About Medical Billing and Coding Certification

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Medical billing and coding is one of the fastest growing careers in the health care arena. Certification is obtained by completing the required course work and passing the certification exam. There are various programs that offer these certificates; however you want to make sure that the program you choose is fully accredited and up to all departmental standards.

The Facts

  • Although there is no definite standard for instructive requirements in the field of Medical Billing and Coding, most employers seek to hire individuals who possess certification from an accredited institution. There are various schools and programs that offer such certificates. The program that you choose to enroll in will have specific criteria and training required to obtain the certification. Different programs vary in terms of the type of degree and certifications that they offer.

Function

  • Medical billers and coders are central members of various medical groups. Their tasks include submitting claims to different Insurance providers to collect payment for services that are rendered to a patient from a licensed practitioner or provider. After a patient receives such services, they then submit the appropriate code so that the claim can be billed and processed. Although there is no definite standard for instructive requirements in the field of Medical Billing and Coding, most employers seek to hire individuals who possess certification from an accredited institution.

Benefits

  • Certified medical billing and coding specialists are more readily hired and tend to earn more money than those who are not. The U.S. government insists that all coders who deal with Medicare and Medicaid claims have proper certification and subsequent credentials. The benefit of being certified lies within the recognition that it brings. A certified professional has successfully completed the course work and passed the exam, which establishes their efficiency in areas such as electronic records management, health insurance rules and regulations, insurance claim submissions and financial analysis among other things. According to healthcarejobs.org, the starting wage ranges from $8 to $10 and increases up to $30 to $40 and above depending on your years of experience and responsibility.

Time Frame

  • Many of the Medical Billing and Coding Certification programs can be completed in less than one year. This time frame can vary with the different programs and types of certifications that are available for assorted specializations. If you choose to enroll in a certification program, you want to be sure that it is accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Once you have completed the course work you must pass the certification exam. The certification is usually valid for a limited period, which can be anywhere from a year to longer. Afterward it must be renewed, which can require proof of the completion of approved continuing education credits, further training or a recertification exam.

Identification

  • When embarking on this path, make sure you are clear about the certification program that you are entering and its accreditation. Remember that certification is not the same as licensure, so be sure to identify the specific requirements that your future position will entail. In addition, choose an environment that will suit you the best. Explore your options; there are many certification programs that can be completed online. It's also central to have an awareness of the different opportunities and career options that are available to you when you receive your certification. A Medical Billing and Coding Certification may also qualify you to be an office director, manager, examiner and more.

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