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What Are the Typical Costs of Prep Materials to Get Certified As a Medical Coder?

March 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 191

Certified medical coders, especially those with a lot of experience command a high salary and are highly sought after by employers. After taking all the right courses and completing an educational program at an accredited college, those studying to become certified medical coders still have some studying to do. The American Association of Professional Coders does administer further testing for certification - while this certification has not always been required for those working in this field, hospitals and physician's office typically do require medical coders to be accredited through this organization.

The certification exams are not easy to get through. Some have to retake the CPC exams multiple times before they were able to pass. Many would-be medical coders therefore find it beneficial to get extra help in the form of prep or study materials before taking the CPC exams, or the certified professional coder exams. The additional study materials are available either online as a prep course or offline, typically as a study guide. The study materials can range in costs and to help you make the best decision, here is a typical cost breakdown.

Cost of Online Prep Materials for CPC Exams

While there are a limited number of free study guides, they are limited in their focus and depth and breadth of questions. Most study materials cost about $1,200 and can cost up to $2,900. The free study guides online are very limited and do not offer multiple practice tests and additional video courses.

Cost of Offline Prep Materials for CPC Exams

There are several different study guides available and their average cost is about $60-$95 dollars. One thing to be sure of when purchasing a study guide is to check what edition it is, and find out if there are additional support materials you will be besides the guide itself. There are several different guides available, read carefully to find out what the guide includes and if you get any additional information with the guide, like practice tests.

Cost of Certified Professional Coder Exams

After picking the right study guide, the next hurdle is the cost of the coding exam. The exam currently costs $300 - all the more reason to invest in quality study materials so you won't need to take the exam a second time. Check online to see when and where the testing is administered in your area and sign up right away because testing slots fill up fast.

When you find a position as a medical coder, often times an employer may cover all or part of your continuing education or professional membership fees. Membership in the AAPC currently costs $125, membership for retired coders costs $70. Student membership is available for $70.

Given the huge costs involved in getting certified as a professional medical coder, it is vital that you get a proven prep course or study guides from an experienced trainer. Look not only at the quality of the prep materials but also the credentials of the trainer, and continued support until you're certified. Price is also a factor, but the best value you can get are those with proven track records, i.e. testimonials from the medical coding and billing community and past students.

Jim regularly updates his website HowToStudyForCPCExam, about how to prepare and study for medical coding certification, medical coding in general, the certification exam, and related news about the industry. You'll find great tips and useful resources to help you get certified.

Source: EzineArticles
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