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What is The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)?

What is The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)?

The American Academy of ​Professional Coders (AAPC) is the largest organization of its kind. It offers training, networking, and certification opportunities for medical coders, billers, practice managers, compliance officers, and other healthcare business professionals.

First founded in 1988, the organization aims to provide education and certification to coders in healthcare-based settings. The AAPC supports the projected growth of medical records and health information technicians, as these roles are anticipated to grow 13% by 2026. This growth rate exceeds that of all occupations.

What is AAPC Certification?

AAPC offers over 30 certifications covering the healthcare revenue cycle, including medical coding, billing, auditing, documentation, compliance, and physician practice management.

Some of these certifications are relatively broad, and others are quite specific, for example:

  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC) + Certified Professional Biller (CPB) (each of which can be earned on their own)

  • Certified Outpatient Coder (COC)

  • Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)

  • Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC)

Get the Right Training

The Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential is the most popular in the AAPC catalog, and employers widely recognize it as the gold standard in physician-based medical coding. This standard is critical, as all U.S. hospitals and physicians are required by federal law to use a standardized set of medical codes to report procedures, supplies, diagnoses, and other patient care services.

To earn a credential from the AAPC, individuals must pass the corresponding certification exam, which can be taken at a local facility or online. The AAPC offers exam preparation resources consisting of study guides, books, and courses available online or in a classroom for each certification program.

As stated by the AAPC, prospective trainees must have a foundation of the basics unless they have two years of experience working in the healthcare industry. Courses such as Medical Terminology and Anatomy to Pathophysiology are offered to ensure certification preparation.

Is the American Academy of Professional Coders Accredited?

The AAPC is not a traditional university, so it is not eligible for accreditation through the Department of Education. However, it is registered in Utah, where its headquarters are located, and adheres to the Utah Postsecondary Proprietary School Act guidelines.

Because the AAPC is not accredited, the Academy cannot participate in federally funded grants or financial aid programs. However, students may qualify for financial assistance if they attend an AAPC course taught by a licensed PMCC instructor at an accredited school or university.

Where Can I Find Medical Coding Resources?

In addition to certification programs, AAPC offers online training, exam prep, advanced courses, and continuing education resources for healthcare business professionals. They also partner with businesses to provide professional services, customized training, codebooks, and software.

Individuals, corporations, and fellowships can pursue AAPC membership to access a professional network, quarterly webinars from industry thought leaders, job-finding resources, and savings on AAPC products. Membership is not necessary to achieve or renew an AAPC certification.

The AAPC offers a vast library of resources, including compliance, practice management, coding, and more. View all available resources here.

Why Would You Use the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)?

You participate in the opportunities presented by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) if you're looking to improve your medical billing and coding knowledge and skillset. Many medical coder and biller positions either require or recommend their certifications, so for many employees, obtaining the certifications is a wise career choice for new growth opportunities.

Once AAPC-certified, holders of various certifications experience many benefits, including:

  • Professional opportunities, including networking events

  • Professional achievement as they develop skills in a specialty that's becoming more complex

  • Confirmation of competence and capability among peers, physicians, admins, etc.

  • Higher compensation (AAPC reported that certified medical coders made $10,000 more than those not certified)

As a physician, it's crucial to understand the value of these certifications and those who actively work toward a professional, credible career.

TempDev Can Help

Contact us here or call us at 888.TEMP.DEV with questions about medical billing and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

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