Alicia: OK. We’re going to go ahead and jump in with our slides. The first one was pretty interesting.

Q: She says, “I am just about to finish the Medical Billing and Coding training program at a local technology center. What credential should I look at obtaining first?”

A: First of all, congratulations! That’s great that you are about to complete that. There are two main groups that you can go to for credentialing for coding: the AAPC is one we talked about quite a bit, but AHIMA is equally as good as the AAPC. The AAPC is geared a little bit more towards the physician-based coder, and the AAPC has a lot of specialty credentials. AHIMA is known for doing inpatient coding and they have been around since the 1920s, and the AAPC has been around since I think the early 80s. Both are equal in number of members, and maybe the AAPC has a little bit more now, I’m not sure. Last I heard they were getting a little bit more. But both of those websites, the or are excellent organizations to get certification in.

What Medical Coding Credential To Get First – Video

If you go to the AAPC, the basic certification is the CPC and that Certified Professional Coder. You can also get their new Certified Professional Biller (CPB) that if you went through that program for coding and billing, some people just really enjoy billing, and now you can get certified in that. And we’re working on getting this for us as well, getting a CPB course started and it’s almost ready to go.

Let’s see with AHIMA they have a certified coding associate, which is a CCA which is kind of like a beginning or maybe the CPC-A, the CPC you can get when you first get certified if you’re not experienced you get an “A” for apprenticeship. Or, you go straight for the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). That’s the two main ones that AHIMA puts out. Again, both are equally good and well known organizations.

You can even get multiple certifications by getting certified through the AAPC and AHIMA, which is a good thing especially if your employer pays for that; but keep in mind if you do decide to get dual certifications with the organizations you’re paying a yearly membership dues to both and not always do your CEUs transfer back and forth. Most of them will but sometimes they will not, so you want to be aware of that. But again, if your employer is willing to pay for that kind of stuff, take advantage of it.

Now, one more thing, if you go to our YouTube channel we have a previous YouTube spot that Boyd set up that shows the differences between the AAPC and AHIMA, and there is the link. I wasn’t going to click on it, but I just want to have that up for you to look at. It’s under, we have two channels: Coding Certification or Medical Coding Cert., either one of those. And then you could just type in, you could put in “AAPC” and that video will pop up for you.

Learn More about Medical Coding Credential

What Medical Coding Credential Do you Want?
AAPC – Specialty Medical Coding Certification

medical coding credential


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About the Author:

Alicia has been working in the medical field for over 20 years. She first learned about medical coding while working in a medical records department at a resort town hospital near where she was raised. Through the years she has held several jobs in the medical field from, CNA, EMT, Pharmacy technician and Medial Records Abstractor and Analyst. Outside of the medical field she has worked as a Real Estate agent, and owned her own on-line retail business. The medical field has always been where she felt the most comfortable. Alicia has taught medical coding, billing and medical law and ethics at a private college. She also did contract work in HCC Risk Adjustment and discovered she really enjoyed ICD work. Because she loves to learn Alicia is working towards her Masters in Health Care Administration with an emphasis on education. Having taken many online classes through the years to complete her degree she feels very comfortable with both face to face and on-line learning. Alicia will tell you that not only does she love medical coding but she has a passion for teaching it. Alicia lives in the middle of Texas with her husband who is a Pastor, five of her six children, three dogs and two cats.

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