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Difference Between The AAPC CPC AND AHIMA CCS/CCA Examination


AAPC and AHIMA are certifications for medical coders.

What is medical coding?

Medical coding is the transformation of health care diagnosis, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. The need for coding arises because the medical diagnosis and procedures are complex to understand for a non-medical professional so by converting them into standard universal medical alphanumeric codes it becomes easier for professionals like insurers to understand and provide appropriate compensation. The other purpose of coding is to transform the data form suitable for computer-aided analysis. There is a huge demand for medical coders in the healthcare industry. The salaries offered to these coders are also highly remunerative. In this scenario, many certifications have come up which certify the coders who would like to make it a profession. Famous among them are AHIMA and APPC certifications.

Differences between AAPC CPC and AHIMA CCS/CCA Exam

Medical coding can be categorized into facility coding and professional coding.

AAPC stands for American Academy of Professional Coders. The aim of AAPC is to provide education and certification to coders working in physician-based settings. AAPC CPC certification is more suitable for professional coding. Professional coding is the type of coding carried out an outpatient as part of outpatient services. Some of these outpatient services require professional coding that includes emergency medicine, surgery centers, private practices etc. Professional coders are known to work mainly in the doctor’s office.

AHIMA stands for the American Health Information Management Association. AHIMA’s stated mission is to be the professional community that improves healthcare by advancing best practices and standards for health information management and become a trusted source for education for education, research and professionals credentials. AHIMA CCS certification is more suitable for facility coding. Facility coding has to do with the type of coding carried out on inpatient services. Facility coders are known to work mainly in hospitals.

Another important factor is the certification exams. For both the AAPC AND AHIMA, you’ll need to sit for and pass a very lengthy exam as a necessary requirement. The standard in medical coding is high and there is a huge demand for qualified and proficient coders.

The CCS and CCS-P exams are not considered entry-level exams. They are ‘fill- in- the- blank’ questions which are very difficult to clear, which is why they are only recommended for coders who have a few years of on- the job experience.Most of the graduates take the CPC exam because the exam includes a free retake.Typically entry-level coders begin as out-patient coders. Many times outpatient coders move into inpatient coding once they get more onsite experience because inpatient coding is generally considered a more advanced and experienced level of coding.

For this reason, a CPC credential or a CCA credential will both put you in the right position to be certified as an outpatient coder first with the potential to move into inpatient coding later as you gain more experience and additional credentials.

We hope you found his article beneficial and have made a choice about your certification exam.

5 Reasons why Medical Billing is one of the best career options in the healthcare industry

A plethora of options are available in the career market, but choosing the right one will give excellent exposure and lets you earn at leisure. Medical Coding is an excellent option in the healthcare industry given their growing demand.

If you have considered a fresh start or a career shift in the healthcare sector, then Medical Billing is an excellent choice for you. The job roles include analyzing the patient reports and records using specific codes to bill the insurance providers.

If you assume that you are not career-ready for the same, then one can seek the assistance and guidance of Medical Coding Training institutes that are training candidates who aspire to become a Medical Billing professional.

Unlike other professions, Medical Billing gives you the flexibility that makes a work-life balance.

Let us walk through various reasons, that will help you analyze why Medical billing is one of the right career opportunities for you.

1. No prior experience is mandatory: You don’t need previous experience for  Medical coding and billing. All you need is just to get certified through an accredited Medical coding Training Institute.

2. The wide range of employment opportunities: From medical healthcare institutes, hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes, administrative departments, and physiotherapy centers, there is always a steady demand for accredited Medical coding professionals.

3. The job market is welcoming: A wide range of option can be stumbled upon as you are researching the career options for Medical Coding professionals.

4. Flexibility: Most health care centers work 24/7 offering uninterrupted medical services. Hence, every health care center requires one or more medical coding employees to work during every shift. The steady demand along with shift timings gives work flexibility to many professionals.

5. Competitive Salaries: Unlike the earlier times, the growing demand for healthcare professionals in the healthcare sector have led to many opportunities and attractive salary packages for Medical Coding and Billing roles. Every year, a group of professionals land in the career market from the Medical Coding Training Institute raising the bar of competition and hence, the overall quality of medical professionals.

Conclusion: Medical Billing is a great career option for you as it offers stability, steady growth, work-life balance, exciting opportunities, and a lucrative salary.

Top 5 reasons to become a Medical Coding and Billing Specialist

Being part of the medical team, Medical Billing and Coding professionals acquire an important set of skill and knowledge of various medical terminologies and anatomy, as well as proficiency in the field of Medical coding and billing software.

