In the healthcare field, medical billing and coding specialist is important. They have tasks to organize health-related data and also they have to make sure that it can be accessed by everyone at the healthcare facility. If you want to be a medical billing and coding specialist, you need certification, but how much does it cost?
The Cost for Medical Billing and Coding Certification
The cost for medical billing and coding certification is around $749 to $2,500. For online courses, the lowest cost is $749. However, most local schools and programs usually set the tuition between $1,000 and $2,500 to attend. If you choose to take accredited medical billing and coding associate programs at colleges, the cost is around $8,000 to $19,000.
If you want to be a medical billing specialist, you can begin your career by taking the medical billing and coding certificate program for four months. The cost of the certification is around $1,000 and it included all of the materials and books needed for the course.
According to Lessons site, here is the average cost for medical billing and coding certification.
- National average cost is around $1,210.
- Minimum cost is around $749.
- Maximum cost is around $19,000.
- So, the average range is around $749 to $1,895
So, there is no exact cost about how much money that you need to get a medical billing and coding certificate because it depends on a lot of factors such as online or offline, institutions, and more.
As explained in Lessons site, you are able to choose one of two associations to get certification. The first one is the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This association offers certificates which focus on medical billing/ coding and also health information management. Another one is Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). It offers certificate programs which are centered around professional services such as inpatient/ outpatient coding and billing. AAPC and the AHIMA are recognized on a national and international scale. Nevertheless, some coders have certifications from both organizations. It is because certain hospital coding positions only accept certain certifications. So, if you have both certifications, it means that you increase your career opportunities.
To know more about both of these certifications, let’s find out the explanation about each of them below.
Knowing More About AHIMA Certification
CCA or Certified Coding Associate is the core entry level of certification which is offered by AHIMA. If you want to sit the exam for this certification, you need a high school diploma or GED. Specific training is not needed to sit the exam. However, if you have, it will be better.
Before you take the exam, you have to make sure that you have the greatest chance to be successful. You can do that by completing a minimum of six months of on-the-job training. It is done to build your practical experience. The knowledge about basic anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and ICD-10 and CPT codes are also needed and all of them are offered as AHIMA programs.
If you will not attend a program and you only will take an exam for getting medical billing and coding certification, the cost may be around $199 for an AHIMA member and $299 for non member.
If you have got the certificate, and then you want to take your training and credentials to the higher level, there are a wide range of options from AHIMA including a bachelor’s degree in health information management. Usually, it needs four years of college program and it costs around $30,000 per year. If you think that it is very expensive, don’t be sad. AHIMA provides scholarships which are categorized into four levels including an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a doctoral degree.
Knowing More About AAPC Certification
In the CPC Preparation Course at AAPC, you will be taught about fundamental physician-based medical coding skills where it permits you to have better preparation for the CPC exam which is offered by AAPC. You are able to complete this course in at least four months.
Do you want to take part in this online certification program? If so, you have to prepare the cost around $1,995 for members and if you are not a member, you need $2,495. There are payment plans if you need. Besides, there are also bundle courses. If you choose this bundle, you will have access to the CPC Online Practice Exam Bundle. It includes three simulated exams and those consist of 50 practice questions each. Another advantage of this bundle is that you can try multiple practice exams for up to one year.
When the time of the actual CPC exam comes, you will see that there are 150 questions and you will find that you have the relevant knowledge and experience needed based on the bundled course material.
If you successfully pass the exam, you will get a CPC or CPC-A certification status based on your level of experience before writing the exam. So, if you have experience in coding, you will get full CPC certification, but if you do not have it, you will get the CPC-A certification.
Knowing More About CPC Exam
If you want to take the CPC exam, you need to be an AAPC member. The cost of membership is $125 or $0, in addition to $300 to cover the cost of the exam. The CPC exam is strict and it takes around five hours and 40 minutes to complete. In this exam, it covers 24 key subject areas which range from medicine to radiology. So, make sure that you are well-prepared for the exam to get success.
If you think that you are ready to take the exam, you have to register at least 3 to 4 weeks before. Also, you have to note that some local AAPC branches only provide exam dates every few months.
Online Medical Billing and Coding Certificates and Diplomas Which Are Affordable
According to the Best Medical Degree site, there are some affordable online medical billing and coding certificates and diplomas as you are able to see below.
- Oconee Fall Line Technical College
The length of the program is 20 semester credits and the estimated tuition cost is $2,662.
- Ogeechee Technical College
The length of the program is 24 semester credits and the estimated tuition cost is $2,770.
- Central Texas College
The length of the program is 340 course hours and the estimated tuition cost is $3,090.
- West Georgia Technical College
The length of the program is 24 credits and the estimated tuition cost is $100 per credit in-state and $200 per credit out of state.
- Collin County Community College
The length of the program is 352 hours across eight courses and the estimated tuition cost is $2,538.