Want to give your medical coding career a boost? Getting certified in a core or specialty credential may be the answer. So, whether you are thinking about adding some letters to your already impressive title, are you are just getting your feet wet for the first time, understanding the different medical coding certification options available and who offers them is important to furthering any medical coding career.
Medical Coding Credentials by the AAPC (formerly American Academy of Professional Coders)
More than 83,000 healthcare professionals around the country hold AAPC certifications in physician offices, clinics, outpatient facilities and hospitals. Credentials are available in medical coding, auditing, compliance, and practice management. Here we will provide an overview of the medical coding credentials offered by the AAPC that are nationally recognized by employers, medical societies and government organizations. They are as follows:
APPC Core Medical Coding Credentials
- CPC: This allows you to perform medical coding in physician office settings. After passing the exam, you will have a medical coding certification that is considered by many to be the gold standard.
- CPC-H: This is for you if you are going to be working in an outpatient or ambulatory medical billing and coding setting.
- CPC-P: This credential meets the growing demand for certified coders in payer environments. It demonstrates your aptitude, proficiency and knowledge of coding guidelines and reimbursement methodologies for all types of services from the payer’s perspective.
- CIRCC: This one verifies advanced aptitude in the complex and specialized areas of interventional radiology and cardiovascular coding and charging. This is a top-earning specialty.
AAPC Specialty Medical Coding Credentials
Specialty credentials are designed for experienced coders. They allow you to demonstrate superior proficiency in your specialty discipline. They are stand-alone certifications with no requirement to hold the CPC credential.
The following specialty certifications are available:
- CASCC: Ambulatory Surgical Center
- CANPC: Anesthesia and Pain Management
- CCC: Cardiology
- CCVTC: Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
- CCPC: Chiropractic
- CPCD: Dermatology
- CEDC: Emergency Department
- CEMC: Evaluation and Management
- CFPC: Family Practice
- CGIC: Gastroenterology
- CGSC: General Surgery
- CHONC: Hematology
- CIMC: Internal Medicine
- COBGC: Obstetrics and Gynecology
- COSC: Orthopedic Surgery
- CENTC: Otolaryngology
- CPEDC: Pediatrics
- CPRC: Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery
- CRHC: Rheumatology
- CSFAC: Surgical Foot and Ankle
- CUC: Urology
Medical Coding Credentials by The American Healthcare Information and Management Association (AHIMA)
AHIMA offers certification options in health information management, coding, health data analysis, healthcare privacy and security, and clinical improvement documentation. Earning an AHIMA credential puts you in a special league and positions you as a leader and role model in the health informatics and information management community. Here is an overview of its medical coding certifications:
- CCA: This credential distinguishes you by exhibiting commitment and demonstrating coding competencies across all settings, including both hospitals and physician practices.
- CCS: CCSs are skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in a hospital setting. The CCS credential demonstrates your coding proficiency. If you are experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records, you may wish to consider obtaining this certification.
- CCS-P: CCS-Ps are coding practitioners who specialize in physician-based settings such as physician offices, group practices, multi-specialty clinics, or specialty centers. The CCS-P certification exam assesses your mastery-level proficiency in coding rather than entry-level skills.
Medical Coding Credentials – Links to Certifying Bodies