If you want to improve your knowledge of medical billing, learn new skills, and advance your career, you can consider investing some time and money into earning your medical billing certification.
Below, you will find more information on how to prepare for the exam and how long it takes to complete the certification.
Article Table of Contents
Phase One: Study and Preparation – A Few Days to Several Weeks
In stage one, you have to complete three tasks, including:
Choose Your Acronym
The first step is to decide which certification you are going for.
After that, research on how to meet the requirements of the credentials that you chose.
The two main medical billing certifications include:
- Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) from the Medical Association of Billers (MAB) – $199 fee.
- Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) offered through the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) – $325 fee.
To obtain the certification from one of these organizations, you need to pass an examination.
These exams are based on the similar subject matter, including:
- Medical coding.
- Anatomy and physiology.
- Medical terminology.
- Maintaining regulatory compliance and avoiding accusations of fraud or abuse.
- Handling denials and appeals.
- Medicare and private insurance claim processing guidelines.
After you decide which certification you will pursue, you need to find relevant resources that will help you prepare for the examination.
Some students use textbooks to self-study, while others take online programs or classroom-based classes to be guided by tutors.
The preparatory course takes on average three to six weeks.
However, there are longer and shorter programs as well.
With various online certification programs, you can study at your own pace.
This will allow you to determine how much time you can dedicate to complete your coursework.
Become an Association Member
To sit for the certification exam, you must be a member of the association that offers it.
For this, you should apply and pay the membership fee.
Remember that in most organizations, you are required to hold a high school diploma or GED to qualify for the exam.
Phase Two: Exam Component – One Weekend to Several Weeks
With a medical billing certification, you can show the employers your high standards of competency and professionalism.
You can demonstrate that you ensure proper claims documentation, avoid penalties, and achieve deserved reimbursement.
First, you will have to pass a credentialing exam.
If you go for a CMRS exam, you can get a study guide on the website of the American Medical Billing Association.
The exam itself then can be taken online through a secure Learning Management System.
You can access the system for 45 days to complete the examination.
Upon completion, you will access your final score immediately and the certification confirmation, within three to five business days.
For the CMBS certification, you need to complete one of the following options for preparation before the exam.
Finish six online courses at your own pace, test out of taking a preparatory course at the designated site, or enroll in a condensed ìPower Weekendî course that finishes with the certification exam.
You will have to meet the requirement for a certain number of continuing education credits (CEU) per year to maintain your certification.
CMRS requires 15 units, while CMBS, 12.
These requirements can be met by attending association-approved conferences, taking billing courses, or taking part in other professional development programs.