Once you have completed your medical billing and coding education, it would be wise to get at least one of the certifications available for individuals in this field. Employers love to see certifications because it shows that the person they are considering hiring has at least a basic level of knowledge in the field. Most certifications require you to pass an exam and then either retake the exam or take continuing education courses to keep your medical billing and coding certification current.
The majority of the certifications available are administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Those who have completed a Bachelor’s degree are eligible to test for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification. Those who have completed an Associate’s degree can test for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification.
The most entry-level medical billing and coding certification option available from AHIMA is the Certified Coding Associate (CSA) certification. This does not require the coder to have a lot of experience. Once the coder has a bit more experience, they can then try for the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based (CCS-P) certification through taking an exam. There is also a CHPS (Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security) credential for those who are more advanced coders.
Board of Medical Specialty Coding Certification
Medical billing and coding certification is are also available from the Board of Medical Specialty Coding. Those with at least two years of coding experience can qualify for the Specialty Coding Professional (SCP) certification, and those with three to five years experience can qualify for the Advanced Coding Specialist (ACS) certification. There is also a Home Care Coding Specialist – Diagnosis (HCS-D) certification available through this organization.
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers four different options for medical billing and coding certification as well, depending on the area where you work. You are usually required to have two years of work experience, but those without this can get Apprentice Certification status upon passing the required exams for the certifications. The certifications are Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H), Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P), and Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder (CIRCC).
Finally, there is also a Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCC) that offers certifications for those who are involved in specialty coding. The options include Cardiology (CCCS), ENT (CENTS), Family Practice (CFPCS), Gastroenterology (CGCS), General Surgery (CGSCS), Internal Medicine (CIMCS), Obstetrics & Gynecology (COBGCS), Orthopedics (COCS), Pain Management (CPMCS), Pediatrics (CPEDCS), Podiatry (CPODCS), Pulmonology (CPCS), and Urology (CUCS).