Wiki CIRCC vs CCC - thoughts?


New Concord, KY
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I'm thinking of getting an additional certification and would appreciate some advice.

I've been a CPC for about 10 years and have coded Cardiology/Cardiovascular on/off the last 15 years, and I've been doing Cardiology and interventional Cardiology pretty steadily for the last 2.5 years for 4 different practices. Only one of my cardio offices that I code for does interventions, although several of them do caths.

I'm torn between going to get the CCC - Certified Cardiology Coder (which I think would be relatively easy with my experience) or the CIRCC - Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiology Coder. It costs a little more for the CIRCC and I understand it would probably be harder but I've heard that CIRCC are in demand and usually pay better. My current employer will help me with the education cost, but I know they will not pay me more for getting the add'l certification - so I would really be doing it for my benefit/growth.

Just curious if anyone had done one or the other (or both!) and what you thought of the courses/tests... Thanks in advance!

The CCC credential is older than the CIRCC however I've found the CIRCC has gained quite a bit of recognition as a "good credential" in cardiology and is well respected. The only other one I'm familiar with is the RCC (Radiology Certified Coder) which is offered by the RCCB and is very well regarded (interventional radiology). Personally I don't think you can go wrong with any of them and we've hired two coders with only CPC credentials (one was also a CCC) as hospital coders in my facility. Being a specialist in cardiology and interventional coding is one way to get into a hospital it's such a tough field and requires a whole different type of expertise. Not everyone can do it and honestly I'd rate it the #1 specialty coding type (personally).

I'd also recommend taking Dr. Z's class as it'll cover the other things you may not have had experience with. We've sent our CPC coders to the class and I've heard its fantastic (they come to Phoenix every February). From their website: "Earn up to 35.5 AAPC CEUs (all of which are CIRCC-approved by the AAPC), 30.5 ASRT CEUs, 38 AHIMA CEUs, and/or 27.5 RCCB CEUs". The fact every credentialing association honors their CEUs says a lot. Taking that class before seeking the CIRCC would ensure you don't go in with any "blind spots" in fact I believe they might even offer the CIRCC after the class is over? I noticed your in Kentucky and they do hold the seminar in Nashville this year in May and September. They only do four seminars a year with 2016 being Phoenix, Nashville x2 and Las Vegas.

Good luck to you.

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Thanks for your response Erik. I've looked at Dr. Z's and use it as a reference now, so yes, that would probably be my choice as well. Really appreciate your time and input