To meet the rising medical needs of people, companies dealing with insurance and similar criteria are continually updating their claims processing procedures, thus, fueling the job explosion for Medical coding and billing specialists.

For many, this occupation can be very advantageous. Let’s look at the top five reasons to consider before getting into this field.

Working in the healthcare industry is satisfying

You would be able to say that you are directly contributing to saving lives every day? Not really!

On a serious note though, one great benefit of getting into the Medical coding industry is the immense job satisfaction that you get. Another advantage is that is you get to complete the specialized training in just a few months.

Medical billing and coding specialists are effectively trained in reducing medical mistakes, keeping the costs down, and ensuring the free flow of information about the patient’s medical history.

These specialists are crucial in keeping the medical facilities up and running for saving precious lives.

Be a niche member of the rapidly evolving industry

Medical billing and coding are experiencing the most significant evolution today. The legislation is attempting to reform the healthcare industry by motivating more use of electronic medical records. By improving the way patients’ medical records are managed, the healthcare industry is looking to cut costs and increase revenues significantly. The nature of the Medical coding and billing job is getting increasingly sophisticated and niche with these evolutionary changes within the industry.

You are saving lives too

When thinking of life-saving work, you don’t think about the medical coders and billing professionals. For instance, medical coding errors can be deadly sometimes. This is the case when an incorrect code can lead to wrong diagnosis and treatment.

That’s why medical coding and billing professionals are essential to the industry. Making sure the data is prompt and accurate is the core part of their responsibility.

High recruitment

This is one of those rare fields that is witnessing an invariable increase in the way hiring is done. The medical billing and coding specialists are expected to see a 15% rise by the year 2024. That’s a “much faster than average” statistical figure.

In comparison, the average jobs in good healthcare countries are going to see an increase over the coming years. That translates to great things in store for medical billing and coding specialists.

Call yourself a cool ‘coder’ too

The reason might seem trivial. But if you are in India and under the pressure of having a designation of ‘coder’ before your name, this field is worth a try.

It’s true that the medical coding and billing specialists are entirely different than the software developers. Software developers write codes to develop software, wherein, you would be inputting correct codes for various medical conditions into the software. Still, let’s face it, not enough jobs have cool short versions of their titles to make you sound awesome.

If you are now curious to learn more about the subject and get into a job like medical coding and billing, then hopefully this article has given you important insights. Given the volatile nature of the profession, the field requires experienced personnel to perform the tasks on time and help patients have smooth medical treatment. Accuracy, precision, and attention are essential for the job. Hence, if you fulfill all the criteria, we highly recommend that you try getting into medical coding and billing.


5 Advice to those who are pursuing Medical Coding as a Career

Medical Coding is the part of the medical billing process which groups a patient’s visit to the hospital and provides code. Anytime a patient visits a health facility, the visit is given a particular code to assist in the tracking of the primary cause and follow their medical history. The medical coding system makes sure the visit to the hospital is categorized and grouped well so that the information can be used during any insurance claim and billing.

The standard of the medical coding has continuously evolved over the period of years, thus making it complicated. The top-notch coding helps in constructing accurate codes for the patient, proper compensation and also verification of services offered. The codes are importantly used to track and monitor threats to health from diseases like measles and diabetes epidemic.

Medical coding positions both within and outside the medical industry. To have a successful career in this area of specialization, make sure to follow the below steps,

1. Take Pre-employment exams seriously

Whether you are a direct hire or a contract coder, an exam before hiring would be conducted to test your strength and weakness. The test also determines your level of coding in the industry. Never expect the examiner to share a feedback with you, as the test is taken to test your skills and not to improve them during the interview process.

2. Prepare for subjective Medical Coding

There will be cases and diagnosis with questionable ways to code. This happens in order to test not only your coding skill but also your decision making skill. The written pre-employment test is mostly right or wrong, but medical record pre-employment is decision making.

3. Get an experience first

Being a complex field of coding, most employers expect experienced candidates. Hence, if you wish to crack through your dream company, then make sure you have a certain number of practical experience. This might give you an upper hand during the interview process.

4. Always focus on your credential to code

A real coder codes all day and hence the coding credential depends on your choice of medical work that you want. Without a credential, it is hard to get through a job. An employer that hires experienced coders requires AHIMA credential fro hospital-based coding.

5. Build your conscience and be assertive

Being in the medical coding department requires you to be very attentive to minute details while recording and coding the data. The experts are in charge of complex health information which needs to be precise and productive.

While you are on the job, you meet a lot many individuals. Hence it is required that you are self-assured and trustworthy.

