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Pursuing a career as a CPC in healthcare: What you should know

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Becoming a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) can open a lot of doors for you if a career in healthcare is on your list of life ambitions.

Of course, before you stride out down this particular career path, you probably want to know a little more about what the job involves and how to achieve certification.

To that end, here is a look at a few of the defining features of working as a CPC, and the hurdles you will need to overcome to reach your goals.

What is a medical coder?

When you become a certified coder, your main role will be to unmask the more confusing aspects of healthcare and make them comprehensible to insurers so that claims can be processed and treatment costs paid appropriately.

This is achieved through the use of standardized codes, which go hand in hand with the medical records of individual patients.

Thus the work of a coder goes hand in hand with medical billing, and often a CPC will also have billing capabilities and qualifications in order to expand the types of duties they can fulfill.

How do you get certified?

In order to achieve CPC status, you need to pass an exam set by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

You cannot simply jump straight in and take the test out of the blue; you need at least two years working in medical coding under your belt, and you will also be expected to take additional training over the course of your career.

Becoming a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) can open a lot of doors for you if a career in healthcare is on your list of life ambitions. Before you consider this career path, you will want to know more about the job & how to achieve certification.Click To Tweet

This is to ensure that you are both up to the task of carrying out this work and that you are up to speed with new developments in the healthcare world so that you can remain effective.

If you are not yet eligible for full certified status, you can become a CPC-Apprentice, which gives you the CPC-A designation. You will still need to have passed the certification exam, and you can then get on-the-job experience to eventually receive the upgrade to CPC further down the line.

Why is certification a good idea?

As noted, you do not strictly need CPC status in order to work as a medical coder, but there are a few good reasons to go through the process of earning your certification in this profession.

Most significantly, if you are a CPC, you could be on an average salary that is significantly higher than your non-certified counterparts.

This is the main motivator for most people, and it of course also makes you more attractive to prospective employers, which could give you the edge if you are going for a job in a competitive marketplace.

In addition, CPCs will be able to take advantage of the various industry-focused perks that the AAPC offers to its certified members. This includes training, networking, and general support that will further your career progression and put you in touch with colleagues from across the country.

Lastly, having a certification to your name will earn you the respect of other healthcare workers as well as the trust of patients. And you can know that you are tapping into your full potential and giving yourself the best opportunity to thrive with a career in medical coding.

So there you have it! Working towards becoming a CPC has a whole host of positive points to make it appealing, and is also something you can do without the need for a college degree. It could be an entry into healthcare that makes sense for a lot of people and is a noble aspiration to hold as well.

What's next?

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