CCS-p and CPC problem

VRcoder29

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Recently, my organization has decided to hire an additional physician coder. We have many phone calls from other departments wanting to transfer to the coding department(most of them with no coding classes or experience ) One of these girls we have known for sometime. FInally at the end of her phone conversation she mentions...."What is the difference between the CCS-P and CPC credentials?" My supervisor said, " As far as I know there is not a big difference, just a different organization ."
I'll cut the rest to keep it short...Supposively the CCS-P starts 3.00 higher on the hour than the CPC! I am FURIOUS!!!!!!!!! No one has ever told us this....and as far as I know there is nothing more special about the CCS-P than the CPC. It is the exact same knowledge on the professional side of coding.
Does anyone else out there know something different....is there something MORE special about the CCS-P besides it being threw AHIMA?
We have emailed human resources and have yet heard an answer. If this is true...is there something that can be done about this?

Any thoughts?
 

VRcoder29

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OK Kevin, is there a place online that is legit that tells about how much more "skilled" a CCS-P should be than a CPC? Because I don't believe it should be a $3.54 different pay grade.
I would like to see in writing proof that this is a mastery skilled level and compare it to the skill level of a CPC.
Sounds to me like I should go and spend 400.00 on the CCS-P Aihma test to prove I know how to code so I can make 3.54 more on the hire.
 

twizzle

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Recently, my organization has decided to hire an additional physician coder. We have many phone calls from other departments wanting to transfer to the coding department(most of them with no coding classes or experience ) One of these girls we have known for sometime. FInally at the end of her phone conversation she mentions...."What is the difference between the CCS-P and CPC credentials?" My supervisor said, " As far as I know there is not a big difference, just a different organization ."
I'll cut the rest to keep it short...Supposively the CCS-P starts 3.00 higher on the hour than the CPC! I am FURIOUS!!!!!!!!! No one has ever told us this....and as far as I know there is nothing more special about the CCS-P than the CPC. It is the exact same knowledge on the professional side of coding.
Does anyone else out there know something different....is there something MORE special about the CCS-P besides it being threw AHIMA?
We have emailed human resources and have yet heard an answer. If this is true...is there something that can be done about this?

Any thoughts?
The CCS-P exam is not all multiple choice. You have to code some case studies in addition to the multiple choice section. Other questions require providing diagnosis codes for particular encounters. They set the bar high for these AHIMA exams. I personally think the CPC is considerably easier. CCS-P and CCS definitely come into the "mastery" category.
 

VRcoder29

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I understand what you mean. I just wish I could find something in concrete maybe accurately comparing the two degrees without people adding opinions...including my own opinion. I know how my boss is more concerned about hospital based coding.
( unfortunately we were pawned on her and she has never dealt with provider coding her whole life. She has only dealt with hospital based coding,medical records, and such.)
I have all confidence I can pass the CCS-P and in all honestly since I never went through AHIMA, I never knew there was a CCS-P exam.
This post might be more of a personal issue more so than a coding issue.
I am considering looking into taking the CCS-P test, but since my employer will only pay for one certification it will have to wait until I have extra money saved up.
It will be beneficial in the long run having both certs .

Thanks for any responses out there.
 

twizzle

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If you're going to stay in physician coding it's a very worthwhile certification. You learn about health data content, classification systems, billing and reimbursement systems. Some of the case studies are for physician offices where you need to code for injections, blood draws, supplies and so on so it's really quite different to the CPC. I suggest buying the professional review guide for CCS-P by Pat Schnering. The guide changes very little from year to year so look on Amazon and buy a used one that is maybe 2012 if you're going to take the exam in 2013. 2013 code books are only required from June 1st onwards by the way.
Good luck.
 

VRcoder29

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If you're going to stay in physician coding it's a very worthwhile certification. You learn about health data content, classification systems, billing and reimbursement systems. Some of the case studies are for physician offices where you need to code for injections, blood draws, supplies and so on so it's really quite different to the CPC. I suggest buying the professional review guide for CCS-P by Pat Schnering. The guide changes very little from year to year so look on Amazon and buy a used one that is maybe 2012 if you're going to take the exam in 2013. 2013 code books are only required from June 1st onwards by the way.
Good luck.
Maybe I am already doing this. I code for all this now . I code/key everything in including any procedures done in the office. Supplies, Drugs, Etc. I also code for hospital visits when my doctor goes to the hospital. I think i will buy a CCS-P guide when I get paid again.
As far as the case studies, is it a lot like when the physician goes to the hospital and I get their H/P and discharge notes?
Thanks for some input. . .
 

kevbshields

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I'm not providing just an opinion. If you read the information on it, the CCS-P is clearly distinguished as being "mastery-level." Having passed it, again, it is mastery level. If you need documentation, then visit the AHIMA website.
 

Tinatran06

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If I passed the CPC through AAPC and wanted to get a boot camp course to take the exam for CCS. Do I have to register with AHIMA as well??

