CEUs: 2008 and Beyond
To help you gear up continuing education units (CEUs) for 2008 and beyond, here is a baker’s dozen list of improvements and suggestions.
By Danielle Fenochietti
CEUs Submitted Every Two Years
CEUs are now due every two years. If you are due to renew in an even month of the year (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec, your CEUs are due every even year such as 2008, 2010, etc. If you are due to renew in an odd month (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sept, Nov, your CEUs are due in every odd year such as 2009, 2011, etc. Membership fees are still due on an annual basis at the time of your renewal. For clarification on when you are due, you can log into the Member Area of the AAPC website and view when your membership and CEUs are due.
18 CEUs Per Year?
Since our profession and codes are constantly changing, we prefer you get education and CEUs each year. We do not require obtaining CEUs each year. We do, however, require 36 CEUs (assuming one credential) in each two year period.
You can keep track of all your CEUs with CEU Tracker in the member’s area of our website. Click on the icon to open it and enter the CEUs with your ID number as you receive them. Within two months of when you are due to renew, simply press the submit button and quickly your CEUs are sent to us. The CEU Tracker also keeps track and tells you how many CEUs you still need before the renewal date. We are no longer using the CEU form or requiring you to submit proof unless you are chosen for verification. We require our members to submit their CEUs via the CEU Tracker so there is no need to send us a duplicate copy after you have submitted them.
Verification of CEUs
We randomly select 25 percent of certified members to have their CEU submissions verified. If selected, the AAPC sends an email and a mailed notification giving you 30 days to provide us with your proof. Hold on to your CEU proof (certificates, Test Yourself exams, etc.) for at least six months just in case you are chosen for verification. Once processed, you receive an emailed notification regarding your status.
Category A and B CEUs
Category A CEUs are from educational events focused on medical coding. Category B CEUs are from other educational curriculum that help a coder on the job, but is not coding oriented. Up to six CEUs per year may be category B CEUs. For further explanation on this implementation, visit the CEU Policy page under the Education tab on www.aapc.com.
Coding Scenarios and Summaries
You can now do a combined total of three summaries and coding scenarios per year. Coding scenarios are limited to two per year and there is no limit to how many summaries you do from a publication or a subscription as long as the combined total between the two equals the limit of three. Both of these options are worth one CEU each. Keep in mind that you can still submit all Test Yourself quizzes from the monthly Coding Edge magazines and bi-monthly EdgeBlasts.
Continuing Education After You Get the Credentials
The AAPC believes that continuing education begins once you are certified. Effective January 2008, all CEUs must be obtained after certification.
Specialty CEUs and Credentials
If you obtained a specialty certification under the partnership umbrella of AAPC and Ingenix, you have already been notified via mail that your specialty CEUs are not due until 2009 or 2010. For those with specialty certification, renewal fees are due every year and continue every year when your membership fees are due. If you’re working on specialty certifications or you’ve already obtained them through the AAPC examination process, your CEUs will be prorated according to your renewal date as core credential CEUs are. All fees for specialty credentials are due at the same time as your base credential.
Number of CEU’s Required for Multiple Certifications
(CPC™, CPC-H™, CPC-P™):
|36 CEUs every two years
(CPC™, CPC-H™, CPC-P™):
|48 CEUs every two years
(CPC™, CPC-H™, CPC-P™:
|60 CEUs every two years
|Each of 14 Specialty Certifications:
|16 CEUs every two years
|Maximum requirement cap for more than three AAPC Certifications
(CPC™, CPC-H™, CPC-P™, Specialty Certification):
|80 CEUs every two years
Once you pass your certification exam, your CEUs are prorated based on the date of certification and the date of your membership renewal. This ensures that your CEUs and membership fees are always due in the same month of the year (remember the two year CEUs submission policy).
Prorating CEUs When Added to a Corporate Membership
If a member is added to one of AAPC’s many corporate memberships, their CEUs will be prorated to match the date of the corporate membership renewal date. Each member added is notified by mail as to what their CEUs were prorated to.
Acceptance of AHIMA and CMS
The AAPC now accepts all AHIMA produced audio conferences, seminars, etc. We also honor all CMS-sponsored audio conferences, workshops, and similar events. For each of these organizations, you receive one CEU per hour of instruction.
For all CEU options including free and low cost CEUs, visit our website and go to the Education tab. From there, you will find multiple options regarding CEUs. By clicking on “All Other CEU Vendors” you can search for a specific program to see if it is pre-approved before you attend. You can do a specific search or click on Browse All to see what many organizations can offer you. All CEUs submitted to the AAPC must be pre-approved. This includes members submitting CEUs for teaching. This must be pre-approved before being awarded CEUs. You can find the application on the right hand side of the same web page to apply.