Medical Billing and Coding Certification Tennessee - TN
How to Become a Medical Biller & Coder in Tennessee
- Tennessee does not stipulate that its medical billers and/or coders must be nationally certified with any certain organization. However, many employers require medical billing and coding certification in Tennessee as a standard of practice in the field and will not hire, or advance, medical billers/coders who are not certified. There are a few different organizations offering certification, but the two main bodies are the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Depending upon your employer's preferences, you can take one of the following exams to become certified.
- The AAPC offers certifications that require at least a year's work experience. Exams are given across the country. In Tennessee, exams are offered by the AAPC in Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville, Kingsport, Murfreesboro, and Clarksville. You can apply to take the tests at www.aapc.com/certification.
- The first step in the tier provided by the AAPC is Certified Professional Coder (CPC). This is suitable for those working for physicians, home health agencies, hospitals, and the like. You will be tested on CPT (Current Procedural Terminology), HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System), and ICD-9-CM (International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification) codes used by billers and coders.
- If you specialize in billing and coding for hospital outpatient departments, you will want to take the Certified Professional Coder – Outpatient Hospital (CPC-H) exam. This exam tests applicants on the same basic coding procedures as the CPC, but adds specialized outpatient billing services and codes. If you work for a payer like private insurance companies, Medicaid, or Medicare, take the Certified Professional Coder – Payer (CPC-P) exam. This test covers payer functions, plus the basics found in the CPC test.
- The AHIMA's certifications are also highly valued by the medical billing and coding community. You can find locations to take the exam and register online at www.ahima.org.
- The first step under AHIMA's certification tree is Certified Coding Associate (CCA). AHIMA recommends you have at least six months of work experience in billing and coding before taking this exam.
- Next, you can try for the credential Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). You should have at least three years of work experience in billing and coding before sitting for this exam.
- If you are going to work for doctors and want more specialized credentials, sit for the Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based (CCS-P) exam. After working for at least three years and taking training courses, the AHIMA says you are ready to take this test, which covers deeper knowledge of coding systems including CPT, ICD-9-CM, and HCPCS.