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Medical Billing and Coding Specialists: Why Join a Professional Association?

medical billing schoolAfter completing medical billing school, some people choose to join a professional association to enhance their careers

As you are nearing completion of your medical billing school, you may be wondering about the various professional associations that you have heard about during your training. What is a professional association, and why would you want to join one?

Professional associations are usually formed in order to promote continuing education, the sharing of knowledge, public interest, and the general furthering of a particular field. There are several professional associations devoted to the field of medical billing and coding.  They help to create standardization and compliance across the profession by offering certification opportunities, continuing education courses, networking opportunities, and other services.

Most professional associations require a yearly membership fee in order to be entitled to the member benefits. In addition to the membership fee, there will typically be costs associated with taking courses, attending conferences, subscribing to journals, or purchasing materials.

This article is not meant to promote any of these organizations, and it is not a complete listing of organizations. It is simply intended to provide you with some information that may be of interest as you think about professional organizations. As you complete your medical billing school, you may want to explore these and other organizations:

American Association of Professional Coders

This association is a training and credentialing organization, offering an extensive website that describes its many offerings. Some of the opportunities that the AAPC provides are:

  • Job-seeking webpage with tips for jobseekers
  • Continuing education courses and a national conference
  • Information about the new ICD-10 implementation
  • Local chapters with networking opportunities
  • Healthcare Business Monthly journal

American Health Information Management Association

The AHIMA exists to provide knowledge, resources, and tools to advance the field of health information. Joining this organization comes with a variety of opportunities, including the following:

  • Webinars
  • Career preparation tools
  • Advice and resources for job-seekers
  • ICDM-10 updates and information
  • Journal of AHIMA
  • Annual convention

Healthcare Billing and Management Association

This organization seeks to educate, advocate, and collaborate in matters involving healthcare billing and management. This association provides services such as:

  • Four major conferences each year
  • Updates on legislative developments that affect the field

Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists

PAHCS is a communications network and member support system for healthcare coders, that seeks to enhance compliance, documentation, and reimbursement capabilities of its members. Some of its offerings include:

  • Quarterly newsletter
  • Annual national conference
  • Free and low-cost continuing education unites (CEU) opportunities
  • ICD-10-CM training

National Cancer Registrars Association

Cancer registrars are data information specialists who capture a complete history, diagnosis, treatment, and health status for every cancer patient in the U.S. People who have attended medical billing school and are interested in specializing in oncology may be interested in this organization. The organization provides:

  • Information on how to become a cancer registrar
  • Resources for coders who are oncology specialists
  • Education and credentialing for cancer data professionals

Completing medical billing school is just the start of your career!

Once you have finished your training, you are on the way to starting a new career path. By exploring various professional organizations, as well as other career development and networking opportunities, you can begin to develop your confidence and continue to learn throughout your entire career