AHIMA vs AAPC – Difference and Comparison

What is AHIMA?

AHIMA represents one of the oldest organizations in the field of medical coding. They offer multiple courses related to medicine and specialize in the inpatient form of data computing. It was founded by Grace Whiting Myers in the year 1928.

American Health Information Association students are referred to as Certified Coding Specialists. This means they have experience in the coding process related to information and management of health. The medical coders of AHIMA are known to possess the best skillset in the world.

AHIMA’s main aim is to promote precision, secrecy, and ease of access in the management of healthcare data. It is a non-profit organization that runs on aids and universal medical research donations. This helps the organization to work on public healthcare-related programs throughout the year. These programs are critical in contributing to the betterment of world health.

AHIMA is also playing an essential role in guiding doctors and institutes to formulate policies based on better health plans and infrastructure. It also contributes several revisions in the current health regulations from time to time. The association is responsible for creating a better health plan worldwide.

Being an AHIMA member also gives you several perks. Like having access to a large record of the medical library. Several Toolkits for multiple-level guidance and newsletters for frequent updates. This toolkit keeps you updated with the latest happening in the field of healthcare.

What is AAPC?

AAPC represents the largest medical coding organization in the world. It is a tributary of its parent organization, which is the Academy Association Incorporation. The organization offers several courses concerning medical coding and bill computation.

American Association of Professional Coders student is referred to as Certified Professional Coders. The association specializes in providing outpatients form of facilities. However, it can provide both types of patient facilities. Other than that AAPC can contribute to specific facilities as well.

If you want to make your career in medical coding related to cardiology, then AAPC is the preferred type of organization. They also have several courses related to Physician forms of medical coding. The courses are designed to complete through a training period of four years.

An additional grace period of 2 months is also provided, making a total of 6 months for its completion. This includes reading and studying time. Upon completion, you have to wait for your evaluation to receive the credentials. Once received, the certification will highly benefit your career.

The basic aim of AAPC is to develop and provide resources for medical and educational purposes. Documenting these records is a critical function performed by the organization, as it helps to create a better infrastructure of health. AAPC has its headquarters situated in salt lake, United States of America.

Difference Between AHIMA and AAPC

  1. AHIMA specializes in inpatients forms of facilities whereas AAPC specializes in outpatient forms of facilities.
  2. AHIMA’s exam is shorter while AAPC’s exam is much longer.
  3. AHIMA does not offer specialty programs in cardiology whereas AAPC offers specialty programs in cardiology.
  4. AHIMA’s coders are suited better for hospitals and other larger organizations while AAPC coders are best fit private firms.
  5. AHIMA is more than 90 years old while AAPC is nearly 34 years old.

Comparison Between AHIMA and AAPC

Parameters of ComparisionAHIMAAAPC
Full formAmerican Health Information AssociationAmerican Association of Professional Coders
Popular credentialsCertified Coding Specialist abbreviated as CCSCertified Professional Coder
Area of expertiseInpatient facilitiesOutpatient facilities
Year AHIMA came into existence in 1928AAPC came into existence in1988
HeadquartersChicagoSalt Lake in Utah


  1. https://dmice.ohsu.edu/hersh/academyhealth.pdf
  2. https://resourcelibrary.stfm.org/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=2b351f82-f3f3-425f-beca-4afa2bb95ba7&forceDialog=1