CPC vs. CCS: How They Compare (Plus Pros and Cons)

Key differences between CPC and CCS

Experience: While the CPC credential is fitting for people beginning a career in medical coding, the CCS is well-suited to experienced medical coders who are interested in advancing their careers.

The debate between Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Sale (CPS) has been ongoing since the introduction of digital marketing and advertising. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to marketing and advertising, but it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each to determine which is best for your business. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Sale (CPS) and give insights into why one might be the right fit for your organization. We’ll break down the benefits and drawbacks of each option, as well as the potential implications they can have on your ROI. Ultimately, understanding the differences between CPC and CPS can help you make an informed decision when it comes to reaching your desired target audience and achieving your desired goals.

AAPC or AHIMA – How to pick the right medical coding organization for career success!

What is CCS?

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers a medical coding credential called Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). This widely recognized coding certification can demonstrate your expertise in diagnostic coding and data quality standards.

CCS professionals are typically skilled in:

Having a CCS certificate can help you get ready to assess, arrange, and code medical data in hospitals and other inpatient facilities as well as other healthcare environments. One or more of the following requirements can be fulfilled in order to get ready for the CCS exam:

What is CPC?

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification, a medical coding credential that is widely recognized. By obtaining a CPC certification, you can show hiring managers that you have experience and training in medical coding.

A CPC certification can also showcase your background in:

A CPC certificate can help you get ready to assist general practitioners, work in medical offices, and concentrate on outpatient services. You typically need to have two years of experience in medical coding and submit two letters of recommendation to the AAPC in order to be eligible for the CPC examination. Consider taking the CPC exam before gaining professional experience if you’re new to the field in order to earn the title of CPC apprentice (CPC-A). Your chances of getting an interview may increase if you demonstrate your commitment to a new career in medical coding by earning a CPC-A.

Key differences between CPC and CCS

While CPC and CCS certifications are both good ways to demonstrate your proficiency in medical coding, it’s helpful to know how they differ so you can choose the right credential for your career objectives. Depending on the requirements of your intended field, the policies of your target employers, and your previous work experience in the industry, the certificate you pursue may change. The following are some of the primary distinctions between CPC and CCS credentials:

Pros and cons of earning a CPC certification

Being a CPC can help you advance your medical coding career because some employers require candidates to have a medical coding certification. If medical coders are interested in improving their career prospects in outpatient facilities, increasing their earning potential, and proving their commitment to a career in medical coding, they should think about getting a CPC.

Like any investment in professional development, becoming a CPC has both advantages and disadvantages, such as:

Cost of the exam

Aspiring medical coders must first join AAPC, which typically costs about $180, in order to take the CPC exam. However, you might be able to get a student discount if you’re currently enrolled in a college or university. Candidates frequently pay between $300 and $400 to take the exam online or in person after joining the professional organization, which is a little less expensive than comparable medical coding exams.

Difficulty of the exam

The CPC exam is acknowledged by the medical coding industry as a reliable assessment of highly advanced medical coding abilities. Depending on your prior experience with coding and healthcare, the CPC exam may be difficult. However, some test takers find it simpler than exams that test medical coding. Consider taking the test in person since you can retake it up to two times. This will increase your chances of passing.

Industry competition

A CPC certification can help you stand out as a candidate for outpatient work, which will attract the attention of hiring managers and help you land an interview. One of the most popular certifications that new medical coders acquire when they first enter the field is the CPC certification. Earning additional credentials, investing in professional development, and networking can help you stand out from the competition when applying for jobs, which may mean there will be more competition.

Pros and cons of getting a CCS certification

A potential employer may require you to have a CCS credential depending on the career you want to pursue. Earning a CCS can help you achieve your career goals if you are currently employed in medical coding and are interested in changing work environments, increasing your salary, and improving your diagnostic coding abilities.

Similar to CPC certifications, becoming a CCS has benefits and drawbacks, including the following:

Exam difficulty

Aspiring medical coders typically require more coding experience and medical education than CPC candidates in order to be eligible for the CCS examination. The CCS test may be harder than the CPC test depending on your familiarity with medical terminology, insurance reimbursement policies, and diagnostic coding. Additionally, AHIMA only permits applicants to take the CCS exam once. You can successfully pass the CCS exam and obtain the certification by registering for professional development courses related to CCS requirements, taking practice tests, and diligently studying.

Career opportunities

Although CCS professionals frequently work with complex code, they frequently make more money than CPC specialists. Depending on your background, they may also be in charge of more difficult tasks than the procedural coding CPCs typically handle, such as reimbursement assurance and diagnostic coding. Professionals with this title may experience less competition when applying for jobs because it takes more experience to earn a CCS certification.

Career fulfillment

Professionals in the CCS field are trained to write code that helps doctors make more accurate diagnoses, public health officials track disease patterns, and medical researchers conduct focused research. Although a CCS professional’s daily tasks may be more complex than those of a CPC due to this focus, career satisfaction may also rise as a result.

The demands of working in a hospital, surgery center, or another inpatient environment may also have an impact on your mental health depending on your preferences. Earning a CCS certification might be ideal for you if you’re interested in assisting those with long-term conditions and assisting doctors in receiving adequate compensation.

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


Which coding certification is best?

CCS-P is Certified Coding Specialist-Physician based. This is a health information management credential because it is an AHIMA credential. CPC is Certified Professional Coder. This certification is provided by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

What is the difference between CPC and CCS-P?

The AAPC offers several pertinent certifications for practice management and auditing in a doctor’s office. Larger organizations like hospitals are probably better suited for AHIMA’s health information certifications. It’s crucial to understand that the majority of medical coders hold certifications from both bodies.

Which is better AHIMA or AAPC?

The CCS is challenging, necessitates extensive knowledge of all coding-related topics, and is not entirely multiple choice.

Is the CCS exam hard?

The CCS is challenging, necessitates extensive knowledge of all coding-related topics, and is not entirely multiple choice.

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