Knowing the best medical billing and coding certification online can give you a good head start. Certification in medical billing and coding is a very lucrative credential. With the rising number of people suffering from ailments related to diseases, infections and accidents, the need for certified medical billers and coders has also increased dramatically.
While medical billing and coding jobs are in high demand, with ample opportunities in today’s economy, there are a lot of people who are not aware of the job requirements and qualifications needed for these kinds of jobs.
To ensure you get the best medical billing and coding certification online, it is important to first know what these credentials are.
The Advantages of Certifications
The main advantage of certifications is that they eliminate a lot of the risk involved in hiring certain employees. By requiring candidates to pass a specific exam, employers can be sure of the applicant’s real abilities.
In addition, having certifications demonstrates to prospective employers that you possess the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job. Becoming certified in a specialty can also help boost your employment opportunities, especially if you’re looking to move to another career or take other education courses to widen your range of skill sets and increase your earning potential.
Medical coding and billing professionals often use their certification to gain higher pay. Higher pay certainly helps, but it is not the sole reason why employers hire people with these credentials.
Employers also look at the number of years in the profession when evaluating applicants. Those who have been in the industry for many years undoubtedly know more about how to deal with complicated situations than newer professionals. A decade or two of experience can translate into substantial savings for employers, not to mention a boost in overall employee productivity.
The good news about earning a medical billing and coding certification is that it can be done remotely. Going through accredited schools offering online programs will allow candidates to work from their own home and make money while studying.
The Best Medical Billing And Coding Certification Online
To be a certified medical coder or biller, individuals must first meet certain education and work requirements. Upon completing these requirements, students are qualified to sit for a comprehensive certification examination administered by accrediting agencies such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC); to mention a few.
Choosing which certification examination to take can help boost career opportunities. Below is the list of the best medical billing and coding certification online as offered by various accrediting healthcare agencies.
The exams for the best medical billing and coding certification online are sponsored by the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA), American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), and American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
Students need to pass the certifications exams for them to earn a credential. The list of the best medical billing and coding certification online provides options. Students can choose which certification they can earn after they have completed their studies. The list of medical billing and coding certifications has been arranged according to salary.
20. Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam is sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). It’s considered to be an initial certification, focusing on coding competency. This certification is a stepping stone to more advanced certifications. The average annual salary for a CCA is $42,476. (1) (2)
19. Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS)
A Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist or CMRS has completed a medical billing course. A CMRS is an expert in cash flow collection. He or she is certified to facilitate the claims-paying process right from the beginning when the health care provided service up to the time the balance is settled. The certification exam is offered by the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) and is considered to be the most thorough and longest exam for medical billers. The average annual salary for a CMRS is $47,606. (3) (4)
18. Specialty Medical Coding Certification
A Specialty Medical Coding Certification credential enables medical coders to show extensive levels of competency in their respective disciplines. This is a stand-alone certification that is sponsored by AAPC. The average annual salary for Specialty Coding Certification is $53,489. (5) (6)
17. Certified Professional Biller (CPB)
This is a credential offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). A CPB is an expert in the revenue cycle. He or she has an extensive understanding of various insurance plans and is highly skilled in payer policy application and claims submissions. The average annual salary for a CPB is $55,078. (7)
16. Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT®)
Students who successfully complete a degree program in Health Information Management are qualified to sit for an AHIMA-certification exam to become a Registered Health Information Technician or RHIT. The average annual salary for this particular certification is $55,723. (8) (9)
15. Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential from the AAPC
This certification is the standard in the industry for medical coders and it’s offered by the AAPC. It paves the way for a lot of job opportunities. They are well-skilled to review clinical documentation and at the same time, encode diagnoses, medical procedures, services, and supplies all of which have to be submitted for reimbursement. The average annual salary of a CPC is $57,201. (10)
14. Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP®)
A Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner (CDIP®) is an expert in the clinical documentation of patient health data. This certification is sponsored by AHIMA. To qualify for it, students have to complete an associate’s degree program. They must also have an RHIA®, RHIT®, a CCS®, or a CCS-P® credential. The expected average annual salary for this particular certification is $58,000, (11) (12)
13. Certified Coding Specialist (CCS)
This is a credential from the AHIMA and it predominantly focuses on diagnostic coding. Diagnostic coding is what drives the revenue in inpatient hospitals. Holders with this credential are highly knowledgeable to analyze the patient’s records for the purpose of classifying medical data. The average annual salary of a CCS is $60,544. (13) (14)
12. Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P™)
A Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P™) focuses on the payer’s perspective. Nonetheless, a CPC-P™ has an extensive understanding of the coding guideline and billing cycles. This is a certification granted by AAPC. The expected average annual salary is $62,612. (15) (16)
11. Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
A Certified Inpatient Coder or CIC is also an expert in the application of ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes. A CIC makes use of these codes to track the services received from healthcare providers and at the same time, makes the distinction between what has to be paid by the patient. This certification is also offered by AAPC. The annual salary of a CIC is $63,191. (17)
10. Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based (CCS-P)
This is a certification that enables the holder to work as a coder in a physician’s office, as well as specialty clinics and centers. Offered by AHIMA, it provides mastery-level certification. The average annual salary of a CCS-P is $63,312. (18) (19)
9. Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC)
A Certified Risk Adjustment Coder or CRC is well-versed with healthcare coverage. He or she is an expert in the application of ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes, which is critical in medical claims and various risk adjustment payment models. This certification is offered by AAPC. The average annual salary of a CRC is $64,882. (20)
8. Certified Outpatient Coding (COC)
This credential provides the holder mastery of the application of the Current Procedural Terminology or CPT and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes applicable in a physician’s clinic and an outpatient hospital facility. In addition, the holder is also competent in the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System or HCPCS. This certification is offered by AAPC. The annual salary of a COC is $65,028. (21)
7. Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA®)
A Registered Health Information Administrator or RHIA is knowledgeable of all the standards and requirements of various medical billing cycles. An RHIA is highly trained to manage and protect the patient’s medical data. This particular certification is sponsored by AHIMA. The average annual salary of an RHIA is $67,426. (22) (23)
6. Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA®)
The Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA®) plays a critical role in the revenue cycle of all healthcare providers. A CPMA® ensures that a physician’s practice is not just profitable but compliant as well. A CPMA® examination is sponsored by the AAPC. The average annual salary of a CPMA® is $69,172. (24)
5. Certified Documentation Expert Outpatient (CDEO®)
A Certified Documentation Expert Outpatient (CDEO®) is highly skilled in billing and coding guidelines, pathophysiology, and quality standards to ensure outpatient documents are accurate. To earn this particular credential, he or she must sit for a certification exam sponsored by the AAPC. The average annual salary for a CDEO® is $69,987. (25)
4. Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM®) – Certification Exam
Managing a physician’s office requires certification as well. With the Certified Physician Practice Manager or CPPM® credential, career advancement is guaranteed. However, this certification requires a certain amount of experience in various healthcare settings. Sponsored by AAPC, the average annual salary of a CPPM® is $71,004. (26)
3. Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA®)
This particular certification shows expertise in data analysis. A CHDA® has extensive knowledge in day-to-day operations and can communicate with internal and external partners. To be eligible for this particular certification, one must have an RHIA or RHIT credential. The certification exam is sponsored by AHIMA. The average annual salary is $74,526. (27) (28)
2. Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO™)
A Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO™) ensures everything is within standards. This particular certification is critical to the success of a healthcare provider. A CPCO™ has extensive knowledge of compliance programs, laws, and regulations for all healthcare settings. The certification exam is sponsored by the AAPC. This credential requires a certain amount of experience but it’s worth it. The average annual salary of a CPCO™ is $77,333. (29)
1. Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS®)
The best medical billing and coding certification online is sponsored by AHIMA. A Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security or CHPS® designs, implements and administers privacy and security programs in all healthcare settings. Experience in healthcare privacy and security is critical. At the same time, other credentials such as RHIT, CCA, CCS, or CCS-P is required. Nonetheless, it’s worth it considering the average annual salary is $81,590. (30) (31)
Keep in mind that there are schools that offer medical billing and coding programs that have already been accredited or approved by either AHIMA or the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM).
Although this does not guarantee that you’re certified, it qualifies you to sit for a certification exam. That is very important since you won’t be wasting the time you had already put into studying.
Certification Leads To More Opportunities
Today, there are many opportunities for medical coders and billers. Job opportunities for these professionals include private practices, hospitals and healthcare facilities. In addition, many government agencies, businesses and educational institutions offer certification in order to ensure their workers are highly-qualified in their chosen career fields.
These professionals can be found in a variety of job positions such as receptionists, office managers, bookkeepers, medical transcriptionists and medical coders.
With the popularity of the health care industry on the rise, there is an increasing need for reliable and qualified healthcare professionals. The certification exams will certify these professionals to work in health management offices, health information systems, billing and coding facilities and much more.
You just have to know which is the best medical billing and coding certification online that can help pave the way to great career opportunities.