Medical Billing and Coding Education in Washington - WA
By an allied health world contributing writer
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Medical Billing and Coding Certification in Washington
Although not a requirement, medical billing and coding certification in Washington improves a medical biller or coder’s chance for job advancement and better pay. While Washington does not have its own licensing board for medical billers and coders, there are several organizations that provide certification exams for individuals already working in the field. All of them require candidates to have either two years of job experience or two years in an accredited program before they can sit for a certification exam.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AACP) are the most popular organizations that provide certification for medical billers and coders. While the AHIMA oversees certification for all disciplines in the medical records and health information industry, the PAHCS and AACP offer certification primarily for medical billers and coders.
Levels and names of medical billing and coding certification in Washington vary depending upon the organization from which the individual decides to obtain certification. The most basic Washington medical billing certificate is available to those individuals who have recently graduated from an accredited program, college, or university. Moving up the certification ladder are those billers and coders who have demonstrated expertise with several of the more common coding systems, as well as a solid knowledge of medical terminology and pharmacology. The most advanced certifications involve working alongside a physician in a hospital setting and mastering more complex coding systems. Fees for the exams vary depending upon which organization is sponsoring the exam and whether the person is a member.
In the state of Washington, those with a desire to obtain certification can get more information from AHIMA’s Washington state association. The Washington State Health Information Management Association (WSHIMA) can be found at www.wshima.org.