Medical Billing and Coding Certification and Requirements

Medical billing and coding professionals are tasked with ensuring that payment requests made to insurance companies are accurate and complete. Because they have the financial well-being of health care facilities in their hands, it's imperative for these workers to receive extensive, quality training. To help ensure that they are hiring knowledgeable workers, many organizations require that billing and coding employees receive a professional certification. There are a number of certifications available for these workers, some of which are offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Procedural Coders (AAPC). The requirements for certifications generally include working in the field for a certain amount of time, completing continuing education courses, or passing an examination.

Although medical coding and billing can be done by the same person, they are actually two distinct functions, and professionals can obtain a certification for each one. Coding certifications -- such as the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Coder-Hospital Outpatient (CPC-H) offered by the AAPC -- test on knowledge of medical codes for diagnoses and procedures, reimbursement guidelines, medical terminology and what to do when a claim is denied.

Similarly, billing certifications like the Certified Professional Biller (CPB), allows professionals to demonstrate their knowledge about types of insurance plans, the life cycle of a medical bill, and how to follow up on a medical claim.

Educational requirements for medical billing and coding

To embark on a career in medical billing and coding, candidates are required to complete a high school diploma, or its equivalent, and are encouraged to take courses in health, math, biology, and computer science. After graduation, they may be required to obtain an associate degree or a postsecondary certificate that may take about one year to complete. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), some employers also require that employees earn a professional certification in addition to a billing and coding degree.

Benefits of billing and coding certification

Certification may be a condition to gain employment in some cases, but it may also help some workers advance in their careers and gain the potential to boost their salaries. According to a survey conducted by AAPC, medical coders and billers who earn a professional certification generally make 20 percent more than those who do not.


Medical Billing and Coding Certification, Ultimate Medical Academy, Accessed June 23, 2014, http://www.ultimatemedical.edu/education/medical-billing-and-coding-certification

Medical Certification Overview, AAPC, Accessed June 23, 2014, http://www.aapc.com/certification/

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm

Six Steps to Becoming a Certified Medical Coder, Find A Code, Accessed June 23, 2014, https://www.findacode.com/articles/six-steps-to-becoming-a-certified-medical-coder.html

What is Medical Coding?, AAPC, Accessed June 23, 2014, http://www.aapc.com/medical-coding/medical-coding.aspx

Medical Billing & Coding Schools

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            Medical Billing & Insurance Coding (8-Month Diploma Program)
            UEI College , Bakersfield
            • Dedicated to providing career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
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            Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Program
            • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
            • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
            • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
            • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
            • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
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            Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration
            Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center. We offer programs in dental assisting, medical assisting, medical insurance billing and office administration, and pharmacy tech.
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            Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            Medical Billing and Coding

            Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

            * Programs vary by location

            * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

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