Alicia: I just graduated what my associates in medical billing and coding. I studied medical billing and coding for a hospital. I really want to do medical billing and coding in the hospital. Which one do I take first, the CPC or CPC-H?
I think Tammy has some information that she can share for not only the differences in the two credentials, but Tammy, you might mention about people who have the CPC that think they want to pick the “H” – that will be another thing to mention too, because it’s not like you’re a CPC and you say, “Oh, I’ll just pick up the H,” it’s a little more in-depth than that. Here’s what she had put in here earlier. See how pleasant and pleased this coder looks? I thought that was good slide.
Tammy: OK. I’m new to this…
Alicia: There’s a little bit of a delay in there, Tammy, when I move the screen it will move faster for me than it will when you see it.
Tammy: OK. First, let me answer the question. I get asked all the time: “What credential should I sit for?” And here is my standard answer: “I don’t know, which one do you want to sit for? What is it that you wanted to do? If you’re telling me that you went to school and you focused on the hospital setting, then why not take the hospital credential?”
Now, you mentioned the CPC and the CPC-H, both of those are core credentials through AAPC. There’s a little bit of difference between the two but not a gigantic amount of difference between the two. Do a lot of people have both? Yes, because once you take the first one, whichever one it would be, the second one is ten times easier to take because you’ve already studied for 80% of it; so it makes it really, really easy for you to do that.
Medical Billing and Coding Certification – CPC vs CPC-H – Video
Like Laureen and Alicia just talked about, the CPC was focused more towards the physician’s office. The CPC-H is focused more towards facility outpatient, and the biggest difference in that is a little bit of usage and modifiers. We don’t use modifiers in the facility like you would in your physician’s office. AAPC they expect us to understand even though we may not always have our fingers in that pie, they expect us to understand the reimbursement side of the facility coding.
What happens if we don’t use the right code, if we don’t follow those guidelines? What happens if we put in CPC code that has the status indicator of C on that? Well, that means we can’t bill it because that’s all about patient code. Or, if we do bill it, some of them have to approve it because otherwise won’t get paid for it.
So, that’s the biggest difference between the two. You do have to know some very specific reimbursement issues for the facility just like if you were studying for the CPC exam, you need to know some reimbursement issues or positions. So, it’s just a little bit of difference between the two. It’s easy to get… once you get the first one, get that second one, if that’s what you want to do. That’s great, it’s easy; it’s easy to go back to back. We’ve even had a couple of the CPC-Hers passed and then turned right around and took the CPC and vice versa. We have a lot of students now in the CPC-H side they just got finished taken the CPC-H course. Go where your heart is, if you want that facility, then take the facility first; and then if want to add the CPC then who’s to stop you from taking it. Look, you can take as many credentials if you want to, or if your pocket will allow you to.
Alicia: Good point.