According to AAPC, the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential is the gold standard for medical coding in physician office settings and the best place to start as a new medical coder. Certified professional coders help maintain compliance and profitability within medical practices through accurate medical coding and documentation. Furthermore, these professional coders translate medical terminology into a standardized format, allowing information to be transmitted accurately and efficiently between healthcare providers and insurance payors. At present, there are over 104,000 certified professionals in the US making it the most recognized medical coding certification in the healthcare industry.
Related Article: How To Get A CPC Certification — 5 Steps
Why You Need CPC Certification — The Benefits of Being a Certified Medical Coder
- Certified medical coders earn on an average $7000 more than their non-certified counterparts
- Both CPC and CCS coding certifications are nationally-recognized accredited qualifications
- US employers are more likely to hire candidates who have one or both of these credentials
- Both CPC and CCS certifications open up new career opportunities in a fiercely competitive employment market
- A certified medical coder has a higher chance of working from home with flexible hours and schedules
Related Article: Medical Coders | AAPC CPC Certification Exam – Video
Do I Need A CPC Certification To Get A Job? — VIDEO
According to AAPC, the reason why employers hire certified professional coders over non-certified is because certified CPC’s have demonstrated:
- Expertise in reviewing and assigning accurate medical codes for diagnoses, procedures, and services performed by physicians and other qualified healthcare providers in the office or facility setting (eg, inpatient hospital)
- Proficiency across a wide range of services, including evaluation and management, anesthesia, surgery, radiology, pathology, and medicine
- A sound knowledge of medical coding guidelines and regulations including compliance and reimbursement – allowing a CPC to better handle issues such as medical necessity, claims denials, bundling issues, and charge capture
- Understanding of how to integrate medical coding and payment policy changes into a practice’s reimbursement processes
- Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology necessary to correctly code provider diagnosis and services
Related Article: CPC Exam Tips — 20 Tips for Passing the CPC Exam
Planning on bringing your medical coding career to the next level? Then get certified. Here are some recommended steps to help you become a certified professional coder and stay certified.
Prepare for the CPC Exam:
- Get Online Medical Terminology | Online Anatomy Course — A strong understanding of medical terminology and anatomy are required for medical coding and tested thoroughly during the CPC exam. These medical coding courses should be considered by anyone wanting to learn medical coding or for experienced coders who may be weak in these areas.
- Take CPC Preparation Course — Available either online or in the classroom, this course prepares students for a medical coding career in an outpatient physician office. Individuals planning to sit for the CPC exam should have strong coding experience /knowledge or have successfully completed this course.
- Get the Official CPC Certification Study Guide — This reviews each section of the CPC exam in detail and provides practical examples, sample questions, and test taking techniques. If you have coding experience or have successfully completed medical coding training (such as the courses listed above), this 385 page study guide will optimize exam preparation.
- Take CPC Online Practice Exams — These 50-question online practice exams are strongly recommended for anyone taking the CPC exam. Emulating the content and difficulty level of the actual exam, these practice exams allow you to become more familiar with the format and time constraints of the real test. The three practice exams, equaling the length of the 150-question exam, can be purchased separately or as a complete bundle.
Related Article: How To Pass The CPC Exam — Tips & Strategies