Certified Coding Specialist (CCS, CCS-P)
A Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) is a medical coding
Importance of CCS and CCS-P Certifications
Most employers value CCS/CCS-P certification when looking at job candidates. Coding accuracy is highly important to healthcare organizations, and has an impact on revenues and describing health outcomes. In fact, certification has become an implicit industry standard. Accordingly, the CCS/CCS-P credentials demonstrate a practitioner's tested data quality and integrity skills, and mastery of coding proficiency. The CCS/CCS-P credentials can provide a competitive advantage when seeking a new job, career advancement, and salary increase. Professionals experienced in coding inpatient and outpatient records should consider obtaining this certification. To pursue this certification, one should have at least three years of professional coding experience. AHIMA's Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) oversees testing and certification.
RHIT vs CCS Certification
Both the RHIT and CCS/CCS-P certifications are offered by AHIMA. The CCS certification shows that you are a master of medical coding. The RHIT certification will enable you to move beyond coding and into other health information jobs. For those struggling to decide on which of the two certifications to pursue first, educators, coding professionals, and AHIMA strongly recommend that candidates pursue the RHIT certification first. By completing a CAHIIM accredited HIT program, candidates will be eligible to sit for the RHIT exam. However, to sit for the more demanding CCS exam, candidates should have extensive coding knowledge and atleast three years of on-the-job experience.
Getting the CCS or CCS-P Certification
The CCS or CCS-P credential is not for entry level coders. Candidates must pass a national examination to earn the CCS or CCS-P credential. Although there is no education requirement other than a high school diploma or equivalent, these professionals have typically completed a coding education program and mastered coding through on-the-job experience. AHIMA strongly recommends completing at least three years of experience prior to sitting for the credentialing exam.
Medical Coding Career Advancement and Salary Potential
Medical Coding provides opportunities for career advancement and increased salary potential. Coders can advance and broaden their careers by meeting additional education, experience, and certification requirements.
Average Medical Coder Salaries by Credential
Medical Coding Career Outlook
The future for skilled medical coders is excellent. There are two major economic forces that cannot be ignored that will push the need for medical care -- the ARRA stimulus plan passed by Congress in 2009 is pushing the healthcare industry to become more data driven and the growing senior population in the US will require more healthcare services. Both will fuel the increase in demand for qualified professional medical coders. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in medical records and health information to increase by 21% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.>> ICD-10 Transition in 2014 Fact Sheet (pdf)
About Accreditation and Certifications: AHIMA and AAPC are the leading credentialing bodies for the medical coding industry. AHIMA also awards credentials for health information management professionals. AAPC offers their own coding courses and does not accredit coding programs outside of their organization. AHIMA offers a small list of AHIMA approved coding programs (approximately 40 in the nation). CAHIIM is the accrediting body of AHIMA for undergraduate and graduate level health information programs. While relatively few medical coding programs are officially AHIMA accredited, many schools and institutions offer quality medical coding education and training that prepare students to sit for certification exams and start their medical coding careers.
Online Schools offering Medical Coding, Medical Billing
|DeVry University Online
U.S. & Canadian Applicants
DeVry University has been ranked among Best Online Bachelor Programs for 2013 by U.S. News & World Report. DeVry University offers students competitive tuition rates and numerous financial aid options, including $40 million in scholarships and grants for the 2012-2013 school year.
Qualify for AHIMA's RHIT Certification
Online or Campus Available
DeVry's CAHIIM accredited Health Information Technology program follows a curriculum based on current associate degree entry-level competencies outlined by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This HIT program prepares graduates to work with applications systems and manage electronic health information databases. Students will have access to up-to-date coding and chart management lab software 24/7, and the opportunity for professional practice experience, including two practicum. Graduates of this CAHIIM accredited program will be prepared to take AHIMA's national RHIT certification exam.
This program is also available on-campus at the following locations: Pomona CA, Decatur GA, Chicago IL, North Brunswick NJ, Charlotte NC, Morrisville NC, Columbus OH, Seven Hills OH, Ft.Washington PA, Houston TX, Irving TX.CAHIIM Accredited
Qualify for AHIMA's RHIA Certification
Degree Completion Option Available*
Online or Campus Available
This CAHIIM accredited online degree program in Technical Management with a technical specialty in Health Information Management (HIM) provides the experience and knowledge students need to progress in their profession and take the RHIA certification exam. HIM students will learn about healthcare data security and privacy, health information systems, health information financial management, healthcare total quality management and more. Some of the positions available with a bachelor's degree include HIM Department Director, Health Information System Manager, Chief Privacy Officer, Clinical Data Specialist, Information Security Manager and Product Marketing Specialist. Graduates are eligible to sit for AHIMA's RHIA Certification exam.
* Save time and money with transfer credits. If you've already earned college credits or have graduated with an associate degree, DeVry University will work with you to apply qualifying transfer credits -- up to 92 credits hours -- towards your BS in HIM.
This program is also available on-campus in over 90 locations in the following States: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI.
DeVry University offers $40 million each year in scholarships and grants to current and prospective students from the U.S. and Canada.
DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org. Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University operates as DeVry Institute of Technology in Calgary, Alberta. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. AC0060. DeVry University is authorized for operation by the THEC. www.state.tn.us/thec. Nashville Campus - 3343 Perimeter Hill Dr., Nashville, TN 37211 Program availability varies by location.
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