CBCS Medical Billing and Coding: What’s on the CBCS Exam?

We’ve discussed the medical billing and coding career quite a bit on this blog, from what each of these roles entails to the job outlook and work-from-home potential.

For this article, we assume that you’ve moved past professional research and are trying to choose your training and certification path.

Lucky for you, that’s our specialty!

Beginner Coding Specialist Certification Options – What Are They?

There are three medical coder certifications you can earn early in your career:

Certified Professional Coder (CPC), through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) through the National Health Professionals Association (NHA)

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

All certify their ability to apply the same three medical coding systems to standardize health record information, including diagnoses, services, treatments, and more.

However, each medical coding certification is a bit different. It primarily relates to the role that each certificate best prepares you for outpatient, inpatient, or insurance.

We’ve already discussed the difference between inpatient and outpatient coding. Still, coding for an outpatient setting (such as a doctor’s office or urgent care center) is much simpler than for an inpatient facility (such as a hospital). Hospital or nursing home).

As a result, most medical coders begin their careers as ambulatory medical coders. This allows you to learn the “language” of coding before tackling more complex applications.

The CCA designation has its roots in inpatient coding, so we’ll focus on the other two medical coder certifications: CPC and CBCS.

CBCS vs. CPC: Which do you choose?

The CPC credential is a versatile coding specialist certification beneficial for new walk-through coders. The exam focuses only on medical coding, with little to no billing information.

This works for beginners who want to specialize in coding without doing billing work and experienced billing professionals who wish to hone their coding skills.

The CBCS certification tests your knowledge of billing and coding. In addition to medical coding guidelines, the CBCS allows you to demonstrate your competency to potential employers in other areas: insurance eligibility, payer requirements, billing and reimbursement, revenue cycles, and regulatory compliance. The last two themes are relatively new. According to the NHA, understanding revenue cycles and regulations can empower certified billing and coding specialists to remain flexible in the face of evolving healthcare reform.

As a result of this comprehensive approach and its focus on insurance requirements, the CBCS Medical Billing and Coding Certification are attractive to employers in the insurance industry. The knowledge set is also helpful for those who want to focus on medical billing.

If you want a widely accepted coder certification and don’t need the billing component, you must choose a CPC training program to qualify for that exam.

If you want to be a medical biller or do billing and coding within the insurance industry, choose the CBCS certification instead.

The CBCS Exam: What to Expect

So you want to focus on medical billing or work for an insurance company – what do you need to know about the certification exam?

Who is eligible for the CBCS Medical Billing and Coding Exam?

There are two ways to qualify for the CBCS exam: training or work experience.

The training path requires completing a medical billing or coding program within the last five years. The experience path requires completing at least one year of supervised work experience in medical billing and coding within the previous three years.

In either case, you must also have a high school diploma or a High School Equivalency (HSE) test such as the GED.

What is the easiest way to qualify for the CBCS exam?

The training route is definitely the way to go if you’re starting from scratch. Certification will make it easier to get a job, and certified candidates also earn more. 

How do you sign up for the Certified Coding and Billing Specialist exam?

First, you’ll create a free NHA account online and submit an exam request through the portal. With an online training program like ours, proving your eligibility is as simple as uploading your certificate of completion.

Next, you will select a date and location for your exam. The CBCS exam fee of $117 is due unless you have finished a training program that offers a free exam voucher, as we do.

How long is the CBCS exam?

The Certified Coding and Billing Specialist exam has 125 multiple-choice questions, including 100 scored and 25 pretest items.

Pretest items do not count for or against you; they are just a way for the NHA to test future test questions. However, they will be mixed in with the rated items so that you won’t know which. This can give you peace of mind: if some questions seem ambiguous or misleading, they may be preliminary questions that don’t count.

You have three hours to complete the test.

What is the passing score for the CBCS exam?

Questions are weighted by difficulty, so your score is more complicated than the percentage of questions answered correctly.

Out of 500 possible points, you need a “scaled score” of at least 390 to pass the exam.

What does the CBCS exam cover?

The test’s 100 scored questions are divided into four topics (or “domains”), including:

  1. 15 questions about the revenue cycle and regulatory compliance
  2. 20 questions about insurance eligibility and other payer requirements
  3. 32 questions about coding and coding guidelines
  4. 33 questions about Billing and Reimbursement

Within each domain, some questions will focus on your knowledge, and others will focus on application. In other words, some information will be tested straightforwardly. Still, your ability to use what you know to perform tasks as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist will also be tested.

For example, in the cloud software domain, you might get a question about the rules for applying a set of codes, then another in which you are given a health record and asked to code it.

The NHA has a helpful test plan that lists which task and knowledge statements will appear in each domain.

What are you waiting for?

We offer online courses for both the CBCS and the CPC. Your record includes relevant textbooks, exam vouchers, and even a laptop, in case you’re concerned.

And if you’re a military spouse, you may be eligible to have the Department of Defense pay for the whole thing.

I have a good suggestion for those how are looking for medical billing services, I know a Revenue Cycle Management Company who also offer outsourced medical billing services along with revenue services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *