If you want to make a career change, there is no doubt that working in the healthcare sector is an excellent move. One of the most promising careers in the industry is medical billing and coding. Certified medical billing and medical coding professionals have certainly enjoyed a steadier and higher growth in the healthcare sector than other medical coding and billing experts.
This is why a medical billing and coding certification is one of the best ways to get a competitive edge in the current job market. Did you know that certification in medical billing and coding verifies that you possess the knowledge and skills perform a job efficiently? Note that it can also help boost your career.
However, identifying the medical billing and coding certification that you would like to obtain can take a bit of time and research. Don’t worry as we help you by discussing the best certifications.
The best thing is that there are many ways to obtain medical billing and medical coding certification. Keep in mind that understanding the different paths to certification as well as the level of education you require for each certification will help you determine which one is most suitable for your career goals, lifestyle, and budget.
What is a Medical Billing and Coding Certification?
Note that a medical billing and coding certification, such as Certified Professional Coder, is a professional and formal recognition of the judgment, expertise, and achievement of a medical biller and coder.
Although these certifications are generally not required, you will be pleased to know that many employers in the US prefer job candidates that have been certified. Also, it is worth noting that professional medical coders and billers will realize that certification often leads to better pay, more job opportunities, and better chances for considerable career advancement.
Keep in mind that the medical billing and medical coding field has many certification opportunities, mainly through medical billing and medical coding schools as well as medical coding classes. In some cases, employers across many industries often require job candidates to have medical billing and coding certification in order to demonstrate their skills, competencies, and abilities in this discipline. Credentials are also important as they show dedication and commitment to a specific career path.
Medical Certification Bodies
You can obtain medical billing and coding certification through many certification bodies in the US, which provide various specialized certifications that prove or establish your professional competency.
You will be pleased to know that there are many certification bodies. Some of them are the American Association of Medical Billers, the American Academy of Professional Coders, and the National Association of Claims Assistance Professionals. Did you know that these certifications are usually valid for a specific period that ranges from one year to two years? And after that, you have to undergo additional training, or you may retake your certification examination.
Best Certifications for Medical Billers and Coders
Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
The American Association of Professional Coders offers the CPC certification, and it is among the most popular and well-known certifications in this discipline. Also, keep in mind that many consider the CPC certification as the gold standard of modern medical coding credentials.
According to the AAPC, if you are interested in pursuing the certification, you should get an associate’s degree in professional medical billing and coding. Did you know that you may also train with the AAPC by easily enrolling in a CPC Prep Course?
And to attain certification, candidates must score 70 percent on the multiple-choice question exam. This exam covers many topics, such as HCPCS, ICD-10-CM, medical terminology, radiology, anesthesia, and pathology. The certification shows your broad knowledge and detailed expertise within this profession.
Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)
Note that the National Healthcareer Association offers this examination, and it verifies that you have the skills to support and facilitate the medical billing and coding process in an organization, assign suitable codes for medical diagnoses and procedures, submit medical claims for reimbursement and prevent the risk of fraud by thoroughly auditing billing.
Certified Coding Assistant (CCA)
The American Health Information Management Association offers this certification. Note that the CCA designation is an entry-level certification in this discipline, demonstrating your competency and skills across all settings, which include both physician practices and hospitals. Also, it is worth noting that the CCA certification requires you to pass an examination based on modern job analysis standards.
You should know that the AHIMA strongly recommends that all aspiring CCAs have 6 months of medical coding experience or have successfully completed a coding program approved by the AHIMA. Remember that the CCA examination consists of hundred multiple-choice questions, testing your knowledge of aspects, such as classification systems, reimbursement methodologies, and other important areas of medical coding.
Certified Professional Biller (CPB)
AAPC offers this certification, and it prepares and equips medical billers with all the skills and knowledge they require to maintain various aspects and facets of the revenue cycle. This certification is also a rigorous and well-respected, and popular benchmark for medical professionals in this field.
You should know that the CPB examination takes about 5 hours and 40 minutes to complete. The exam has 200 questions that focus on:
- Billing regulations
- Types of insurance
- HIPAA and regulatory compliance
- Collections and reimbursement
- Case studies
The certification also shows you understand and appreciate how to effectively navigate the complicated regulations and rules of the US healthcare industry.
After obtaining a basic certification in the field, you might also like to pursue a specialty certification. No matter the type of medical billing and coding certification you attain, keep in mind that continuing education, as well as recertification, will usually be required in order to maintain it.
Undoubtedly, it is never too late for a person to make the right career move. And we think that pursuing training and certification in medical billing and medical coding is one of the best options for you if you are looking for an attractive administrative career in the US healthcare field.
The main benefits of obtaining certification are that you will get a competitive edge while succeeding in your medical coding and billing career by making the most of job opportunities with a considerably higher salary. You will also enjoy an excellent professional reputation with assured growth in your career.
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