After deciding on a career in medical billing and coding, the next step is choosing the right medical billing and coding certification. But deciding between the CPC, CCA, and CBCS certification can be difficult if you don’t know what these mean or how they’re different from each other.
Each certification is overseen by a certifying body that develops and maintains its standards. Depending on your interests, location, and priorities, one will be a great match for you. Here’s a breakdown of the three main certifications and their certifying bodies, the AAPC, the AHIMA, and NHA.
The CPC designation is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
The AAPC boasts over 190,000 members, making it the largest credentialing organization in the medical billing and coding field.
AAPC was founded in 1988 with an emphasis on physician-based medical coding. This means that holding a CPC certification shows that you’re proficient in:
- Reviewing and assigning codes for diagnoses, procedures, and services
- Services including anesthesia, surgery, pathology, and medicine
- Medical coding guidelines in areas such as reimbursement
- Handling compliance issues like claims denials and charge capture
- Anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology
If you see yourself working in a physician’s office or inpatient setting, the CPC designation may be the best choice for you.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the certifying body for the CCA certification.
This medical billing and coding organization focuses on health information management professionals involved with all health information technology systems.
AHIMA’s CCA certification focuses on “coding competency.” Earning this entry-level certification can be a stepping stone to the more advanced CCS certification, also offered by AHIMA.
According to AHIMA, those who hold the CCA:
- Exhibit commitment, competency, and capability in coding
- Demonstrate commitment to the coding profession
- Distinguish themselves against a demanding of expertise
Keep in mind, the CCA does require a high school diploma or equivalent. So, if you are looking for a great “onramp” for the medical coding and billing profession, the CCA certification may be ideal for you.
The CBCS is administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), an industry advocacy organization for healthcare workers and employers.
The NHA works to improve the quality of healthcare careers on behalf of students, educators, employees, and employers. In fact, it promotes certification to help prepare the next generation of healthcare workers.
Beyond that, the CBCS certification prepares students to take part in billing and coding activities across the scope of the healthcare industry.
Key CBCS activities include:
- Gathering and reviewing patient information
- Verifying documentation before patient information release
- Preventing fraud and abuse by through billing audits
- Supporting coding and billing processes
- Assigning codes for diagnoses and procedures
- Submitting reimbursement claims
If you want to work hands-on with patients and healthcare providers to ensure they’re treated with integrity, you may be a perfect fit for the CBCS.
Pick Your Specialty and Enroll Now
Do you want to work in a physician’s office, a hospital, or a large healthcare system? Do you prefer to interact with healthcare professionals and patients or to work with technology? Take your pick! There is a medical coding and billing certification for you.
To start the enrollment process, give us a call at (855) 520-6806 or fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch immediately.