Employers in the healthcare field rely on educated, skilled, and dependable professionals to support the doctors and clinicians treating patients. Successful institutions maintain patient safety, obtain reimbursement for their services, and remain compliant with regulations through the efforts of medical record and billing & coding specialists.
National Healthcareer Association
These professions require individuals who are detailed focused, inquisitive, and capable of solving problems. Individuals interested in these careers can acquire the necessary skills and demonstrate their ability to potential employers by obtaining certification from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
The NHA administers exams and credential qualified healthcare professionals as Certified Electronic Health Records Specialists (CEHRS) and Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS). These designations indicate that you are competent, disciplined, and committed to the field.
Demand is Growing
The demand for medical record specialists and coders is expected to grow 9 percent over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is fueled by continued growth in the healthcare sector and turnover among the aging workforce.
While there will be ample opportunities, competition for jobs is expected to be intense as workers are drawn to these dynamic and engaging fields. Obtaining a nationally recognized certification in your chosen field is an excellent way to distinguish yourself.
Why Get Certified?
Maintaining patient safety and obtaining reimbursement for medical services are critical for the continued accreditation and operation of every healthcare facility and provider. These tasks require attentive and capable individuals who work efficiently while maintaining standards and compliance with both institutional and governmental policies.
Hospitals, doctor offices, billing companies, and insurance providers recognize the critical role accurate medical records and optimized coding & billing play in their success. They only want to hire individuals who already possess the skills to excel. CEHRS and CBCS certifications are recognized across the industry as an indication that these medical specialists are knowledgeable, dependable, and accountable.
Applicants with certifications in their field are more desirable, interview better, and have greater success in their careers. Many institutions also require applicants for promotions and supervisory roles to possess certification in their field. Investing the time and energy in obtaining a certification today can provide greater job security, earning potential, and broader opportunities in the future.
What Does an Electronic Health Records Specialist Do?
Complete and accurate medical records ensure patient safety, physician compliance, and proper reimbursement for healthcare services. Today, most medical records are kept electronically to maintain continuity of care and standardized documentation.
Electronic Health Record Specialists perform several vital duties, including:
- Reviewing medical records to ensure accuracy, completeness, and timeliness
- Completing ongoing record audits to verify compliance with government and insurance provider standards
- Compiling clinical data for reports
- Fulfilling Release of Information (ROI) requests for medical records from patients and other healthcare facilities
- Collating patient information and generating reports for internal and insurance carrier audits
What is the CEHRS Certification?
The NHA issues the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist credential to individuals who pass a written examination assessing their knowledge and skill at managing health records, maintaining patient confidentiality, and utilizing medical record systems.
What Does the CEHRS Exam Cover?
The CEHRS exam is a 100-question multiple-choice test taken in a supervised testing center or remotely with a proctor. It’s computer-based and must be completed in a single session. The test assesses your knowledge of standard electronic medical records practices, compliance standards, and ethics.
Scores range from 200 to 500. The points are awarded on a sliding scale based on each question’s difficulty. You must obtain a 390 to pass and receive certification.
What Does a Medical Billing & Coding Specialist Do?
Medical billing & coding specialists are vital for every medical facility and physician’s ability to continue providing services to their patients. They are detailed oriented and inquisitive individuals who interpret medical records, translate them into the standard coding language, and generate bills to secure reimbursement from insurance providers. Their tasks include:
- Reviewing medical records, patient demographics, and insurance enrollment information
- Applying accurate codes to medical procedures to optimize reimbursement and accuracy
- Generating bills and submitting claims to insurance carriers
- Auditing bills for potential fraud, errors, and missed reimbursement
- Educating practitioners on best practices regarding documentation
What is the CBCS Certification?
The NHA issues the Certified Billings & Coding Specialist credential to individuals who pass a written examination assessing their knowledge and skill at interpreting medical records, applying accurate codes, and generating bills.
What Does the CBCS Exam Cover?
The CBCS exam is a 100-question multiple-choice test taken in a supervised testing center. The test assesses your knowledge of coding & billing practices, compliance standards, and ethics. The questions are broken down by topic:
- Revenue Cycles and Regulatory Compliance, 15 questions
- Insurance Eligibility and Payer Requirements, 20 questions
- Coding and Coding Guidelines, 32 questions
- Billing and Reimbursement, 33 questions
You must also bring copies of the CPT Professional Edition, HCPCS Level II, and ICD-10-CM coding manuals to the exam. Without all three, you will not be admitted to the test. You are allowed to make notes in the margins and flag the books for your reference.
The test scores range between 200 and 500. The points are awarded on a sliding scale based on each question’s difficulty. You must obtain a 390 to pass and receive certification.
How to Prepare for The CEHRS and CBCS Certification
While anyone can take the certification test if they meet the eligibility requirements, adequate preparation is vital for success. Training from an accredited vocational institution is an excellent path to success on your exam.
Vocational schools recognized by the NHA educate their students with an eye toward the certification exams. Schools have comprehensive curriculums that blend the theoretical and technical knowledge assessed on the exams while providing you with the practical skills to succeed in the field.
Industry Experienced Instructors
Instructors are experienced professionals who have worked in a variety of coding, billing, and medical record management roles. They are likely certified themselves and understand the rigors of the testing process. Instructors at vocational institutions use real-world examples of the challenges faced in medical billing and records management while helping you understand the policies, laws, and principles behind your profession.
Current Computer Systems
Vocational training also exposes you to the standard practices in your field. Institutions use current computer systems present in medical facilities to make your transition from the classroom to the workplace seamless. In addition, this familiarity gives you an edge on the certification exam by providing an accurate view of the day-to-day functions of your role in records or billing.
Vocational schools are invested in your professional success and help you secure employment after graduation. On-site career services help you craft resumes, identify attractive job openings, and prepare for interviews. Many schools have partners in their region and a network of alumni that create a community of healthcare professionals to pair recent graduates with quality career opportunities.
CEHRS and CBCS Exam Prep
Vocational school programs also help students register for the CEHRS or CBCS exam, direct them to study resources, and provide coaching for exam strategies.
Want to Learn More?
The Medical Billing and Coding training program at Peloton College provides students vital knowledge in Medical Terminology and Understanding Health Insurance Claims and prepares students to be able to work with and maintain electronic health record systems in the health care industry. Graduates of this Medical Billing and Coding training program will also be eligible to sit for the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) Certification or the Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) Certification.
The mission of Peloton College is to be the premier provider of hands-on training and education by providing students and graduates with the necessary skills to secure occupational careers. Contact us today to learn more.