Difference Between AHIMA and AAPC (With Table)

AHIMA refers to American Health Information Association and AAPC is the American Association of Professional Coders. They both are different types of premium organizations for coding-related certificates. As in the name, both these institutes deal with a medical form of coding.


The main difference between AHIMA and AAPC is that AHIMA deals with providing inpatient facilities. On the other hand, AAPC generates outpatient forms of services. Therefore, this creates a significant training difference between the organizations and their coding patterns.

AHIMA consists of professional health workers who review the data for billion patient visits each year. Collectively, it is one of the leading health organizations in the world. It is also highly relevant and vital because of the continued evolution within the organization.

AAPC is the largest organization for medical coding. It is one of the primal places which offer a certification course in that subject. The organization is highly beneficial for entry-level students looking to make a career in the field of medical codes.

Comparison Table 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

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.

Main Differences 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.


Both AHIMA and AAMC have given immense contributions to the field of medical science. Their storage of health records and their data computation have generated critical information. This info has benefited the entire medical world.

AHIMA and AAMC serve the purpose to advance medical expertise worldwide and improve professional standards on health reporting. They also aid to assist the quality of healthcare.

Coders from these organizations contribute vastly to world health through their skillset. These organizations are known widely for their teachings and valuable certificates. A pass out of AHIMA or AAMC is bound to have a bright future.

AHIMA and AAMC are also contributing immensely to universal healthcare. Since more than a billion patients check out and check in from hospitals and health institutions, the data record is complex. But with these organizations, it becomes easy to store data ergonomically.

AHIMA has been storing and keeping data for decades. This data in turn has helped to make several achievements in the field of medicine. Like providing information for virus mutation and the efficiency of vaccines. Thereby significantly involving with world health.

Similarly, AAMC is also managing the data for years. This means it has prominent involvement in world health and continues to do so. Many modern-day vaccines owe their existence to the vital information received during their research. Thereby increasing the efficiency of universal vaccines and saving numerous lives.


  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