AAPC & AHIMA: An Overview

Cigma Team

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Have you decided to pursue a professional medical coding career? then figuring out the right organization that provides the intended professional certification is highly recommended because this is what will help you break into the medical coding sector. No matter how thoroughly you search, it ends at these two organizations: AAPC and AHIMA. Both are considered the gold standard for medical coding certification. 

But which is the right one for your career as finding out the differences between them can be quite time-consuming. Don’t worry as we break down the similarities and differences in this blog so that you can make the right career choice, let’s get started.

Diving Deep Into The Organizations

AAPC is the acronym for the American Association of Professional Coders. Being one of the world’s best-known organisations, they offer various certifications for jobs such as medical coding, medical billing, auditing, documentation, practice management, etc. Among the many certifications offered, the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is the most popular. Whereas AHIMA is the abbreviated form for the American Health Information Association. 

They mostly offer certifications that are primarily focused on coding and health information management. Among them, the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) is the most popular one.

As both organizations use the same medical coding systems such as ICD codes for medical diagnoses, CPT and HCPCS codes for medical procedures and services, etc. Also, their certifications cover both inpatient and outpatient coding practices.

The Major Differences

The differences between the two are minimal, they are significant when it comes to the programs they specialize in. AAPC certifications are specialised in outpatient services, while AHIMA is specialised in inpatient services. Even though that’s the case, healthcare/IT employers accept certifications offered by both organizations. As AAPC is still more popular in outpatient settings and AHIMA is popular in inpatient settings, there are cases where employers prefer hiring on what's more popular in the medical coding sector.

Should I Get AHIMA or AAPC Coding Certification?

It all depends on the certification you prefer to get trained in and the type of medical setting you have committed to. If you're already committed to either an inpatient setting, choosing the AAPC coding certification for outpatient work makes sense as AAPC is usually associated with this setting. However, you can stick with AHIMA coding certification if you have committed to inpatient work. 

If you are interested in pursuing a medical coding career but confused about choosing one of the two certifications, our team at Cigma can help you with that. Just book a consultation session and we’ll tell you which certification fits your role and provide extensive training.

Train for AAPC Coding Certification @ Cigma

When it comes to medical coding training, there are a ton of institutes in Kochi. Despite this, what factors make Cigma Medical Coding Academy superior to the rest? For starters, we are one of the highly reputed institutes having a high success rate in the CPC tests conducted by AAPC. Not only that, we are the first AAPC-certified institution in Kerala. Our training involves the right blend of theory & practical classes, workshop sessions, mock tests, etc. 

What’s more, we also offer 90-95% placement assistance to all our candidates. Enrolling at Cigma helps carve the path to a successful medical coding career. So, by now you must have gotten a clear idea about AAPC & AHIMA. Choosing any of the certifications will help you start a successful long-term career. To know more about the right medical coding career choice or for enrolling, feel free to give us a call right now.