The Benefits of Certification
Certification gives professionals recognized credentials behind their name. Often, the better jobs and
salaries go to certified professionals who have proven that they know their job and possess the skills to do the
job well. Why? Because employers and various experts agree that in the healthcare industry certified professionals
are more trusted and more readily hired at better salaries. In addition, the U.S. government pushes for all coders
of Medicare claims to be credentialed AND certified by the end of this decade.
Certification is not the same as Licensure
Certification works a little different from licensure. Although in some countries, certification may be used as
a synonym for licensure, more often than not, licensure applies to persons who are required by law to obtain it in
order to practice their skill, whereas certification is almost always voluntary! Nevertheless, certification has
its place. Certain professionals in the USA require a license in order to practice their skills. Only those who
have met all qualifications for licensure and have passed a written examination offered by a jurisdiction of the
United States government, usually on state level, qualify for licensure.
Licensure gives professionals the right to practice well defined
functions within their scope of practice. This is to ensure that the public will not be harmed by
incompetence. Nurses, lawyers, psychologists, and public accountants are four examples of practitioners
that require licensure to practice.
Certification, on the other hand, necessitates graduation
from an accredited vocational training program or institution followed by a thorough certification exam.
Once the certification candidate has passed all aspects of the certification exam, usually a
multiple-choice written test, medical coding and billing credentials will been granted along with a
certificate. The holder is then allowed to use certain professional titles and their abbreviations with
Certification is usually valid for a limited time period, such as a year or two, or sometimes
longer. Thereafter, renewal generally requires proof of accumulated continuing education units (CEUs) that are
approved by the certification body, and can also be obtained through additional training, or a recertification
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