As you research medical billing schools and the medical billing and coding careers, you will probably find a good deal of information about certification tests. This information can be confusing because there are several tests available. This post will attempt to clear up the confusion surrounding becoming a certified medical biller.
Many medical billing schools claim they will prepare you to take a certification test and become a certified medical biller. However, there are a few things you should know about this. First, certification is not required to become a medical biller and there is no such thing as the national certification exam. Instead, various professional organizations have developed their own certification tests. Second, even though certification isn’t absolutely necessary, it is still a good idea, because most employers prefer to hire candidates who have passed a certification exam. However, there are different exams, so which one you take depends on the direction you would like to go in your career. Before enrolling in a medical billing school, make sure that the school you choose will prepare you for the exam you want to take. Here are the three main types of certifications available for medical billers.
Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist
The Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist exam was developed by the American Medical Billing Association. This exam covers every aspect of the medical billing career, including medical terminology, insurance claims, coding, technology, and more. If your goal is to become a specialist in the field of medical billing, this is the credential for you.
Certified Professional Biller
The Certified Professional Biller exam was developed by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). The exam covers insurance, regulations and compliance, billing and reimbursement, and coding. For students who are interested in becoming medical coders as well as billers, the AAPC also administers the Certified Professional Coder exam.
The American Health Information Management Association offers a certification exam for health information management professionals. Both medical billing and medical coding fall under the umbrella of health information management, but in general health information managers perform a broader range of tasks. If your main interest lies specifically in billing, then you probably don’t need to take this exam. At some point down the road, if you are interested in expanding your career, you could look into becoming a certified health information management professional.
As you can see, each of these exams targets a slightly different audience. When you look for the right medical billing school for you, explore the types of courses it offers and ask a guidance counselor what exam the program will prepare you to take. Once you have your end goal firmly in mind, you will be better able to plan your path to reach it.