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Top 10 Patient Account Representative Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications for patient account representatives, including requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a patient account representative in the job market because they demonstrate a commitment to the profession and provide evidence of specialized knowledge and skills. They also signal to potential employers that an individual has taken the time and effort to go beyond basic requirements, is knowledgeable about industry standards, and is dedicated to providing quality service. Additionally, certifications can help differentiate one applicant from another when applying for a position, as many employers value candidates who have gone the extra mile in their professional development. Finally, certifications can help an individual stay current with changes in the industry, allowing them to remain competitive and attractive to employers.

The purpose of this article is to review the best certifications for Patient Account Representatives and explain how they can help advance their career.

What are Patient Account Representative Certifications?

Patient Account Representative Certification is a certification that demonstrates the knowledge and skills of patient account representatives in the healthcare industry. This certification is typically offered by professional organizations or educational institutions, and provides a way for patient account representatives to demonstrate their expertise in working with patients and healthcare providers.

The certification process can help patient account representatives gain recognition from employers, clients, and peers. It also helps them stay up-to-date on the latest trends and regulations in the healthcare industry. Additionally, it can give them a competitive edge when applying for jobs and promotions.

Having this certification shows that the patient account representative has taken the time to learn about industry standards and best practices, as well as having a good understanding of how to handle different types of accounts. This can be beneficial for employers who want to ensure that their employees are knowledgeable about the complexities of working with patients and healthcare providers. Additionally, it can help employers assess potential hires more effectively, as they will know that those who possess this certification have the necessary skillset to do the job right.

Pro Tip: Consider obtaining a Certified Patient Account Representative (CPAR) certification to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field of patient accounts, billing, and collections. This certification can help you stand out from the competition and open up more job opportunities in this field.

Related: What does a Patient Account Representative do?

Top 10 Patient Account Representative Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Patient Account Representatives today.

1. Certified Patient Account Representative (CPAR)

Certified Patient Account Representative (CPAR) is a professional certification program designed to recognize healthcare professionals who have demonstrated mastery of the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively manage patient accounts. CPAR is offered by the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM).

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an exam. To be eligible, applicants must have at least two years of experience in the field of patient accounting or healthcare finance, or a combination of both. In addition, applicants must also possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.

The CPAR exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as medical billing and coding, insurance reimbursement, Medicare regulations, managed care contracts, collections procedures and customer service. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and costs $175 for AAHAM members and $225 for non-members.

Once an applicant has passed the exam, they will receive their CPAR certification from AAHAM. This certification is valid for three years before it needs to be renewed. Renewal requires completion of continuing education credits or retaking the CPAR exam.

2. Certified Medical Billing and Coding Professional (CMBCP)

Certified Medical Billing and Coding Professional (CMBCP) is a certification offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in medical billing and coding. The certification requires successful completion of an exam that tests knowledge and skills in medical coding, billing, reimbursement, compliance, and other related areas.

The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. In order to qualify for the exam, applicants must have at least two years of professional experience in medical coding or billing, or hold an active AAPC membership.

The cost of the CMBCP certification exam varies based on the type of membership you have with AAPC. For non-members, the fee is $399; for members it is $299. Additionally, there are study materials available from AAPC that can help prepare you for the exam.

In order to become certified as a CMBCP, you must pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. Once you have passed the exam, your certification will be valid for three years before needing to be renewed.

3. Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist (CRCS)

A Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist (CRCS) is a professional certification that validates an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the revenue cycle process. It is designed for individuals who are responsible for managing, developing, or overseeing the financial aspects of a healthcare organization.

The CRCS certification is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum score of 70% to pass. The exam can be taken online or in person at an AAPC testing center. It typically takes about two hours to complete the exam.

The cost to take the CRCS exam varies depending on whether you are an AAPC member or not. For members, it costs $299 and for non-members, it costs $449. In addition, there is a one-time application fee of $50 that must be paid when registering for the exam.

Once you have successfully passed the examination, you will receive your official CRCS certificate from AAPC. This certification is valid for three years and must be renewed every three years in order to remain current with changes in coding regulations and standards.

4. Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP)

Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) is a professional certification offered by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). The CHFP credential is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate knowledge and expertise in healthcare financial management.