If I become a member of both AAPC and AHIMA does that mean I have to keep up with two rules?? Currently, I have to keep up with 34 CEU's for AAPC. Would I have another set of CEU's I would have to keep up with?? :confused:

Thank you
Tina Tran
 
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If I passed the CPC through AAPC and wanted to get a boot camp course to take the exam for CCS. Do I have to register with AHIMA as well??

If I become a member of both AAPC and AHIMA does that mean I have to keep up with two rules?? Currently, I have to keep up with 34 CEU's for AAPC. Would I have another set of CEU's I would have to keep up with?? :confused:

Thank you
Tina Tran
Yes it does. Ahima does not require you to be a member to be certified with them as a coder as does AAPC. For my CCS-P I need to obtain 20 CEU's per every two years. 10 of those CEU's are from a self assessment test that AHIMA requires you to take which is not bad at all and easy and pay 50 dollars per test. AHIMA is more particular as to what CEU's they will accept. SO again yes you will need to keep two folders one for AHIMA and one for AAPC to keep track of your CEU's. Plus more cost of course.
 

MnTwins29

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I hold both (although my CPC is CPC-H) and I concurr with the other posters here - the CCS-P is a master-level certification, is a much tougher test since it is not all multiple choice - the candidate will fill in the codes required - and is more particular for the CE's that are required. The good thing about the latter requirement was mentioned - there is a self-assessment test required each year (the cost to submit this is $25, not $50) and that is good for half the CE's required.

Kevin quoted from AHIMA's site about the exam - to see why some employers may pay higher for a CCS-P than a CHC, I would read what is required for both certifications on the websites and judge for yourself. Maybe the employers are right, maybe they aren't, but only you can make that opinion and then determine what you want to do. Personally, I am glad I am certified with both organizations, as they are both very helpful and demonstrate that I have the skills needed.

One point in the CCS-P requirements for candidates is that three years of coding experience is "strongly recommended." I can attest to that - had I tried to take that exam straight out of school, I would have failed miserably. I waited until I had the three years experience and passed with flying colors. The questions and coding exercises were such that you didn't learn these in school, you needed to have seen this type of situation in "real life." I took this test 10 years ago and still recall some of the coding scenarios - I never would have figured out the pediatric chemotherapy case from my school lessons. But having seen this type of chart in my part-time coding job I had at the time...I did well on that case.

My point is this - don't sell yourself short with a CPC because someone offers a CCS-P more money. You know what you want to do, you have a hard-earned credentinal to prove your worth, and you seem to have the drive. So, go for it. If you want to take the CCS-P as well, great, do it. But not just to try to earn a bigger paycheck - do it because you want to tell the world that I am darn good at what I do! (I would use spicier language, but I don't think the censors would like that!) :)
 
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I hold both (although my CPC is CPC-H) and I concurr with the other posters here - the CCS-P is a master-level certification, is a much tougher test since it is not all multiple choice - the candidate will fill in the codes required - and is more particular for the CE's that are required. The good thing about the latter requirement was mentioned - there is a self-assessment test required each year (the cost to submit this is $25, not $50) and that is good for half the CE's required.

Kevin quoted from AHIMA's site about the exam - to see why some employers may pay higher for a CCS-P than a CHC, I would read what is required for both certifications on the websites and judge for yourself. Maybe the employers are right, maybe they aren't, but only you can make that opinion and then determine what you want to do. Personally, I am glad I am certified with both organizations, as they are both very helpful and demonstrate that I have the skills needed.

One point in the CCS-P requirements for candidates is that three years of coding experience is "strongly recommended." I can attest to that - had I tried to take that exam straight out of school, I would have failed miserably. I waited until I had the three years experience and passed with flying colors. The questions and coding exercises were such that you didn't learn these in school, you needed to have seen this type of situation in "real life." I took this test 10 years ago and still recall some of the coding scenarios - I never would have figured out the pediatric chemotherapy case from my school lessons. But having seen this type of chart in my part-time coding job I had at the time...I did well on that case.

My point is this - don't sell yourself short with a CPC because someone offers a CCS-P more money. You know what you want to do, you have a hard-earned credentinal to prove your worth, and you seem to have the drive. So, go for it. If you want to take the CCS-P as well, great, do it. But not just to try to earn a bigger paycheck - do it because you want to tell the world that I am darn good at what I do! (I would use spicier language, but I don't think the censors would like that!) :)
No I paid 50 dollars for the self assessment. I have for 10 years. Maybe you are a member and paid 25? I am not a member. I cant afford all of the memberships and ceus!
 

MnTwins29

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No I paid 50 dollars for the self assessment. I have for 10 years. Maybe you are a member and paid 25? I am not a member. I cant afford all of the memberships and ceus!
Yes, I have been an AHIMA member since 1998. I didn't know you were not a member, so that is correct - $25 fee on the self-assememt for members, $50 for non-members.
 
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Does anyone know if there is a course for the CCS or CCS-P? I have found most employers are seeking the CCS; especially to work from home.

Thanks in advance
 

MnTwins29

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