Train for a Career in Inpatient Auditing

Career Step’s Inpatient Auditing program prepares you to advance your health information management (HIM) career and become an inpatient auditor. Training with Career Step offers many benefits:

Advance your career icon
Career advancement

Develop the technical and soft skills you need for inpatient auditing and prepare to earn your CICA certification by building on your inpatient coding experience.

Growing demand icon
Growing Demand

A 2015 workforce study* by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) found a growing need for auditors, particularly inpatient auditors.

Engaging curriculum and comprehensive support icon
Top 5 HIM skill

Auditing is one of the top five skills recommended by AHIMA for HIM professionals, and becoming an inpatient auditor is an excellent next career step for inpatient coders.

Increase salary icon
Increased salary

Inpatient auditor salaries are generally higher than inpatient coders. Recent job postings have offered salaries ranging from $67,000 to $96,000 a year.**

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Quick training

Test out of material you already know and focus on the information you need to become a successful inpatient auditor in a year or less.

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Employer-trusted education

Our Inpatient Auditing program was developed in conjunction with large employer partners and has been used for in-house employee training.

Before enrolling in our Inpatient Auditing program, you need at least 3 years of experience in inpatient acute care coding and you must hold a current RHIA, RHIT, CCS, or CPC credential. Take our quick Skills Evaluation today to see if you have what it takes!

*A Workforce Study of the Future Direction and Skill Set for HIM Professionals”, prepared for AHIMA by The Caviart Group, LLC, March 2015.

**Information from inpatient auditing job listings posted by LexiCode and Kaiser Permanente

Inpatient Auditing Job Description and Earning Potential

What will I be doing as an inpatient auditor?

Auditing gained traction as a career path for medical coders in 2014 and 2015 and the need for these professionals is expected to grow exponentially through 2020. This growing need, combined with an existing shortage of medical coders, is good news for you as it means you’ll be in demand.

Inpatient auditors need both technical and soft skills, and the Career Step Inpatient Auditing program addresses both these areas. Here are some of the most important traits you will be able to develop:

Coder icon
Coder

Using your coding accuracy and quality knowledge, applying these skills to auditing, and being able to empathize with coders as you deliver your audit results.

Investigation icon
Investigator

Finding undocumented diagnoses and clinical indicators, and understanding when a physician query is required.

Problem solver icon
Problem solver

Tracking an issue to solution, conducting self-directed research, ensuring complete and accurate coding, and uncovering information on laws and guidelines.

Appraiser icon
Appraiser

Reporting on the condition, quality, and importance of what you have examined, and using your insight into health laws and guidelines.

Analyzer icon
Analyzer

Examining the data collected from the audit and determining what reimbursement may change based on a holistic view of your findings.

Communicator icon
Communicator

Understanding the audience, providing clear written communication, developing detailed reports and summaries, and presenting at all organizational levels.

How much can I earn as an inpatient auditor?

Salaries for inpatient auditors vary based on employer, geographic location, and experience but are generally higher than those of inpatient medical coders (which range from about $50-60,000 a year). Recent job postings by companies such as LexiCode and Kaiser Permanente have listed salaries for inpatient auditors ranging from $67,000 plus a $15,000 signing bonus to $96,000 a year.

An inpatient auditor career provides an opportunity to earn a great income in the growing healthcare industry. Get started today by enrolling in Career Step’s online training program.

Inpatient Auditing Training

How Long Will the Training Take?

The Inpatient Auditing training program includes 410 hours of curriculum and is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study. However, the course is intended for busy adult learners like you, and the online format allows you to study on your own schedule and at your own pace, so we provide you 12 months of course access to ensure you can study part time and still complete the program.

Are there any Program Prerequisites?

Yes. To ensure you’re successful in the Inpatient Auditing program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • 3 years of inpatient acute care coding experience within the last 5 years
  • A current RHIA, RHIT, CCS, or CPC credential

All prospective students must also take our Inpatient Auditing Skill Evaluation. We require this evaluation to help you assess your background and make sure you have the knowledge and skills you need be successful in the program and the career field after you’ve finished. Click to take the evaluation today.

