How to Prepare for a Medical Billing and Coding Certification
To work in Texas as a medical coder requires that you hold a medical billing and coding certification, but passing the certification exam is no easy task — unless you prepare properly. To ensure that you pass the first time, utilize these following test prep essentials.
1. Learn the Main Concepts
To start, you need to understand exactly what is covered by the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) exam. You will be expected to demonstrate your ability to:
- Locate documentation in patient records for coding and billing use.
- Use the correct codes for diagnoses and treatments.
- Submit claims according to payer policies and procedures.
- Advise providers on the best documentation practices for optimal reimbursement.
To do all this, you must have a good knowledge of ICD 9, ICD 10, CPT, medical terminology, medical law and ethics, diseases of the body, anatomy, electronic health records, HIPAA, and charting.
Taking a course from an accredited school is your best option for classes. You will feel assured that you are receiving a quality education from experienced professor and that all your training is either in preparation for the medical billing and coding certification or for a job after graduation. Programs are available both on campus and online — choose whatever is best for your lifestyle and fits around your other commitments. An added benefit to enrolling in classes is that you will learn skills not tested by the CBCS but which are still essential for employment. These include:
- MS Word
- Customer service
- 10 Key
Classes also give you the chance to prepare for additional certifications, such as Electronic Health Records Specialist (EHRS), Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), and Microsoft Office Specialist: Word.
3. Study Materials
In addition to classes and homework, you should study in your own time to ensure eliminate any gaps in your knowledge. You can purchase CBCS study guides (available both printed and for online access), practice tests, and prep packages from ATI Allied Health. Other study options include free flashcards and sample tests. When deciding where to study, you need to take into account more than just what program will best prepare you for the CBCS exam. Top schools provide a combination of lectures and hands-on training and may even offer students the chance to participate in externships for real-world experience. In a competitive field like medical coding, it is essential that you possess skills and knowledge that allow you to stand out from other job candidates.
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