What medical coding and billing training do I need?
In order to be a medical coder or biller you have to gain the right billing knowledge and coding language skills (proper coding training). You do this by taking a training course that will prepare you to take the AAPC and AHIMA certification; whether at a college, vocational school, or taking an online training. Nowadays, people are taking their medical coding and billing training program online since it is allows for flexibility. This allows you to work at your own pace, especially if you work, have a busy schedule or have little ones at home. When looking for online training you should look for a school that has a good core curriculum and follows the right medical coding guidelines. Also, check for a curriculum that includes these keys things; medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, coding classification systems, and health information management. Remember that every school has a different structured curriculum, but these are some of the important things to look for as it will help you when you take your certification after you graduate. Once you complete the training course, graduates will receive a certificate and be eligible to take the certification exam. You do not have to take the AAPC and/or AHIMA exam to get certified, but most employers require that you are a certified coder. Certified coders typically earn 20% more than non-certified coders. Having a certification increases the changes of being hired in today’s job market.
What is an approved medical coding and billing school online?
This is one of the Approved medical coding and billing schools online that offer the best training when it comes to getting you prepared to get your certification as a medical coder and biller.
CAREER STEP – MEDICAL CODING AND BILLING TRAINING:
Choosing the right school when it comes to medical coding and billing is a very important step for your success in this career. There are an abundant amount of online schools, but only a few that offer the right training when it comes to medical coding and billing. You should look for a school that is approved or accredited by AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association). This will ensure that the curriculum that the training program is teaching you meets the proper requirements. A great way to get a better understanding of a school is to read testimonials from prior students so that you can get an understanding of what experience they went through. Remember that you need to have the right academic credentials, so it is important to find a school that prepares you for your certification exam as part of their training program, and in return will give you more opportunities to secure employment. From experience, I recommend Career Step to you as an online school as they prepared me to get started in my healthcare career.
It may vary depending on which medical coding and billing training program path you decide to take. If you are going to a college or vocational school it can take up to 6 to 12 months or even up to two years. If you are taking an online training program, it can take up to 3-4 months or even up to 6 months. Remember that an online training program allows you to study on your own schedule and at your own pace in case you need that extra time. So the time it takes to complete the training online really depends on how fast you complete the curriculum they have for you.
As a medical coder and biller you will be learning a lot of information such as –
- Medical terminology
- Basic anatomy and physiology
- The fundamentals of coding and analysis of medical codes for coding purposes
- Utilization of current procedural terminology coding systems (CPT and ICD-9-CM)
- Official coding guidelines
- Healthcare structure and reimbursement
- Confidentiality and ethics
- Preparations for practicum and evaluation, as well as HIPAA regulations.
- Medical record types and formats
- And more…
What medical coding and billing certification do I need? The training course you take should prepare you to take the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) exam offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). You only have to take one exam and you will determine which exam to take depending on where you want to work and what certification they require. Many employers will only hire certified graduates. Certified graduates are in high demand and they also tend to find jobs more quickly and tend to have higher salaries than graduates that are non-certified.
Which is better AAPC or AHIMA?
The AAPC, awards the CPC (certified professional coder exam) credentials; established in 1988. They focus more on outpatient coding and physician coding. The AHIMA, awards the CCS (certified professional coder exam) credential; established in 1928. They focus on inpatient and outpatient coding. As far as ‘which is better’, in my opinion, it depends really on where you want to work and what they require. Both the AAPC and AHIMA each boast over 50,000 members. If you want to work in a hospital, they tend to want AHIMA credentials such as CCS. If you want to work at a physician’s office, they tend to want AAPC credentials such as CPC. As you gain experience you can then take continuing education courses to expand your credentials: AHIMA offers coding certifications such as Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based (CCS-P), and Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). *Since the CCA certification does not require much of experience, this is the certification that entry level medical coders start off with. AAPC offers coding certifications such as Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H), and Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P). You might see CPC-A. The “A” that is added at the end stands for apprentice. *The AAPC requires that you have two years work experience, but those without this can get Apprentice Certification status upon passing the required exams for the certifications. Medical Coding And Billing Exams
Medical Coding ICD-9 and ICD-10
What is ICD-9 and ICD-10? Why is ICD-10 training important? Medical coders use a coding system to report healthcare diagnoses and procedures for patients. The current coding system that is being used right now is called ICD-9. A new coding system is being implanted called ICD-10 and this will be taking over ICD-9. The new coding system will have 155,000 codes versus the one we have now of 17,000. All healthcare and insurance facilities must be trained and up to date with these new codes by October 1, 2014 (this date has been delayed until sometime in 2015). Thousands of people are getting trained on the new coding system in addition updating their systems. If you’re looking for ICD-10 training, Career Step offers an ICD-10 FastTrack Training program that can prepare you.