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Difference Between AHIMA & AAPC Certifications

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Both the American Health Information Management Association, or AHIMA, and the American Academy of Professional Coders, or AAPC, provide education, student training, networking and job opportunities to those who are pursuing careers as physician-based medical coders or other medical professionals. However, the main difference between AHIMA and AAPC is that there are different types of credentials and organizational structures in regards to these medical associations' certification programs.

Types of Credentials for AHIMA Certification

This renowned medical information association offers certification programs in Health Information Management, Medical Coding, Health Data Analysis and Health Care Privacy & Security. More specifically, those who register for AHIMA membership can become Registered Health Information Administrators or Technicians, Certified Coding Associates or Specialists, Certified Health Data Analysts or Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security.

Types of Credentials for AAPC Certification

This renowned medical coding association offers certification programs in Coding, Auditing and Compliance. More specifically, the names of these certification programs are Certified Professional Coder-Hospital, Certified Professional Coder, Certified Professional Coder-Payer, Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiovascular Coder, Certified Professional Medical Auditor and Certified Professional Compliance Officer. In addition, AAPC offers Specialty Medical Coding Certification for those who want to specialize in Urology, Gastroenterology, Chiropractic, Pediatrics and/or other medical specializations.

Governing Structure of AHIMA

This medical information association has a Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management, a Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, and a House of Delegates. Each of these entities is headed by the AHIMA Board of Directors, which consists of 13 members who are elected by AHIMA members each year.

Governing Structure of AAPC

This medical coding association has four different committees: the National Advisory Board, a Local Chapter Association Board of Directors, a Medical Coding Physician Advisory Board and a Legal Advisory Committee. All of these committees are responsible for administering the financial and jurisprudential goals and objectives of their divisions within the association.