If you’re an employee who worked in production, retail, or a restaurant and is laid off due to COVID-19, you may be interested in enhancing your skill set to get an office job. If so, have you considered becoming certified in medical coding? The process involves assigning specific codes to medical procedures to keep effective medical records and ensure bills and payments are accurate. If you have little or no medical coding experience, you probably want to gain certification before applying for jobs. This improves your odds of being hired and can lead to a higher salary. Because medical coders are required in virtually every private practice, hospital, and clinic, work is projected to be steady and growing. After gaining experience, you even might be able to work remotely.
Here are three coding certifications to consider pursuing due to COVID-19.
Certified Professional Coder
If you’re interested in working in an outpatient setting, such as a physician’s office or outpatient clinic, look into becoming a Certified Professional Coder (CPC). The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), which offers the certification, recommends having an associate degree from an accredited institution before taking the CPC exam. Experience in medical coding is helpful, as well. You must be a member of the AAPC to take the CPC exam. If you pass without having professional experience in medical coding, you earn a Certified Professional Coder – Apprentice certification. Once you complete at least 2 years of professional experience and submit two letters of recommendation to the AAPC, you become a full CPC. You need to complete at least 36 continuing education units (CEUs) every two years to maintain certification.
Certified Coding Specialist
To begin or advance your medical coding career at inpatient facilities, think about becoming a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). This certification is available from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). You need a diploma or degree from a medical coding training program, 2 years of medical coding experience, or a medical coding certification plus 1 year of medical coding experience. You must be a member of the AHIMA to take the CCS exam. You need to complete at least 20 CEUs every year and an annual coding self-assessment to maintain certification.
Certified Medical Coder
If you’d like to earn advanced medical coding certification, think about becoming a Certified Medical Coder (CMC). This certification is available from the Practice Management Institute (PMI). You need at least 1 year of professional experience in medical coding to take the CMC exam. Consider taking PMI’s introductory course Principles of Coding if you lack experience in medical coding. You must complete at least 12 CEUs each year and submit proof of completion to PMI to maintain certification.
Find a Medical Coding Job
After becoming certified in medical coding, partner with KNF&T Staffing Resources to find a job. We match you with employers who need the skills you have to help grow your career. Check out our job board today.