If you pursue your career in medical billing and coding specialist, you surely must have medical coding certifications from AAPC. In other words, AAPC’s medical coding certifications are the gold standard in the healthcare industry.
However, the certifications are nationally recognized by physicians, employers, and also government organizations. Of course, you can begin your journey towards an in-demand career within the healthcare industry by certifying as a medical coder.
Well, to get a medical coding certificate, you should pass the exams first through the standard license certifications. To ease you taking the medical billing and coding license exam in order to get the certifications, well, we’re going to provide some licensed medical coding certifications that you can take. Here you go!
Medical Coding Certifications
In order to get medical coding certifications, you’re able to choose one of the licensed medical coding certifications. At least, there are six standard medical coding certifications to follow and then take the exam. Here are they:
- The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam
The exam of the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is the conclusive step to earn CPC certification which is authorized throughout the world of healthcare as the gold standard for physician-based medical coding. The CPC exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions which assess 17 areas of knowledge.
Most questions provide a coding scenario to test proper application of CPT procedure codes, ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes and HCPCS Level II supply codes. During the exam, you will reference approved coding books, that’s the AMA’s CPT® Professional Edition and also the ICD-10-CM and HCPCS Level II code manuals as your choice.
You definitely should complete the CPC exam within 5 hours and 40 minutes and answer 70% of the questions correctly. If you pass the CPC exam and attain the right to append the CPC acronym to your name, you will be a healthcare business professional which will be recognized for reliable mastery of professional-fee medical coding.
- Certified Outpatient Coder (COC™) – Certification Exam
Certified Outpatient Coder (COC™) exam bridges the career opportunities for medical billing and coding specialists in outpatient facilities such as hospital outpatient billing and coding departments and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs).
However, the exam of Certified Outpatient Coder (COC™) or initially CPC-H® will validate your specialized payment knowledge which is needed for those jobs in addition to your ICD-10, CPT®, and HCPCS Level II coding skills. Sure, by taking the Certified Outpatient Coder (COC™) exam, it’s such an investment for your future with the COC medical coding credential.
If you’ve completed the Certified Outpatient Coder (COC™) exam, you will get the ability in assigning accurate medical codes for diagnoses, services and procedures which are performed in the outpatient setting. Aside from that, you will also have the ability to integrate coding and reimbursement rule changes in a timely manner to include updating the charge description master (CDM), the field locators (FL) on the UB04 and fee updates.
Additional information about the COC Exam:
- 150 multiple choice questions (proctored)
- 5 hours and 40 minutes to finish the exam
- $399 ($325 AAPC Students) – one free retake
- One free retake
- Open code book (manuals)
- Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC™)
Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC™) is the new inpatient medical coding certification standard as the only credential which is dedicated exclusively to inpatient hospital/facility coding. However, the CIC will validate expert level knowledge and experience in abstracting information from the medical record for ICD-10-PCS and ICD-10-CM coding.
The method will signify specialized payment knowledge in the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRGs). So, it’s your turn to invest your future with the CIC credential.
- Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC™) – Certification Exam
The medical billing and coding specialist who already has a Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC™) basically knows how to read a medical chart and assign the correct diagnosis (ICD-10-CM) codes for a variety of clinical cases and services for risk adjustment models, such U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Chronic Illness & Disability Payment System (CDPS), and hierarchical condition categories (HCCs).
In this case, CRC should ensure provider documentations suit HCC coding and that disease processes are coded accurately to follow risk adjustment models. In this case, the greater the disease burden of the patient, of course, the higher the patient’s risk adjustment.
Otherwise, if the patient is healthy, the risk adjustment score will be lower. In other words, a patient’s health status will reflect the costs of their healthcare needs. So, we think that it’s necessary for you to take the Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC™) exam if you’re a medical coding specialist who wants to invest in your future.
- Specialty Medical Coding Certification
The AAPC’s speciality credentials allow coders to show great levels of expertise in their respective specialty disciplines. In this case, the speciality credentials are stand-alone certifications which are not required to hold the CPC credentials. However, they will allow the coders to validate their knowledge in a speciality with unique coding, compliance challenges and reimbursements.
For more information, speciality exams accurately measure preparedness for real world coding by being operative or patient-note based. Aside from the questions which are regarding the correct application of ICD-10-CM, HCPCS Level II, CPT®, and modifier coding assignments, the exam participant will also be tested on specialty-specific coding and regulations.
Here’s a list of speciality medical coding certifications:
- Ambulatory Surgical Center – CASCC™
- Anesthesia and Pain Management – CANPC™
- Cardiology – CCC™
- Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery – CCVTC™
- Dermatology – CPCD™
- Emergency Department – CEDC™
- Evaluation and Management – CEMC™
- Family Practice – CFPC™
- Gastroenterology – CGIC™
- General Surgery – CGSC™
- Hematology and Oncology – CHONC™
- Interventional Radiology and Cardiovascular – CIRCC®
- Obstetrics Gynecology – COBGC™
- Ophthalmology – COPC™
- Orthopaedic Surgery – COSC™
- Pediatrics – CPEDC™
- Rheumatology – CRHC™
- Urology – CUC™
- Archived Medical Coding Credentials
There’s a significant recurring annual cost to maintain the study materials and examinations for archived medical credentials. In fact, fewer members are electing to get the following six medical coding credentials:
- CCPC –Chiropractic
- CPRC – Plastic and Reconstructive
- CSFAC – Foot and Ankle
- CENTC – Otolaryngology
- CIMC – Internal Medicine
- CPC-P – Payer
As of May 8, 2017, new exam participants will no longer be able to test for those credentials.
To note, you still have every certification you’ve earned and your CEU requirements are unchanged.