When medical offices are hiring for new staff—an increasingly common occurrence in the current healthcare job market—they can’t afford to take chances. They need someone who understands the ins and outs of working with medical care providers.

Certification is your foot in the door to this growing industry. There are plenty of different credentials out there, each of which qualifies you for a different type of job. With a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) credential, you can get a job as a medical office assistant and specialist or patient services representative. You could earn as much as $72,000 as a patient-centered care coordinator, or even more as a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS).

Then there’s the option of becoming a Certified Professional Coder (CPC). This advanced credential can earn you up to $82,000 per year and sets you up for a reliable career in the healthcare industry.

What Is a Certified Professional Coder?

Certified Professional Coders work in doctors’ offices and hospitals, preparing bills for insurance reimbursement and making sure that the right person gets billed at the right time.

Medical coding is a highly specialized field. There are three sets of codes:

  1. CPT, the primary reporting system for outpatient services
  2. HCPCS Level II, which covers codes not included in the CPT coding set
  3. ICD-10-CM, the standard international system for diagnosis coding

Among these three systems, there is at least one code for every diagnosis, test, lab result, and procedure known to medicine. CPCs need to be able to find the correct code for each situation.

What Can You Do with a CPC Credential?

Doctors’ offices and hospitals can’t bill insurance companies without a properly coded reimbursement request. You don’t have to be certified to get a job doing this, but it certainly makes you more marketable. Certified coders also make more money—20% more than non-certified coders, to be specific.

With a CPC certification, you can work in almost any setting, from a busy urban hospital to a small private practice. You can focus on general practice coding or go on to pursue advanced certification in one of many specialties, such as cardiology, emergency practice, or pediatrics. In general, the more specialized knowledge you have, the more you’ll earn.

How Can You Qualify as a CPC?

Your first official step to certification is passing your Certified Professional Coder exam. The best way to prepare is to take CPC classes, where you’ll learn things like:

  • Medical terminology and how it’s used in healthcare billing
  • Insurance coverage and how companies process claims
  • Translation of medical records into code

You can sit for the CPC exam any time after you’ve finished your course. When you pass, you receive a CPC-A apprentice designation. You become a full CPC after you've completed a year of on-the-job coding.

Choosing CPC Courses

Any time you’re looking for a professional training program, look for those that are geared toward certification. MedCerts partners with the AAPC, which grants CPC certifications, to make sure that its Professional Coder Program offers up-to-date and complete career training.

The program typically takes just 24 weeks to complete and includes a thorough grounding in all coding best practices. To learn more, fill out the form below and a representative will be in touch.

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Writter by MedCerts Team
Published on July 24, 2019

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