Medical Billing and Coding involves using financial acumen and medical knowledge to bill the patients, send insurance claims and make accurate patient health records. When looking for Medical billers and coders, the employers seek out candidates with Medical billing and coding certifications to make sure that they are qualified and experienced.
Those certifications signal to hospitals, clinics, and private practices that medical billers and coders have taken the time to learn the complex world of billing and coding.
Medical Billing and Coding Certification
Apparently, there are many different types of medical billing and coding certifications available from some major and respected institutions. In this page, we are going to explain some Medical Billing and Coding certifications from DeVry University.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) offered by AAPC. For your information, AAPC is a professional association with more than 175,000 members. This certification signifies that the holders have proven mastery of all code sets, obedience to documentation and coding guidelines, evaluation and management (E/M) principles, and more.
According to AAPC, CPCs:
- Know how to integrate medical coding and payment policy changes into the process of reimbursement.
- Have expertise in reviewing and assigning accurate medical codes.
- Are knowledgeable in medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology.
For note: This exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions. The students are allowed 5.5 hours to answer.
Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) offered by AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association), a professional association with more than 103,000 members. This certification indicates that the holders are able to classify medical data from patient records.
According to AHIMA, CSSs:
- Review record of patients and assign codes for each diagnosis and treatment
- Can utilize ICD-10-CM and CPT coding systems
- Are knowledgeable in pharmacology, medical terminology and disease processes.
For note: This exam consists of 97 multiple choice questions and eight medical scenarios. The students are allowed four hours to answer.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) offered by AHIMA, (American Health Information Management Association), a professional association with more than 103,000 members. This certification indicates that the holders have demonstrated a certain level of commitment and coding expertise across all settings.
According to AHIMA, CCAs:
- Are committed to the coding profession.
- Exhibit competency, dedication, and professional capacity
For note: This exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions. The students are allowed two hours to answer.
Taking Medical Billing and Coding Certification Exams
Before taking a Medical Billing and Coding certification exam, the students have to prepare for the exam by taking courses on campus or online that cover:
- Medical Terminology
The students have to learn Medical Terminology, including the foundations of words used to explain the human body and its conditions, terminology for medical procedures, the names of commonly prescribed medications and common abbreviations.
- Health Services and Information Systems
The students have to explore the history and organization of, and current problems in the United States healthcare delivery system, including interrelationships among system operators and care providers.
- Process Information
The students have to compile codes, categories, calculations, tabulations and audits, or verify information or data.
- Document and Record Information
The students have to enter, transcribe, store or maintain information in written or electronic form.
- Health Insurance and Reimbursement
The students have to explore reimbursement and payment methodologies applicable to healthcare provided in some United State settings because it relates to relevant forms, processes, practices and roles of health information professionals.
To pass a Medical Billing and Coding certification exam, the students have to obtain:
- CPC exam: 70%
- CCS exam: 300 points
- CCA exam: 300 points
Also, to take a Medical Billing and Coding certification exam, the students have to pay for admittance to the exam. The exams cost:
- CPC exam: $260 (for AAPC members) & $300 (for non members).
- CCS exam: $299 (for AHIMA members) & $399 (for non members).
- CCA exam: $199 (for AHIMA members) & $299 (for non members).
Getting a Medical Billing and Coding Certification
The three major Medical Billing and Coding certification: CPC, CCS, and CCA are offered through AAPC and AHIMA. To prepare the students not only for certification exams but also for a career in Medical Billing and Coding, DeVry University offers undergraduate medical billing and coding programs which offer an extensive set of coursework. Through their health information coding and medical billing and coding programs, the students get a deep understanding of:
- Medical terminology
- Health services and information systems
- International classification of diseases coding
- Health insurance and reimbursement
- Information processing
- Information documentation and recording
- Procedural terminology
- Medical data classification
What are benefits of getting a Medical Billing and Coding certification?
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical billers and coders are in demand . This program is expected to add, on a national level, and you might discover that many employers need or prefer job applicants to have earned a recognized certification. Getting your certification will be a great addition to your resume. It will demonstrate to the employers that you have the knowledge and skills needed to do specific tasks.
How long does it take to get a Medical Billing and Coding Certification?
Actually, the length of time it takes to get your CCA, CCS or CPC certification may vary, depending on whether you already possess the knowledge and skills needed to successfully pass the exam. But, the exam process itself will be as simple as applying for, scheduling and successfully completing the exam.
At DeVry University, they have exam preparation built into their Medical Billing and Coding Certificate program, which you are able to complete in as little as one year assuming full-time enrollment and no breaks. Depending on the program you select, you are able to prepare for the CCA, CCS or CPC exams while you get your undergraduate certificate, that can help save you time. To reach a CPC designation, you must have at least two years of medical billing and coding experience.