Elimination of "A" Designation

Richmond Chapter # 76502
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In January's Coding Edge, Reed Pew, AAPC Chairman and CEO, announced that they are proposing to discontinue granting CPC-A certificates. Instead, to maintain or earn a CPC certificate you must take the CPC exam plus, pass with 90%, a CPC clinical exam. No currant CPC-A will be "grandfathered" in, therefore their certification will not be valid unless additional steps are taken to remove the A. (Work a year as a coder or pass this clinical exam) Going forward, if this proposal goes through, a person will have to pass both the CPC and clinical test to earn a CPC certificate. My comment on this is to give those that presently have an "A" designation the option to keep it, as long as they earn their required CEUs. Due to coding specialties, there are some coders that have a hard time passing the CPC exam. This is mostly because they are conditioned to being thorough and run out of time to finish the exam or because they are not as familiar with other specialty areas. I cannot imagine how an apprentice will be able to ever pass a 20 question "free-form" test, or a "specialty coder" for that matter. It is setting apprentices up for failure. It is hard enough to break into the coding profession at this time but come 2013, with ICD-10 coming down the road, coders will once again be in demand. I feel that when I chose and paid for the college classes, AAPC classes, and passed the CPC exam to become a coder, it was an investment in my future. With this proposal I have been mislead and feel I have wasted money. Money that I really didn't have to spare. I am presently the secretary of our local AAPC chapter and have future plans to attend seminars for training on ICD-10. Although I graduated with a 3.92 GPA, I know I will not be able to pass a free-form clinical test. My last question is; if this proposal goes through, will there be a refund for those of us that paid for the AAPC class and exam and did everything that was required to earn a CPC-A per the curriculum, but will no longer have a valid certificate, due to these changes?