Being an important field, only the theoretical knowledge would not suffice. There are many other factors which matter, but the ones listed above should be considered before getting into the role or while planning a future in it.

There are several medical coding institutes and medical coding training centers that provide medical coding training. Consider joining one before attending an interview.

5 Reasons Why Medical Coding is a Good Career Choice for Women.

Women all the over the world are looking for a great career opportunity, which provides them not only the job security and a decent salary but also those careers which offer good opportunities to progress, has flexible timing, provides them ample work-life balance etc.  Medical coding is a secure and good profession that is always in high demand and provides the options which women are looking for.

Women who are looking for challenging career opportunities are also realizing what a good option medical coding is.  

Following are the 5 reasons why medical coding is a great career choice for women

1.Easier to receive education on medical coding

Once you have made up your mind to start with medical coding, there are various online and onsite courses available making it easy to get educated while you are in your existing job. Many of these online courses for medical coding are comparatively less expensive. It is always easy to find a job in the field after you have completed the course.

2.More options and better job security

Women all over the world are looking for more options in an industry and also a job which provides them a job security. And being a medical provides the same. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of the top 20 fastest growing professions, 8 are in the healthcare industry.  When you become a medical coder, it will help you enjoy more options and provide you with much better job security and stability. And due to regular advances in medicines, and the aging population, there will be a continuous increase in demand for medical professionals across the board.

  1. Decent Income

Medical coders work a 40 hour week, with part-time and other variable positions available, which allows balancing work life so that it is a gratifying career. A survey done by AAPC reveals that average medical coder earns from US$18 to US$30 an hour which is totally based on the experience. There are many cases where medical coders also get an opportunity to work more than 40 hours a week and also earn additional overtime income.

  1. Option of work from home

When it comes to women, they always want to have a job which is flexible and convenient – one which is rewarding,  while there to be for your family. Medical coding is just right for them, as they can enjoy the liberty of working from home.  There are many medical coding companies who provide work from home option. In the beginning, they may want you to work on site to gain some work experience, but as you go on accumulating years of experience in medical coding, you will provide work from home option. Work from home can offer many benefits like flexible working hours and reduce your travel expenses.

  1. Flexible and Family Friendly

Be it any field, a career which is family friendly and flexible is always a dream choice for women. And with medical coding, you can grow in the career, which is very family friendly and flexible.  Once they have made your mark in medical coding, they can expand their career in various fields which are related to coding like, Medical compliance, auditing, and teaching. There are unlimited possibilities and the sky’s the limit once they are determined.

5 Common mistakes everyone makes as a Business Analyst.

A healthcare business analyst is expected to bridge the gap between the traditional and advanced methods of information gathering. A healthcare business analyst holds the responsibility for creation and implementation of both reports and analysis to maximize the effectiveness of healthcare management through initiatives and strategies.

The works on a vast landscape with possibilities to commit mistakes unknowingly; and, even the single error affects the complete profitability, team members’ performance, and customer satisfaction. The learning is a continuous process; the following are often committed five mistakes by business analysts will help you improve your performance: 

Mistake 1: Inappropriate language in requirements

Business analyst often fails in communicating the requirements in proper technical terms from the specific technical viewpoint. It is expected that business analysts keep the requirements tested and well structured.

Business Analysts must make the requirements – SMART: Specific – Measurable- Attainable- Realizable -Time-bound. Going a step ahead of this usually used ‘SMART’ approach, one can follow – SMART-CC that adds Complete & Concise to ‘SMART’ acronym. The organization itself is the primary user of the requirements that a business analyst collects and make smart for testing; so, ensure that there is no confusion in understanding by anyone involved.  

Mistake 2: Making assumptions in requirements

If you have any uncertainties regarding the requirements, keep questions ready or write it as business analysis assumptions and highlight it in your document. Review it thoroughly with your stakeholders as early as possible.

Mistake 3: A Conversation without a thought Line

The proper conversation with stakeholders is an essential latchkey to complete any project successfully, but it needs to be in the line of the perspectives you get after the analysis of business needs and that of the project. Non-relevant discussions put just the blinders to actual requirements and distract the team members from the task causing frustration. The competent business analysts avoid involving too many stakeholders in reviews to get the best solution for a particular issue; all the meetings should be issue based.  

Mistake 4: Get feedback.

Get feedback about the requirements from the stakeholders. It is always advised to prefer looping your Managers and the Development team (so that you know the requirements are feasible).

Note:  Always remember – incorrect requirements are worse than incomplete requirements.

