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To Certify Or Not To Certify?

Recently I was asked why do I need to become certified in Medical Coding?

Medical reimbursement is the hub of any medical practice.  It’s about recouping funds for services rendered legally and ethically.  There are strict guidelines and procedures that even highly trained physicians find hard to stay current on rules and regulation. Quite honestly physician would rather stick to medicine.  Lack of knowledge regarding Coding/Billing practices could/would surely result in a physician’s office closing whether due to fraud, audits, or high uncollected revenue.

No longer can a physician’s office afford to hire clerical personnel and try to efficiently and effectively train them to become coders with no prior knowledge of anatomy and physiology, or with little knowledge of basic coding. http://health-information.advanceweb.com/ Knowledge of Medical Coding procedures and guidelines are essential when it comes to maximizing reimbursement for service or procedures rendered. What better way to ensure that the services provided by the physician and staff are properly paid - Hire Certified Coders!

Certified coders provide physicians with some assurances that the coder has a higher level of knowledge regarding coding/billing procedures-. “judged by a jury of their peer”, and knowledge “greater than a fifth grader”.  Certified coders are serious about their credentials, and are committed to following and staying up to date regarding guidelines and procedures set by government and private party payers (insurance companies).

Studies have shown that many certified coders are consistently paid higher annual salaries than non-certified coders.  Many physician and facilities only hire certified medical coder/billers. On average a certified coder make 21% more than non-certified coders according to a survey conducted by AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). 

Certified coders are in high demand due to the many changes in government regulations and the coming of ICD-10. So if you are asking yourself this question: “Why should I become a Certified Medical Coder?” Ponder these 3 reasons why considering certification is really a no-brainer:

1. Greater hiring potential. 

2. Certified Coders are generally compensated more in salary than non-certified.

3. You’ll gain a career - not just a job.

Now if you need more reason than this…ask, I’ve got plenty more reasons that could change your whole life.

Cynthia Carter
MCB-HIT Program Director
Fort Worth Campus