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Do You Need to Be Certified? Types of Medical Billing and Coding Certification.
Benefits to Medical Billing And Coding Certification
A lot of health care professionals are in need of professional medical billing specialists and coders to help them encode and update their patients’ information and file insurance claims. Insurance companies also hire billers and coders as pharmaceutical consultants. Today, Medical billing and coding has become one of the fastest – growing sectors in the healthcare industry providing a gamut of opportunities for employees and home-grown businesses.
Most firms providing medical billing and coding services, physicians, and insurance companies prefer to hire individuals who have not only completed their training but also have at least 1 to 2 years experience in the field. Moreover, entry to more advanced positions involving management and more specialized tasks, often require certification from accredited schools or organizations. Home-based medical billers and coders, especially ones who work independently, would need to get certification in order to attract and build a clientele.
The advantages of getting a certification
Although certification is not a necessity, getting one that is right for you adds to your credentials. There are a lot of advantages when you get certified as a medical biller or coder:
* More guarantee of being employed by large firms
* A higher salary
* Opportunity to advance in the industry
* Higher marketability
* A chance to start one’s own medical billing and coding business
* A chance to enter into more specialized fields
Types of Certification Available
There is a gamut of certification available. You would need to take certain examinations in order to become a certified medical biller / coder. Some certifications listed below require years of experience while others do not. In any case, choose the certification which is apt for you and add to your credentials. And remember, online schools like Careerstep offer training to prepare you for certifications.
* CPC (Certified Professional Coder)
In general, those eligible for CPC are billers/coders with at least 2 years of experience and have mastered coding and procedures such as CPT, ICD-9-CM, and HCPCS.
* CPC-H (Hospital-based)
* CPC-P (Certified Professional Coder – Payer)
2 years of experience and maintenance of CEU requirements are needed in order to get a CPC-P. The CPC-P biller works within a payer’s environment to solve and correct claims submission and errors.
* CCA (Certified Coding Associate)
The CCA is a special certification that does not require experience. It is very helpful for neophytes who aim to showcase their skills and set themselves apart from non-certified billers/coders.
* CCS (Certified Coding Specialist)
A CCS is given to billers and coders who have mastered the coding system and can accurately classify patient’s data using the system. Knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and pharmacology is a must.
o CCS-P (Physician-based)
* Specialty Certification
Specialty certifications are also available to experienced billers and coders who seek to explore opportunities in various fields such as: cardiology, orthopedics, dermatology, pediatrics, internal medicine, and several others.
Organizations which provide medical billing and coding certification
There are various accredited schools and organizations with which you can apply for certification:
* AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders)
* AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association)
Other Work at Home Options in the Medical Field
If medical billing and coding are a career goal for you, but you're not quite there yet – there are other options in the medical field that allow you to work at home. I try to keep a list of opportunities in the work at home directory, Medical Work at Home Options.
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