If you are just now starting a career in the medical billing and coding industry, then you should go out of your way to learn which is the best medical coding certification program. You just can’t choose a medical coding certification haphazardly. You need to know which suits you best.
There are many different medical coding certification programs available. However, some of them are only for people who have already worked and achieved a certain level of experience.
As long as you have the knowledge of the various medical coding certification programs, you will never go wrong.
Examples of the Best Medical Coding Certification
There are many ways to get the best medical coding certification. After you have earned your degree in the health information field, you can earn a certification to have higher chances of landing a financially rewarding job.
If you decide to pursue medical coding certification, you will have to complete certain requirements. For starters, you should have an associate’s degree in health information technology.
Then, you need to pass the certification exam that is offered by the American Health Information Management Association or AHIMA. It is a two-hour exam. Once you pass, you will be given a medical coding certification card.
Before you choose a school, university, or institution for your medical coding certification, you need to make sure that you are working with a good school that is properly accredited.
You also want to find a medical coding certification program that has an established reputation for giving students the training they need to become successful coders. Furthermore, you need to look for a medical coding certification that will allow you to reach your goals. Don’t take a course just because you think it’s easy, but rather if it meets your specific needs.
To find out which is the best medical coding certification, you need to know what your options are first. Here are some examples of medical coding certificate programs.
The first medical coding certification you can consider is the Certified Professional Coder or CPC. This designation validates proficiency in the correct application of CPT, HCPCS Level II procedure and supply codes, and diagnosis codes used for coding and billing for medical claims in a physician’s office. (1)
The second medical coding certification you can consider is the Certified Coding Specialist or CCS. You can earn this certification from the American Health Information Management Association or AHIMA.
The CCS credential is for higher-level professionals skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in the hospital setting. (2)
The third medical coding certification you can consider is the Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based or CCS-P.
This is another mastery-level certification offered by the AHIMA for practitioners with expertise in physician-based settings such as physician offices, group practices, specialty clinics, or specialty centers. (3)
Needless to say, these are the top three best medical coding certification programs that you can look into
Which Is The Best Medical Coding Certification For You?
Now that you know the top three medical coding certification programs, your next step is to find out which out suits you best. Hence, you need to look into each program to see for yourself which is the best medical coding certification.
To become a CPC, you must earn a 70% on the multiple-choice exam, which covers topics like ICD-10-CM, HCPCS, medical terminology, anesthesia, radiology, pathology, evaluation, and management. (4)
To obtain either the CCS or CCS-P credential, you must meet the eligibility requirements of AHIMA. (5)
These are just a few things to consider in choosing which is the best medical coding certification. You also need to consider other things such as the length of program and training.
Program length can vary depending on where you live, and what type of institution you are looking at applying for. If your program is going to take time, you might want to look at programs that offer short-term or part-time training. This way you will be able to manage your time better while you are taking the exam.
Even if you need the extra training, it could be more worth it to take the exam and get the certification later, than to have to redo the entire course over again because your program length was inadequate.
Most importantly, you need to make sure that the medical coding certification course is accredited by the state in which you want to pursue your career. Some states will require an applicant to pass only the medical coding certification exam. Others may be more lenient and will not specify the exam date or other requirements. It is therefore important to check the regulations of the state in which you want to pursue your career.
To give you a more solid answer as to which is the best medical coding certification, make sure that that the program you’re looking at is licensed by the governing body. You have to remember that some organizations are illegitimate. They will not give you any license to practice since they are not legitimate institutions.
There are many of these organizations online but you have to be careful because there are scammers out there who are just waiting for someone who is willing to give them the money in exchange for the medical coding certification program. The best way of identifying them is by asking some of your friends or relatives who are into the medical coding field.
Most organizations will accredit programs if they have met certain standards. Programs accredited by these associations will generally have been reviewed and monitored by government agencies. They are therefore recognized by the medical industry and considered legitimate establishments.
In your search for which is the best medical coding certification course, try to find programs that do not cost too much. You have to find a program that is within your budget. However, even then it is important to ensure that the program you choose has been accredited and has met certain standards. Otherwise, you will be wasting your money for nothing.
The Decision Is Yours To Make
It’s also worth noting that you will need to prepare for the certification exam. No matter which medical coding certification course you choose, you will have to take an exam.
Medical coding exam prep will be your support team as you prepare for your certification test. It includes a guidebook that will walk you through the process of taking the exam, and also the practice tests and multiple-choice questions that will allow you to gauge your readiness level. A great resource for this information is the program that’s offered through AHIMA.
If you are looking for a new career or just want to change your career, then medical coding certification is one of the options. It is not however suitable for all.
Those with medical coding certification will have better opportunities but there are also people who do not have it and these professionals need to continue their education in order to be competitive.
Suffice to say, obtaining a medical coding certification is critical. In choosing which medical coding certification is best, that decision is yours to make.