HOW DO I BECOME CERTIFIED IN MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING?
There are several ways to obtaining medical billing and coding certification. Understanding these paths to certification and the level of education required for each can help you decide which one is right for your goals, your lifestyle, and your budget. Cambridge is focused on the Online Diploma format to more easily and quickly advancing your career. The Cambridge curriculum is from Pearson, who is a partner with AMA and AHIMA for the most current curriculum available in Billing & Coding.
The quickest and least expensive road to certification is a medical billing diploma program that offers a basic medical and billing certificate. These six to nine-month programs require a high school diploma to enroll, typically cost several hundred dollars, and are offered at medical billing schools, community colleges, career schools, or online.
Cambridge’s Online classes are more convenient for students and can be less expensive than traditional classroom instruction after factoring in savings from the lack of campus attendance, residency, and commute fees.
WHICH MEDICAL CODING AND BILLING CERTIFICATE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
In addition to these paths, keep in mind that there are several types of certification. The AAPC lists some of the most popular medical coding credentials you may pursue based on the type of coding you perform.
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC U+00AE). The CPC is the standard medical coding certificate, which demonstrates proficiency in medical coding, coding procedures, and coding rules and regulations.
- Certified Professional Coder at Outpatient Hospital (CPC-HU+00AE). A variation of the basic CPC, this certificate designates proficiency in coding in a hospital, clinic, or other outpatient setting.
- Certified Professional Coder Payer (CPC-PU+00AE). In addition to basic coding proficiency, this certificate denotes the coder has special expertise in the perspective of the payer, including private insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, or the patient.
- Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder (CIRCCU+00AE). This certificate validates a coder is special knowledge in the field. The AAPC medical coding salary survey found this is one of the highest paying specialties in the field of medical coding.
- Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). Offered by AHIMA, this certification ensures that the holder has an associate degree along with extensive knowledge in medical coding, medical billing, medical transcription, and health information in general.
The AAPC offers 20 specialty coding certifications for experienced coders to show expertise in their respective disciplines, including chiropractic, dermatology, family practice, pediatrics, and plastic and reconstructive surgery. So, whether you want to invest six months in an online diploma program or a more advance degree, there is a viable path for you to earn certification in your area of interest.
SECTION 1: WHAT IS MEDICAL BILLING & CODING?
Coding and billing are the invisible engines of the healthcare system. Without either field, the healthcare industry would be unable to efficiently transmit important data, and healthcare providers would have an incredibly hard time getting paid for their services. In a nutshell, it is the medical coder’s job to translate the healthcare provider’s report of a patient’s visit into numeric or alphanumeric code, which in turn is used by the medical biller to make a bill, or “claim,” for the insurance company and determine the appropriate charge for the patient. In this section, we’ll introduce you to the basic concepts of coding and billing, and we’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to work in these fields. You’ll learn about the leading professional organizations in coding and billing, and we’ll show you the certifications available for each position.
SECTION 2: WHAT IS MEDICAL CODING?
Medical coding is the translation of medical reports into a short code used within the healthcare industry. This helps summarize otherwise cumbersome medical reports into efficient, data-friendly codes. While complex and detail-driven, medical coding really comes down to knowing how to navigate the three main code sets: CPT, ICD, and HCPCS. These code sets help coders document the condition of a patient and describe the medical procedure performed on that patient in response to their condition. We’ll train you to recognize how code set is organized and how each should be used. It also cover the impending upgrade from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM.
SECTION 3: WHAT IS MEDICAL BILLING?
Medical billing is the preparation of invoices for procedures rendered, and these are given to patients and insurance companies. Medical billers act as the financial waypoint between patients, providers, and payers. Without billers, healthcare providers couldn’t be reimbursed for the procedures they perform. The training videos in this section cover the key concepts and guidelines that underpin the billing process. You’ll learn how the insurance process works, and what types of payers affect the reimbursement process. Finally, we’ll discuss Medicare, Medicaid, and the regulations enforced under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
SECTION 4: MBAC AT WORK
Medical billing and coding are two of the fastest-growing fields in the healthcare industry today. In this section, we’ll show you what it’s like to work as a medical biller and as a coder in the field. You’ll see some of the common problems coders face day-to-day, and we’ll guide you through each step of the billing and coding process. From the doctor’s visit to the completed claim, you’ll see this industry from every angle.
SECTION 5: CERTIFICATION PREP
When it comes to getting a coding certification, the American Association of Professional Coder (AAPC)’s Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam remains the industry’s gold standard. You’ll need to be highly prepared for a test as intense and extensive as the CPC exam, which takes almost six hours to complete. In this section, we’ll teach you the basics of the exam and provide you with valuable study techniques and test-taking strategies. We’ll also go over each of the 24 sections that the CPC exam focuses on, meaning you’ll know what to expect when it comes time to get certified.
Note: The MedicalBillingandCoding.org website provides the above questions and answers with more detail. This Medical Billing and Coding Job content are very helpful for our Cambridge students.