Mistake 5: Requirements traceability

The ability to trace business requirements into test cases and to propagate these into functional requirements and development tasks is essential. Never miss that. A proper process makes a smart business analyst. If there are any corrections in the requirement, the business analyst can quickly tell which test cases will be impacted based on the analysis. That makes everything easy.

Join Joshi Medicode and get training for business analyst in Hyderabad to be an effective business analyst, Visit our website for more information www.joshimedicode.com  

The Revelation of Medical Coding Industry & Future Outlook

Medical coding is an interesting job to offer. Medical coding and billing professionals translate medical records into standardized codes which are used to bill the patients and third-party payers such as insurance companies and Medicare.

Coders generally use three different sets of codes, CPT, HCPCS, and ICD – 9/10. The ICD-10 code has taken over the world now and most of them have to get trained in ICD-10 because all healthcare facilities and professionals must transit from ICD-9 codes to the new codes.

Where do they work?

Professionals in medical coding and billing are usually found working in healthcare facilities such as clinics, physician’s office, hospitals, insurance companies and other healthcare facilities.

Medical billing and coding are not the same

Medical billing is the process in which claims are submitted to insurance companies to receive payment for services provided by a doctor or another healthcare provider.

Medical coding is a process where coders are assigned to the descriptions of a patient’s condition and healthcare services provided to treat the patient for a particular condition.

Billers and coders are good problem solvers

Medical billers and coders are not just paper pushers that work in an administrative setting but they take over many duties and possess traits of being a good problem solver. This is because they need to work with patients, healthcare providers, and insurance companies to quickly address bills that need to be paid.

Medical coding is huge!

There are thousands of billers and coders who process medical claims. There are so many codes that it is impossible for coders to memorize all of them.

Medical billing – two types

Medical billing is generally of two types, the professional billing, and institutional billing. A lot of information can be gathered on the two.

Medical coding jobs and career outlook

Medical coding is a growing job market with most of them undergoing medical coding training and medical billing course with an employment increase of 21% by 2020. Coding services, increasing number of tests, treatments and procedures, existing shortage of medical coders and transition to ICD-10 codes is in a high demand. A growing number of professionals are needed to code the patient’s records; they act as liaisons between healthcare facilities and companies and manage the responsibilities associated with electronic health record. One such institute that creates such medical professionals is the Joshi Medicode technologies.

What is the job outlook for Medical Coding?

Today, the outlook for any given profession is under great scrutiny, but when it comes to medical coding, the future looks great. Medical coding is one of the fastest growing jobs in the healthcare today.  It’s unlikely that strong candidates for this profession will ever struggle to find work as the healthcare industry expands. And the best way to make sure of the strongest job prospects possible is to get formal medical coding and pursue medical coding certification from a good institute.

If you consider taking a career in Medical coding, the training can help you develop the skills and knowledge. You can also prepare for an industry-recognized certification exam, like the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) exam. As many employers want candidates with relevant education and certification, medical billing and coding candidates should be able to demonstrate an understanding of industry-standard codes and practices.

As per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),  the employment for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, which includes medical billers and coders, is expected to increase 15% from 2014-2024, faster than the average rate for all occupations.

The increase in the job opportunities will also have an impact on the very nature of the profession, thus impacting the job outlook:

Increase in work from home employment:  Medical coding is an administrative profession which does not require any face-to-face interaction with patients. This makes telecommuting a more viable option than a need for having a medical coder on location less important. Due to this trend, there is an increase of professionals in the field who want to take up work from home and giving ample scope for freelancing.

A healthy increase in training demands: As there is a high demand for medical coding jobs, there is also great training demand from employers and organizations which offer certifications.  For example, AHIMA seeks to increase education levels so that a graduate degree will be necessary for professional growth.

Other opportunities: There are other career opportunities which exist for medical coders. They may be hired as auditors for private companies which will help other facilities maintain compliance by reviewing their medical documents.  There are also jobs which exist as claims adjudicators on the payer side. Many times medical coders are cross-trained as medical billers also, and they can climb the ladder as medical office management positions.  There are also other jobs which exist as that of medical billing advocates. These advocates work for private entities which provide services to inpatient hospital clients to review their bills for errors and get the biller lowered.

To conclude, one can say the outlook looks quite bright for a person who aspires for a job as a medical coder. Due to the competitive nature of the job market, you need to take a quality medical coding training necessary to land a good job.

Steps to make a winning career in medical coding

Steps to make a winning career in medical coding

Today, medical coding or medical coders are in demand healthcare professionals, who can expect to have a great job security in their future. As the healthcare industry is expanding, it is turning out to be the fastest growing industry. And now is the time to make a smart career move.

