You’ve finally completed your medical billing and coding training program. Now that you’re all set to look for a job, you’re being told you need to pass a certification exam. What is the medical billing and coding certification exam? Read on and get the important facts.
What is a Medical Billing and Coding Certification Exam?
The medical billing and coding certification exam is a test designed to help you demonstrate your knowledge and competency in medical billing and coding. The organizations that offer this type of certification are the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). To be eligible to take an APPC certification exam, it’s recommended that you have an associate degree and/or some work experience.
The AHIMA doesn’t require that you complete a training program at an approved school for some certifications but does require work experience, which is hard to get without taking some classes or completing a program and being certified. Other AHIMA certifications require degrees. Many insurance companies won't accept claims from a business unless the billing was performed by a medical billing and coding specialist that is certified.
There are various types of certifications available through both the AAPC and the AHIMA. The AAPC offers the Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Biller (CPB), CPC-Outpatient Hospital Facility and the CPC-Payer certifications, along with some specialty certifications.
The AHIMA also has a variety of certifications and credentials that can be earned. Some of these include Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based (CCS-P), Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). The AHIMA also offers several specialty certifications. Both organizations offer recertification exams or continuing education classes to meet recertification requirements.
What is the Medical Billing and Coding Certification Exam Like?
The medical billing and coding certification exam is a computer-based test that is taken at a Pearson VUE testing center or any approved testing site. Students use resources such as coding booklets during the exam. You must also bring documentation proving you’ve met the eligibility requirements, such as proof of education or work experience.
Individuals planning to take a certification exam can take online certification prep classes to help prepare them for the exam. There might be some slight variations in the testing procedure or requirements depending on the organization, but they’re pretty similar in nature. For instance, the CPC exam has around 150 multiple-choice questions, and you’re allowed almost six hours to complete the exam.