What Will I Be Learning?

The Inpatient Auditing program has a comprehensive program design:

  • ICD-10-CM/PCS skills
  • Fundamentals and reimbursement concepts
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Healthcare law
  • Documentation integrity
  • Advanced administrative and soft skills
  • Audit principles
  • Audit and record review
  • Audit reporting
  • Audit practicum

You’ll train on both the technical and soft skills required to be a good auditor, and the program includes hands-on experience in the audit practicum. In this section you will perform an audit on 50 to 70 cases using a set of criteria to evaluate the accuracy of inpatient coding practice and proper reimbursement. You will then complete a written audit summary report, a PowerPoint presentation, and two recorded presentations of the audit summary results to make sure you’re well prepared for your new role in inpatient auditing.

When you graduate from the program, you will be prepared to sit for the Certified Inpatient Coding Auditor (CICA) credential offered through the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Want more details about exactly what's included in the program? Download the Program Brochure or Learning Objectives to learn more.


Inpatient Auditing Skills Evaluation Test

In order to enroll in Career Step's Inpatient Auditing course you must take our Inpatient Auditing Skill Evaluation. We want to make sure you have the skills and experience needed to be successful in the course as well as the job market after graduation.

As a reminder, this program also requires:

  • 3 years of inpatient acute care coding experience within the last 5 years
  • A current RHIA, RHIT, CCS, or CPC credential

You will have 90 minutes to complete this evaluation, and you must pass it with a score of 90% or better in order to be recommended for enrollment in the Career Step Inpatient Auditing program. You will also need to provide your own coding resources while taking this assessment.

Inpatient Auditing Course Tuition

How Much Does the Inpatient Auditing Course Cost?

Everything you need to succeed is included in one, low tuition payment of $2,699.

This tuition fee entitles you to an initial 12 months of access to the Inpatient Auditing course. The program is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, so we provide you 12 months of access to give you the freedom to study on the schedule and at the pace that works for you.

Course extensions are available once you are 3 months within your course expiration date should you feel you need more time to complete the program.

Are Payment Plans or Tuition Assistance Available?

Career Step is committed to providing you with an affordable educational experience. To provide flexibility, several payment options are available.

What is Included With My Training Program?

Everything you need to succeed is included with your Career Step program. You’ll have:

  • Complete online access to expert-created curriculum
  • 2 textbooks: The Compliance Officer’s Handbook (printed copy) and The Essentials of Clinical Documentation Integrity (ebook)
  • One-on-one support from your instructors and our technical support team

The Inpatient Auditing program includes 410 hours of curriculum and requires students to have 3 years of acute inpatient medical coding experience within the last 5 years and a current RHIA, RHIT, CCS, or CPC credential. To ensure you have the skills necessary to be successful in this program, we require all prospective students to take our skill evaluation test.

Inpatient Auditing Program FAQs

Get answers to the most common and important questions about enrolling in the Inpatient Auditing program at Career Step. Our FAQs section provides answers to help you make an informed decision about your education.

Our Inpatient Auditing program is approved to provide 40 CEUs by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC).

The Career Step Inpatient Auditing course will prepare students for the Certified Inpatient Coding Auditor (CICA) Certification offered through HFMA. Certification is not currently a prerequisite for employment, but the certification will validate and acknowledge the professional expertise of an inpatient coding auditor professional.

Yes. Audit categories covered in the Career Step Inpatient Auditing program include DRG audits, coding audits, and clinical validation audits.

The Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) credential is a certification in outpatient auditing offered by the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). This course teaches students inpatient auditing and prepares students for the Certified Inpatient Coding Auditor (CICA) Certification offered through HFMA.

