As you may already know, medical coding is the very important process of going about converting diagnosis codes to ICD-9 codes and procedure codes to CPT codes. Medical Coding also involves HCPC (pronounced “hick-pick”) codes that identified supplies and drugs for correct billing. The Code Certification credential is a way that distinguishes coders on the basis of their exhibiting commitment and demonstrating coding competencies. This is across all settings, including both hospitals and physician practices.
As the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a shortage of more than 50,000 qualified HIM and HIT workers by 2015, as a certified coder having gone through the code certification prep, you would be welcomed into a rather exciting and a continuously growing market.
The Code Certification is nothing but a shorthand to express that you:
Exhibit a certain level of commitment, competency, and professional capability that employers are looking for
Demonstrate a commitment to the coding profession
Distinguish yourself from non-credentialed coders which makes you more reliable.
To prepare for the medical coding exam, there are several ways of getting ahead:
You absolutely must take advantage of resources offered by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). You can even purchase CPC-specific study guides through the AAPC website. These study guides are created by those very people who created the certification examinations. They also prepared a series of simulated exams which helps you gain subject expertise as well as experience of the examination.
Besides this there are study books and a lot of online resources which are available for free. Beginners must of course have a strong knowledge base of medical terminology and anatomy. This is essential before starting any medical coding and billing curriculum. Making terminology study cards and charts are absolutely essential at this juncture. If you possess a smart phone, you may find apps in the app store that would help you with this stage.
Other experienced coders might only need a study guide.
AAPC provides many opportunities by extending training sessions,workshops, webinars, conferences and magazines to keep the medical coder in your up to date and in sync with market demands. Besides the AAPC, several online forums and tutorials exist for code certification prep. You would benefit from these immensely combined with the simulated examinations which follow the design of the actual examination including time constraint and pattern of questions.
There are many good opportunities in this field and that would be motivation enough to get going with code certification prep right away!