2 Separate Exams for Certification In Billing and Coding

by Alicia

I was wondering if there are 2 separate exams for a new biller/coder? Is there just one test to get certified or is there 1 for each and what are they called and who gives them? Thank you


There’s actually a separate exam for each - medical billing and medical coding. Although some certified in medical coding actually perform both functions.

The two exams you are referring to are the separate certification exams for the Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) awarded by the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) and the Certified Professional Coder awarded by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). AAPC also offers several other types of certification. AHIMA - the American Health Information Management Association - also offers coding certification.

I’ve noticed certification to be more common in medical coding than it is in medical billing. Honestly I don’t know of a lot of medical billing specialists who have become certified in medical billing. Of course becoming certified does demonstrate to potential employers your dedication to the field and shows initiative in pursuing your education and improving your skills as well as a commitment to the profession. And if you own a medical billing business or are a consultant having the CMRS is a helpful credential when selling yourself and your services to prospective clients.

Most medical billers desiring to be certified usually pursue the CPC or similar coding certification as it allows greater opportunities and options when pursuing job opportunities. When you see job postings in either field, it’s more common to see a preference for coding certification. I think the AAPC and AHIMA are more well known in the medical billing and coding community than AMBA. Most employers are familiar with the AAPC but I’m not so sure they are with the AMBA and that’s no knock on them. Both organizations are concerned with promoting the profession through development and certification. Many times in smaller practices the same person may do both the coding and billing.

Hope this helps answer your question. There’s more discussion on certification on our medical billing and coding certification page that goes into more details on the different types of certification.

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