as it increases the scope of employment. Many companies prefer certification because they constantly upgrade their software and have complex health care and insurance network to handle. Most prefer to go for online medical coding training. It is easy to apply for these courses and is available through reputed associations like the American Medical Billers Association (AMBA).
To enrol for medical coding and billing certification, you will require an associate’s degree in the accredited medical billing and coding program. Next, you should choose to quality for online medical coding training programs accredited by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
The following is the list of accredited medical coding and billing certification courses, also available online:
Certified Coding Associate (CCA)The certified coding associate certification is accredited by AHIMA and covers complete knowledge of the coding practices applied in wide range of health care institutions. A qualifying candidate is required to have an associated degree or high school diploma.
Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)The certified coding specialist certification is provided by AHIMA as a specialized course including evaluation of the medical data for treatment, billing and claims. It qualifies the students to read the patients’ diagnosis, assign codes using ICD-9-CM and CPT, and have basic knowledge of medical terminology, diseases and pharmacology.
Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based (CCS-P)
Another specialization in medical billing and coding by AHIMA is CCS-P where the candidates learn about the medical practices in the physician-based settings. The qualifying candidate is required to undergo 3 years of work experience as part of this course. In addition to basic medical and coding knowledge, the students learn data integrity and medico-legal ethics like privacy of patients’ information.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC®)
CPC courses are accredited by AAPC and is one of the most popular and reputed medical coding course. During course, medical billers and coders learn to read diagnosis, assign secure codes for further processing under CPT®, HCPCS Level II. The services cover wide range of medical practices like anesthesia, pathology, surgery, radiology and medicine.
Certified Professional Coder – Payer (CPC-P®)
Under the CPC-P® certification, students learn the coding techniques and different insurance reimbursement methodologies. A CPC-P must complete two years medical coding experience as part of the qualifying course.
Certified Professional Coder – Outpatient Hospital (CPC-H®)
Since many insurance and private health care institutes are forming new medical network, the process of outpatient care is vastly becoming complex. As part of the CPC-H® certification, the students learn to code in ICD-9-CM, HCPCS Level II, CMS 1500 for ASC services and UB04 for outpatient services among others.
Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder (CIRCC®)
There is a specialization in medical billing and coding for radiology and cardiology for the interested candidates. Approved by AAPC, the students gain expertise in the field of interventional radiology and cardiovascular coding. The candidate should have already basic knowledge of CPC® and HCPCS Level II. The students during the course learn anatomy, medical terminology, basic coding, coronary arterial interventions, vascular and non-vascular interventions, and diagnostic angiography.