As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical coders are regarded as the health information technicians. Medical billers and coders are considered to be an integral part of the healthcare industry and the Revenue Cycle Management team.
Role and work prospects of Medical Billers and coders:
A medical coding specialist review the hospital and patient records, manage payments and remittances and submit clean claims. A certified Medical Billing and Coding specialist have a great scope in this profession. They can work in clinics or non clinic settings like nursing homes, hospitals, insurance companies, physician’s office or as a third party consulting service.
Importance of certification:
To practice as a medical billing and coding specialist it is vital for the candidates to take admission in a medical coding school to learn the complex laws and regulations of the healthcare business, medical terminology, medicine codes and lot more things. This helps them to attain in-depth knowledge about the field.
Who can apply?
The field is robust and open to those who have a high school diploma and equivalent GED certificate. The eligibility criteria will vary from college to college whether one is taking the course in campus or online. Exceptional math and organizational skills are an advantage.
Some of the best medical coding programs which can be chosen by the candidates are mentioned below and each institute have their own eligibility criteria.
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
AHIMA offers several in campus and online medical billing and coding certifications which includes, Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), etc. If a person is interested in CCS or more specialized exams, then it is recommended to get a minimum of 3 years of experience in any hospital or any other setting based on physician.
American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
The criteria for AAPC medical coding school is that a candidate will need to get an organizational membership and hold one associate degree. It is necessary to have a minimum of two years of experience in medical coding. AAPC offers certification on Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H), Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P), etc.
American Medical Billing Association (AMBA)
This association provides certification course as well as exams that is recognized nationally. It requires a membership for every person for his/her eligibility for sitting for the (CMRS) Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist exam. All the members need to annually renew for keeping the credentials of CMRS. It does not contain any kind of prerequisites that are required for taking the CMRS exams.
Board of Medical Specialty Coding and Compliance (BMSC)
BMSC offers different types of coding credentials such as Specialty Coding Professional (SCP), Home Care Coding Specialist-Diagnosis (HCS-D) and Advanced Coding Specialist (ACS). The selected candidates must have a minimum of 3 years of experience in coding.