Sturtevant, WI
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I am having picking on which one I want to take. Can anyone tell me the benefit of having either one of these certifications? I am also considering just taking both.

Pam Brooks

True Blue
Local Chapter Officer
NAB Member
South Berwick, ME
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It depends on what you want to do. The CRC exam is helpful if you are going to be doing Risk or HCC coding. As more and more health care organizations and payers are looking at the cost of doing business, the reporting of this diagnostic data is critical in their analysis. I see this happening around the country, but more so in larger metropolitan areas and with Medicare Advantage Plans. I have one coder who took this certification, and because it trains you to abstract chronic conditions, it's actually very good training for outpatient facility coding. However, even as forward-thinking as my hospital is, they tend to use RNs to capture risk assessment data and not coders. That would be important to know if you were hoping that certification would open doors for your.

The CIC exam gives you an entry-level peek at inpatient coding. I have had a number of my IP coders (who already have their CCS from AHIMA) take this exam. They report that it's a good review, and they did tell me that they learned more about the revenue and billing piece than they had learned from the AHIMA exam, but that they did not feel that it was sufficient training to dive right into inpatient coding. If you can land a position at a hospital, and then take the CIC while they train you to code, that would be the ideal opportunity.

I always recommend that coders who are considering an additional certification have a really good idea as to where they are heading and if the certification they are seeking will be accepted by the health care organizations you are looking at. Find out what employers in the area are looking for, or look at help wanted posts to see if companies are looking for certain certifications. Good luck with your future goals.