In browsing competitors websites (Yes I do this!) I ran across several vendors and educational programs which offered medical billing online courses that included“certification” with their courses. That definitely peaked my curiosity. I thought; how can one achieve and maintain a certification in an ever-changing industry such as medical billing? I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’m constantly learning new things or having to stay up-to-date with ever-changing regulations, rules, and requirements. But as I visited more of these businesses I realized what they were really selling were courses with a certificate of completion. Do they have the responsibility of explaining the difference between a certification and a certificate of course(s) completion? No, they probably don’t, but we do believe everyone getting into medical billing as a career or as a business owner should be made aware of the differences.

I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years and there are some real certification exams out there that I know I would still need to study for. When researching various online courses or schools, it can seem very appealing to be told you don’t need to maintain any membership fees or earn any CEUs (continued educational units).   

It is very concerning to me when those aspiring for a career in medical billing  look to educational vendors, in the hopes of obtaining an education WITH a certification within an industry that truly requires a much higher standard when it comes to continued education.  When looking for the right certification it’s important to understand the difference between a certificate of completion and a true certification. A real certification is a true attestation of the knowledge you possess and commit to continuing your education! One cannot simply take courses and be “certified” What is the benefit of forgoing an association membership fee along with the chance to earn continued educational units? In my opinion, it’s a small price to pay to maintain your certifications so that you can remain marketable and keep your career opportunities open. It’s already difficult to obtain a good medical billing position without experience; it only makes sense to stay on top of your education so that you can be an asset to any medical practice. A true certification does have requirements in earning CEUs, that is to your benefit in order to stay up-to-date with a very fast changing industry.

With any true certification comes a commitment to ongoing and continued education. If I take a course or series of courses on medical billing how am I certified if I’m not held accountable for continued education in an industry that is ever-changing?  The truth is, that certification comes AFTER you have received a genuine education in medical billing and in many cases have some good solid experience under your belt. Beware of companies promising “certification” just from taking a few courses. If you are obtaining a “certification” from an entity that has provided medical billing education, that is called a certificate of completion. Even squarebannerexperienced medical billers will tell you that some of these certifications are very thorough and even the most seasoned medical billers will find a true certification exam extremely challenging.


PMRNC has been providing resources and has been educating medical billers for over 16 years. Our certifications are backed up by our commitment to continued updates and making sure our certification exams include the latest industry standards. In addition, we are happy to discuss your certification and tell potential employers or clients what your certification and maintaining that certification entails. We are happy to provide you with a personal reference!

If you are not ready for certification but you are looking for some online courses to guide you on your path to a successful career, check out the PMRNC Educational Portal Today!  Our online courses can help you prepare for a career in medical billing.

We won’t make promises we can’t keep but we will promise to be with you every step of the way!



Dispelling the Myths about Medical Billing Certifications and the Difference Between Certificates and Certification.