The CHFP requires candidates to pass a comprehensive examination that covers topics such as healthcare finance, accounting, reimbursement systems, and managed care. Candidates must also have at least two years of experience in healthcare financial management or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

The exam typically takes four hours to complete and can be taken either online or at a testing center. In order to take the exam, candidates must first submit an application form with their resume, transcripts, and other required documents. After submitting the application form, candidates will receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to register for the exam.

The cost of taking the CHFP exam is $395 for HFMA members and $495 for non-members. This fee includes access to study materials such as practice tests and reference guides.

5. Certified Professional Coder (CPC)

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is a credential offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). It is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in medical coding and billing. A CPC credential is required for most positions in the healthcare industry, including medical coders, billers, auditors, and other related roles.

It typically takes about 6-12 months to prepare for the CPC exam. The AAPC offers several resources to help individuals prepare for the exam, such as practice exams, study guides, and online courses. Additionally, there are many third-party organizations that offer test prep courses and materials.

In order to take the CPC exam, individuals must first become members of the AAPC. Membership costs $99 per year and includes access to exclusive resources and discounts on AAPC products and services. After becoming a member of the AAPC, individuals can register for the CPC exam through their website. The cost of taking the exam is $399 for members ($499 for non-members).

The CPC exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions covering topics such as anatomy & physiology; medical terminology; coding systems; reimbursement methods; government regulations; compliance & ethics; health information management; and professional development & practice management. The exam takes 4 hours to complete and requires a score of 70% or higher to pass.

6. American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is a professional organization that provides certification and training for medical coders. It was founded in 1988 and is the largest medical coding organization in the United States.

To become certified by AAPC, you must take an online exam, which consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. The exam typically takes about four hours to complete. To be eligible to take the exam, you must have at least two years of experience in medical coding or have completed an accredited program.

You can register for the exam online through the AAPC website. The cost for the exam varies depending on your membership status with AAPC, but it typically costs between $300 and $400. After passing the exam, you will receive your certification from AAPC and become a Certified Professional Coder (CPC).

Once certified, you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge of medical coding principles and practices to employers and clients. You will also gain access to resources such as continuing education courses, job postings, networking opportunities, and more.

7. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)

Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is a professional certification for individuals who provide administrative support to medical offices, clinics, and other healthcare organizations. The CMAA credential is awarded by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) after successful completion of an exam.

The exam covers topics such as medical terminology, coding systems, patient confidentiality, insurance processing, electronic health records management, and office operations. It takes approximately two hours to complete the exam and applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to qualify.

In order to get the CMAA credential, applicants must first register with NHA and pay a fee of $125. Once registered, applicants can access study materials and practice tests online. After studying for the exam and completing the practice tests, applicants can schedule their official exam date with NHA. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their official CMAA certificate from NHA within six weeks.

The cost of obtaining the CMAA credential includes the registration fee ($125), study materials (varies depending on which materials are purchased), and any additional fees associated with scheduling an official exam date ($30).

8. Health Information Technology Certification (HITC)

Health Information Technology Certification (HITC) is a certification program designed to help healthcare professionals stay up-to-date on the latest trends in health information technology. HITC provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the use of electronic health records (EHRs), digital imaging, and other related technologies.

The amount of time it takes to get HITC depends on the individual's level of experience and the type of certification they are seeking. Generally, it can take anywhere from six months to five years to complete all requirements for certification.

To obtain HITC, individuals must first pass an exam administered by either a national or state board. Depending on the type of certification sought, additional requirements may include completion of continuing education courses, passing additional exams, or completing a clinical practicum.

The cost of obtaining HITC varies depending on the type and level of certification sought. Generally, costs range from $100-$500 for national certifications and $150-$600 for state certifications.

9. National Association of Healthcare Revenue Integrity Certification (NAHRI-C)

The National Association of Healthcare Revenue Integrity Certification (NAHRI-C) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in healthcare revenue integrity. The NAHRI-C credential is awarded to professionals who demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the principles, processes, and practices related to healthcare revenue integrity. This certification is designed for those working in the fields of healthcare finance, coding, auditing, compliance, reimbursement, managed care contracting, and other related areas.

