The Importance of Choosing an Accredited Medical & Coding Program
Learn about the importance of attending an accredited school or program.
When you’re considering a program in medical billing and coding, accreditation, in practical terms, is a “stamp of approval.”
It’s a sign that an institution ascribes to, believes in—and has met—an external set of basic criteria for its programs. In all cases, it indicates that threshold standards are adhered to in a fashion that provides a base of academic strength and operational integrity.
For an accredited medical billing school to maintain its status, they must be able to show educational quality and educational improvements.
Medical Billing and Coding Certification
Earning medical billing and coding certification is important if you’re planning on advancing in your career later on. Here are two agencies that offer certification for medical coding and billing professionals:
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): AHIMA offers a Professional Certification Approval Program (PCAP) that recognizes non-degree granting academic certificate programs in coding that meet the Coding Certificate Program Competencies and faculty qualifications. The sponsoring institution must have students enrolled for a minimum of six months and be accredited by a US Department of Education accreditor.
- American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC): The AAPC offers certification exam prep courses and certification exams related to medical billing and coding.
Medical Billing and Coding Accreditation
Health information management programs that offer medical billing and coding coursework are accredited by the Commission on Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM).
You can also qualify for medical coding certification if you attend a school that has received institutional accreditation by one of the six regional accrediting agencies.
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools/Higher Learning Commission (NASC-HLC)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACSWASC)
Medical billing and coding accreditation is more than just a sign that you’ll be getting a quality education from your school. It will also open doors for you in the future should you choose to continue your education. For instance, if you have your associate’s degree, and you decide to go back to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree, your credits from an accredited medical billing school will transfer to other accredited institutions. However, if your school wasn’t accredited, you may not be able to transfer all your credits to your new school.
Choosing an accredited medical billing school can save you time and tuition in the long run. Keep this in mind as you search for your medical billing and coding program.