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Old 12-15-2008, 02:29 PM
cpccoder2008 cpccoder2008 is offline
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Default AHIMA compared to CPC ?

I work for a hospital but i do the billing for the physician's. I'm looking into switching jobs and maybe going into a hospital and physician's billing together but everytime i apply at a hospital in my area they require AHIMA certification either CCS or RHIA. What's the difference between the AAPC and AHIMA ? I am CPC and CPC-H, i don't think i could handle obtaining more CEU's to become ccs or rhia, not to metion join another club and pay membership along with another certification test. The hospital i work at requires CPC-H but doesn't have any openings right now.... should i have taken the AHIMA exam instead ?
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:20 PM
geminitc81 geminitc81 is offline
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currently i live in michigan i have a cpc and work at a physicans office. I have noticed that in the state of michigan in a hosptial setting they will only hire ahima certifications. so iam in the process of taking the ccs exam sometime 2009. I have been told that AAPC is more of an outpatient certification? I was going for the cpc-h but the emplyer wants ahima certifican becuz its more of an hosptiial setting certification. Hope this helps
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:04 PM
jmoravecz jmoravecz is offline
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It seems to depend. I used to work for a hospital (in PA) as a coding auditor and they were fine with my achieving the CPC. The CCS seems to hold a little more credence with some hospitals since it specifically focuses on hospital coding. HOWEVER, you're experienced and currently hold the CPC-H credential, which means you had the skills to pass the exam and would be able to function successfully in the hospital environment. If you're really interested in swithing jobs, get yourself an interview, sell your skills and credentials and should they still feel you need the CCS, discuss either sharing the cost with them, or use them paying for the exam and membership as a neogitation tool. Alot of companies automically pay for membership dues to professional organizations anyway, especially when it's directly job-related. Good luck!
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:56 AM
cpccoder2008 cpccoder2008 is offline
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I received a call yesterday from a hospital i been trying to get on with and she said they only hire AHIMA certified coders. But it seems that since i'm CPC and CPC-H they would accept those but they don't... if i were to take the CCS exam is it any different from the CPC-H ? I don't know of anyone who took this exam so it's kinda hard to decide wheather i would be able to pass or not. I just spent 300.00 on the CPC-H i will have to wait awhile before i spend another 300.00 for the CCS.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:40 PM
sherryjean27 sherryjean27 is offline
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Look on the AHIMA website. It has on there sample questions of the CCS exam. This certification is very valuable in the coding world. Look at all of the job adds. Most of them want the CCS. I know that it is an inpatient certification and so forth. But I have done a lot of research on this just recently, and I plan on obtaining the CCS in the near future.
http://www.ahima.org/certification/c..._questions.pdf

Above is the link from the AHIMA website.

Sherry, CPC

Last edited by sherryjean27; 12-17-2008 at 06:41 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:03 PM
msbrowning msbrowning is offline
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I too am planning on obtaining my CCS certification. I am seeing that more and more employers require this specific certification, especially for remote positions. I don't know if these employers do not have thorough knowledge of what the CPC, CPC-H and CPC-P credentials are or if they know what they are and just do not accept them. I really hope that more employers start to recognize the CPC, CPC-H and CPC-P credentials and understand their worth. These credentials are valuable and we as coders have worked very hard to obtain them.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:04 AM
mmorningstarcpc mmorningstarcpc is offline
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Jennifer,

Great advice! I agree with the other posters also, try to educate the hiring people, sometimes it a matter of what they dont know, not what they do know. Good luck to all!

Machelle
CPC, CPC-H, CPC-E/M
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:32 AM
Anna Weaver Anna Weaver is offline
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Default ahima and aapc

Quote:
Originally Posted by msbrowning View Post
I too am planning on obtaining my CCS certification. I am seeing that more and more employers require this specific certification, especially for remote positions. I don't know if these employers do not have thorough knowledge of what the CPC, CPC-H and CPC-P credentials are or if they know what they are and just do not accept them. I really hope that more employers start to recognize the CPC, CPC-H and CPC-P credentials and understand their worth. These credentials are valuable and we as coders have worked very hard to obtain them.
I think it's just a matter of education in what the hiring folks know (or don't know). When you look at the credentials of those in positions to hire in our field, especially in medical records, they are generally RHIA and that means AHIMA. The lady who hired me 4 years ago didn't know what CPC even stood for, didn't know the AAPC even existed and had no idea there was anything outside of AHIMA. The gentleman who took over after her, also an RHIA, had no idea until I spoke to him concerning this that there was more than AHIMA out there. Therefore they go with what they know, which is CCS. When I hired they wanted CCS, but I told them I was taking the CPC and they agreed, but wasn't thrilled with it. After I hired and passed my exam, we had 2 CPC working here (one in another department), now we have 4 CPC. So they have broadened their horizens so to speak. The wording now reads certification required within 1 year of hire, but doesnt' stipulate which one so progress has been made. But I think when you check on these jobs, don't ignore them because they only say CCS, call them and talk to them, maybe they really do want a CCS, but then again, maybe they just don't know the CPC is out there.
Anna
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:37 AM
cpccoder2008 cpccoder2008 is offline
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When I took a coding course i had no idea what coding was. I just graduated high school and was looking for a quick certification in something. My course lasted 9 months and we were only told about the AAPC, no one ever mentioned the AHIMA. I had no idea about them until i started coding and researching more about it. To this day no one really understands what i do. I have been coding for over 5 years and love it. I plan to become certified in as many fields as i can but my employer will only pay AAPC since that is what they require. I'm afraid to go some where's else that what's AHIMA and then i have to pay my AAPC myself... i don't think it's fair. I became certified to prove to myself, along with my supervisor, that i have the knowledge and capability to progress as a coder. I have very proud of my initials behind my name. It reminds me of how hard and long it took me to get where i am today. I am the youngest employee at our office and have more knowledge than most of the people here,, Sorry i didn't mean for that to come out sounding consider i just mean that i worked my was around this company and took the time and effort to learn everything, where most people are set in their ways and love what they do and it doesn't bother them to learn something else. I started from the bottom and worked my way up. Unlike a lot of our employee's who are family members of someone. I started off keying in EOB's all day. Yeah pretty boring, but i showed them i wanted to learn and look where i am today. I just think more people should be aware of AAPC, it wasn't easy becoming certified, i worked really hard and to have a job turn me down and say the don't recognize the AAPC, i find that really offensive. But i will keep that in mind so that if i am ever a supervisor i can educate the HR department on both AHIMA and AAPC.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:52 AM
kevbshields kevbshields is offline
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Unfortunately, the burden does fall to the employee. In many cases the remote coding positions are from firms or contractors. These folks only go with what their client hospitals request--the contractors have no control. Usually requirements like the CCS or RHIT for these positions are built into the contract, meaning (again) the contractors have little or no control.

My advice is to sell yourself. You may not be able to gain one of these remote projects (because many are inpatient based), but that doesn't eliminate you from working on another project elsewhere. It's easy to build upon established success with an employer, so that's a way in the door!

It is our duty to inform these recruiters of the reality of HIM and coding. Chances are these folks have very little prior understanding; they're simply the messengers of policy.

I also encourage AAPC to promote the CPC-P and CPC-H credentials. While we've done better with the "H" lately, there's plenty of room for improvement. Until that happens (outside of the much-ridiculed White Paper AAPC produced on this topic), it's going to be an uphill battle. Your best bets are to locate a manager, director or hiring official who has a wide view of HIM and understands there's more than a single credentialing body and option for coding staff.

Good luck and keep up the good fight!
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