To obtain the NAHRI-C certification, candidates must meet a set of criteria that includes having at least two years of experience in healthcare revenue integrity and passing a comprehensive exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions covering topics such as medical coding and billing regulations; compliance; managed care contracting; Medicare/Medicaid regulations; documentation requirements; appeals processes; fraud and abuse detection; data analysis techniques; quality improvement initiatives; and financial management principles. Candidates must also complete an online application form with personal information such as name, address, phone number, email address, education level achieved, current employer information, job title/responsibilities within the organization and other relevant information.

The cost to take the NAHRI-C exam is $450 USD for members of NAHRI or $550 USD for non-members. The exam can be taken at any Prometric testing center located throughout the United States or online via remote proctoring services. It typically takes 3-4 weeks after registration to receive an authorization code from Prometric which allows you to schedule your test date. Upon successful completion of the exam with a score of 70% or higher on all sections combined (including both core knowledge questions and case studies), candidates will be awarded with the NAHRI-C credential.

10. Certified Medical Practice Manager (CMPM).

Certified Medical Practice Manager (CMPM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of medical practice managers. The CMPM program is administered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

The CMPM certification requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of experience in medical practice management, complete an approved course in medical practice management, and pass an exam. The exam covers topics such as financial management, human resources management, operational management, information technology, and legal and regulatory compliance.

It typically takes about three months to prepare for the CMPM exam. Applicants should review the CMPM Candidate Handbook for detailed information on eligibility requirements and test content. In addition to studying for the exam, applicants should also become familiar with AAPC's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

The cost for taking the CMPM exam is $399 USD. This fee includes access to study materials, online testing software, a one-year membership in AAPC, and a certificate upon successful completion of the exam.

In order to maintain their certification status, certified medical practice managers must complete continuing education credits every two years. They are also required to adhere to AAPC's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility at all times.

Do You Really Need a Patient Account Representative Certificate?

No, you do not necessarily need a Patient Account Representative Certificate in order to work as a Patient Account Representative. While having this certificate may be beneficial and may help you stand out to potential employers, it is not an absolute requirement for the job. The most important qualifications for a Patient Account Representative are knowledge of billing and coding processes, excellent customer service skills, strong organizational abilities, computer proficiency, and attention to detail. Having experience or training in these areas will likely be more important than having a certificate from a formal program. Additionally, many employers prefer to provide on-the-job training rather than requiring their employees to have prior certification or education in the field.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual employee to decide if they want to pursue the certificate or not. If you believe that the additional training will give you an edge over other candidates when applying for jobs, then it might be worth considering obtaining the certificate. However, if you already feel confident in your ability to perform well as a Patient Account Representative without it then there is no need to pursue the certification.

Related: Patient Account Representative Resume Examples

FAQs About Patient Account Representative Certifications

1. What qualifications do I need to become a Patient Account Representative?

Answer: To become a Patient Account Representative, you must possess at least a high school diploma or GED and have some experience in the medical field. It is also beneficial to have knowledge of medical coding as well as experience with medical billing software.

2. Are there any certifications available for Patient Account Representatives?

Answer: Yes, there are several certifications available for Patient Account Representatives, including the Certified Revenue Cycle Professional (CRCP), the Certified Medical Biller (CMB) and the Certified Medical Coder (CMC).

3. How much does it cost to get certified as a Patient Account Representative?

Answer: The cost of certification varies depending on which organization you choose to receive your certification from. Typically, the cost ranges from $200-$600 and may also include additional fees for exam preparation materials and other resources.

4. How long does it take to complete certification as a Patient Account Representative?

Answer: The amount of time required to complete certification varies depending on which organization you choose to receive your certification from and how quickly you can study and prepare for the exam. Generally, completing certification takes between 3-6 months depending on your level of commitment.

5. What job opportunities are available for certified Patient Account Representatives?

Answer: Certified Patient Account Representatives are qualified for a variety of job opportunities in healthcare organizations such as hospitals, clinics, insurance companies and other related fields. Job duties may include overseeing patient accounts, maintaining accurate financial records, resolving billing disputes and providing customer service support related to billing inquiries or payment issues.