In a short time, with 45 days or less of training, you can be ready for a career which pays well, is meaningful, has the job security and allows you to work hours which matches your lifestyle.

Here are few steps which you with an excellent way to make a winning career in the  booming healthcare industry

Step 1. Learn More about Medical Coding

The very first step to start down the path of this career is to learn about medical coding. Before you start your training in the field, you need to make sure that this is the field you are really interested.  There are many reasons for you take up this as a career, which includes the regular hours, a job security, a good salary.

Step 2. Learn what the career in Medical Coding Has to Offer to you

You need to know the main benefits of taking up a job as a medical coder. You may have a certain idea about how much you want to earn, how many hours you will spending on the work, but you should also know if it matches with the dreams you have for your future.

Step 3. Enroll in an institute Once you have all the knowledge of what the profession involves, you should start looking for institutes that offer training programs in medical coding.  Joshi Medicode Technologies makes you ready for a professional career in Medical Coding, Billing and Transcription. We at Joshi Medicode emphasize the practical methods of learning. and prepare you to excel in the medical coding certification exam.

Step 4. Get certified: Most of the employers prefer to hire certified professionals. There are numerous industry organizations which offer certifications for medical coding specialists. Two of the most popular credentials are the Certified Professional Coder(CPC), American Academy of Professional Coders'(AAPC) and American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA). These credentials are awarded when the applicant has passed the associated certification exam.

Step 5. Get a job: Look for the institute that includes placement assistance services for their graduates. You should also put your resume on job sites as well as participate in professional networking forums to find more job opportunities. Get active in industry circles by networking with other professionals, attending seminars, and becoming a member of local chapters of professional organizations such as AAPC and AHIMA.

Benefits of being a certified medical coder.

Benefits of being a certified medical coder.

Medical coding is the in-demand career right now, and there is a high rise in medical coding jobs. One can have a great career in medical coding if they have an excellent medical coding training which prepares them for certification tests.

A medical coder who is certified is a professional responsible for overseeing records of patients.  Working as an intermediary to the insurance company, health clinic, and billing office, medical coders require skills which are detail oriented and analytical. They should also be proficient with the medical software.

Advantages of Certified as a Medical Coder

There is an inherent advantage of being certified, as it distinguishes a certified medical coder as more competent, knowledgeable and committed to quality.  It also gives one a competitive edge in career advancement and to be considered for higher administrative positions in the medical industry.

A certified medical coder gets a foundation of learning in medical terminology, pathophysiology, anatomy, and physiology. He is prepared to work as certified coding specialist in health data management. Also, finds deep understanding compliance with the medical law and ethical standards set out by national health service organization.

Being certified will also help employers know that one has learned the skills needed to work in this field. It also provides one with the confidence to work independently and reassures employers, giving a tremendous advantage over those who are not certified.

One with certifications in the field can earn more than those without. Certifications increase the earning potential. Medical coders can also establish themselves substantially in the job market with a higher potential with an average range earning the potential of US$3000 to $50000 per year. According to the annual survey of AAPC, certified medical coders earn more than 21% in contrast to non-certified coders. The medical coders who are certified have some bargaining power when interviewing for a new job, especially when one has already experience in the medical field.

Medical coders with a certification are committed to higher quality and have a good understanding of medical coding and the errors associated with them. Employers understand this quality and are more likely to hire one with a certificate than another one who doesn’t own a certificate.

The huge advantage of a medical coder who has certifications is that they would be recognized by employers, medical societies, and government organizations. This helps a candidate to secure great jobs and they also draw salaries much more than ones who are not certified.

Being certified ensures one to have a grand entry for jobs in the US healthcare industry. Being one of the fastest growing professions in the US, medical coding is emerging as a highly rewarding career and one with certification earns 20% more than noncertified medical coders.

Getting AAPC certification from Joshi Medicode

AAPC certifications provide working knowledge for cleaner claim submission, quicker reimbursement, and a lesser number of denials. AAPC certifications include professional service coding (CPC), hospital outpatient (COC), hospital inpatient (CIC), payer perspective coding (CPC-P), professional billing (CPB), medical auditing (CPMA), medical compliance (CPCO), and physician practice management (CPPM).

We at Joshi Medicode provide in-depth classroom, and virtual training to pass out the AAPC certification exams.  Our certified course in medical coding prepares students for these exams.

Visit our website https://www.joshimedicode.com  if you are interested in a career in the healthcare industry and get certified.

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