To be a good inpatient auditor, you will need to be a…

  • Coder — Using your coding accuracy and quality knowledge, applying these skills to auditing, and being able to empathize with coders as you deliver your audit results.
  • Investigator — Finding undocumented diagnoses and clinical indicators, and understanding when a physician query is required.
  • Problem solver — Tracking an issue to solution, conducting self-directed research, ensuring complete and accurate coding, and uncovering information on laws and guidelines.
  • Appraiser — Reporting on the condition, quality, and importance of what you have examined, and using your insight into health laws and guidelines.
  • Analyzer — Examining the data collected from the audit and determining what reimbursement may change based on a holistic view of your findings.
  • Communicator — Understanding the audience, providing clear written communication, developing detailed reports and summaries, and presenting at all organizational levels.

You will need both technical and soft skills, and the Career Step Inpatient Auditing program addresses both these areas to help you be successful.

Auditing gained traction as a career path for medical coders throughout 2014 and 2015 due to changes in medical insurance and reimbursement policies. The need for these professionals is expected to grow exponentially from 2016 through 2020, and with the existing shortage of medical coders, filling these needs may prove challenging for organizations. This is all good news for you as it means you’ll be in demand.

Salaries for inpatient auditors are generally higher than those of inpatient medical coders (which range from about $55,000 to $65,000 a year). Recent job postings by companies such as LexiCode and Kaiser Permanente have listed salaries for inpatient auditors ranging from $67,000 plus a $15,000 signing bonus to $96,000 a year.

Ultimately, salaries for inpatient auditors vary by employer, geographic location, and experience, and at the end of the day, the pay you can expect will depend on the position you accept.

Career Step is a leader in revenue cycle and medical coding education, and our program has been specifically developed to help you gain the skills you need to succeed. With Career Step you have:

  • Employer-trusted education — The Career Step Inpatient Auditing program was developed in conjunction with large employer partners, and others are already using it to train their employees in-house. Choose the education employers have already chosen.
  • Engaging curriculum and comprehensive support — Career Step provides engaging, multimedia curriculum and one-on-one access to instructors throughout the course, so you have the help you need throughout your learning experience.
  • Affordable tuition — With Career Step’s Inpatient Auditing course you can develop the expertise you need to make your professional career step successful for only $2,699.

Choose Career Step for the quality education you need to take your next career step into inpatient auditing.

See what makes Career Step different in our quick introduction.

To ensure you’re successful in the Inpatient Auditing program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • 3 years of inpatient acute care coding experience within the last 5 years
  • A current RHIA, RHIT, CCS, or CPC credential

To make sure that you’re employable as an inpatient auditor upon graduation, you also will need to maintain 95% coding accuracy and coding productivity in the previous rolling 12 months throughout your training.

All prospective students must take our Inpatient Auditing Skill Evaluation. We require this evaluation to help you assess your background and make sure you have the knowledge and experience necessary to be successful in the program and the career field when you’ve completed the training. Click to take the evaluation today.

The Inpatient Auditing program includes 12 courses. Students have the opportunity to test out of 8 courses with a score of 85% or better. Audit Principles, Audit and Record Review, Audit Reporting, and the Auditing Practicum are required courses.

The Career Step Inpatient Auditing training program is 410 completion hours. Since the program is completely self-paced and the online training format allows you the flexibility to study as much or as little as your schedule allows, the time it takes you to complete the course will vary from other students. The course is designed to be completed in 4 months of full-time study, and students receive an initial 12-month period of enrollment to provide them the flexibility to study part time at a pace and on a schedule that works for them.

Course extensions are available once you are 3 months within your course expiration date should you feel you need more time to complete the program.

Your enrollment includes everything you will need to train for a successful career as an inpatient auditor. Your enrollment includes:

  • Complete online access to expert-created curriculum
  • 2 textbooks: The Compliance Officer’s Handbook (printed copy) and The Essentials of Clinical Documentation Integrity (ebook)
  • One-on-one support from your instructors and our technical support team

We realize that one of the most important questions tied to education is how it will be paid for. Because this is such a big part of the decision of whether or not to go back to school, Career Step has designed several tuition assistance and payment options. Please visit our Tuition Assistance page for more information.

It takes 2-3 business days to process the application, depending on method of payment. Once the payment is processed you will be emailed your course login and password and can start training immediately. Additional course materials are shipped UPS Ground after the payment is processed. The average wait is about 7-10 days.