Does Medical Billing/Medical Coding Require Certification?

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The short answer is yes. A medical billing and/or medical coding company that is properly certified is the kind of legitimate medical billing company you want to use for your business. They are not all certified so it is important as a first step to check.

Within the company, it is important that the medical billers are themselves properly certified and trained. It is important to have a solid education and relevant experience, as the work is demanding, keeping up with all sorts of updates in the medical coding world, and additionally, the work is competitive. A medical coding certification will give any employee an advantage in reaching their goals, as an employer prefers to hire those who are capable and trained in medical billing and medical coding as a career. Gaining credentials will get you started on your path to success in a rewarding medical billing and coding career!

There are several organizations that offer a nationwide certificate:  the American Health Information Management Association, the American Academy of Professional Coders and the Board of Medical Specialty Coding and Compliance. You can visit any of these organizations’ websites for more detailed information on their individual medical coding certification requirements. However, as a general rule, all examinations generally require a membership and an application fee with includes exam cost. They recommend applicants have a high school diploma or equivalent GED in which you completed anatomy/physiology/pharmacology coursework. It is also recommended that you have some type of prior experience coding, at a hospital, or with a physician of some sort or have completed some type of training program.

The organizations that offer certificates and what they offer are described below:

  • The American Health Information Management Association offers an array of medical coding certifications that are all Physician-based credentials: Certified Coding Associate, Certified Coding Specialist, Certified Coding Specialist.
  • The American Academy of Professional Coders offers Billing Certifications offers Certified Professional Coder, Certified Outpatient Coding, Certified Inpatient Coder, Certified Risk Adjustment Coder, Certified Professional Coder – Payer, Specialty Coding Certification, Certified Professional Biller, and many more!
  • The Board of Medical Specialty Coding and Compliance offers Specialty Coding Professional, Advanced Coding Specialist, Home Care Coding Specialist in Diagnosis.
  • The American Medical Billing Association offers Medical Billing certificates including the Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist.

Why get certified? Certification can almost guarantee career enhancement, job mobility, an increase in salary, reach your goals and gain greater successes in this rewarding and challenging career.  There is a benefit for you individually and for your employer.

The average time frame for completing courses and taking the exam is 3-6 weeks; time can be adjusted so that you can study and prepare at your own pace whether part-time or full-time.

Attaining a medical billing or medical coding certification will demonstrate to any future employers that you are serious and professional! Enjoy a career that is worthwhile and take steps to get your medical billing/medical coding certificate today!

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