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CEU Information - Members

The following are AAPC's Continuing Education Unit (CEU) policies, requirements, resources to help you locate approved AAPC CEU opportunities and tools to manage your continuing education.

 

CEUs Required to Maintain Credential(s)

Number of Certifications: Number of CEUs:

One Certification:

36 CEUs every two years

  • If CIRCC®, 16 must be related to interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding
  • If CPMA®, 16 must be related to auditing
  • If CPCO™, 16 must be related to compliance
  • If CPPM®, 36 must be related to practice management
  • If a specialty, 8 must be specialty specific

Two Certifications:

40 CEUs every two years*

Three Certifications:

44 CEUs every two years*

Four Certifications:

48 CEUs every two years*

Five or More Certifications:

52 CEUs every two years*

*Specific Credential Requirements:

  • If CIRCC®, 16 must be related to interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding
  • If CPMA®, 16 must be related to auditing
  • If CPCO™, 16 must be related to compliance
  • If CPPM®, 16 must be related to practice management
  • 8 must be specialty specific for each specialty earned

Note: Events must be specifically pre-approved for CIRCC®, CPMA®, CPCO™, CPPM®, and all specialty credentials, based on relevance and level of difficulty, in order to be eligible for CEUs.

Once CIRCC®, CPMA®, CPCO™, CPPM® and specialty CEUs have been met, the remaining credits due can be obtained from any pre-approved program.

If CEUs have been pro-rated due to a corporate membership addition, this may exceed the cap of 80 CEUs every two years.

Effective October 1, 2012, pre-approved Specialty CEUs can be applied toward one Specialty and one Core credential concurrently. Click here for more details.

Pay membership every year and submit your CEUs online via the CEU Tracker every other year.
CEUs are reported every two years on or before your membership due date. You must pay your dues every year, even on a year when you are not required to report CEUs. The year that your CEUs are due is based on the month of your membership*:

If your membership is due in the months below, two years of CEUs are due on your membership expiration date in 2015

  • January
  • March
  • May
  • July
  • September
  • November

If your membership is due in the months below, two years of CEUs are due on your membership expiration date in 2016

  • February
  • April
  • June
  • August
  • October
  • December

*If you are newly certified, CEUs will likely be pro-rated to match your existing renewal month for your first submission. CEUs earned prior to certification will not be accepted.


  • CEUs must come from the AAPC Approved CEU Vendor List.
  • CEUs must be earned and submitted within your two-year renewal period*. Excess CEUs do not carry over to the next renewal period.
  • CEUs earned within your renewal month can apply to either the current submission or the next
  • AAPC awards all CEUs based on completion date except for Healthcare Business Monthly Test Yourself quizzes, which are awarded based on publication date (be sure to only use issues from your specific timeframe).
  • Effective April 30, 2012, AAPC will charge a $50 CEU extension fee. To avoid this extension fee, stay current on your CEUs and submit them on time. If a CEU extension is needed at the end of your renewal period, please contact AAPC to purchase your extension. CEUs earned after your due date will be limited to AAPC education.
  • Twenty-five percent of all CEU submissions will continue to be randomly selected for verification. Members should maintain their CEU certificates on file for at least six months beyond their renewal date so the evidence is on hand should he or she be selected for CEU verification.
    • AAPC accepts unaltered copies of the original PDF certificate. You will need to submit supporting documents ONLY if you are asked to.
    • If you are randomly selected to submit your supporting CEU documentation please note that all certificates of approval must contain the index number (pre-approved by AAPC), name of sponsoring organization, title of program attended, number of CEUs approved, and date of program.
  • CEUs earned prior to certification will not be accepted.

*If you are newly certified or if you have been added to a corporate membership, your renewal period may differ from the standard two years.

Twenty-five percent of all CEU submissions will continue to be randomly selected for verification. Members should maintain their CEU certificates on file for at least six months beyond their renewal date so the evidence is on hand should he or she be selected for CEU verification.

Verification Requirements

  • AAPC accepts unaltered copies of the original PDF certificate. You will need to submit supporting documents ONLY if you are asked to.
  • If you are randomly selected to submit your supporting CEU documentation please note that all certificates of approval must contain the index number (pre-approved by AAPC), name of sponsoring organization, title of program attended, number of CEUs approved, and date of program.
  • You can view a list of items submitted online in your CEU Tracker under the Previously Submitted tab. Click Details next to the most recent submission.
  • It is not required to submit proof of AAPC education that is automatically entered into your CEU Tracker. This might include Healthcare Business Monthly Test Yourself exercises, pre- and post-quizzes from webinars or workshops and ICD-10-CM Anatomy & Pathophysiology modules. These items will be listed in blue and are links to the certificates.

CEUs must come from the AAPC Approved CEU Vendor List. There are only a few exceptions*:

CMS Sponsored Events (not eligible for specialty required CEUs)*

  • CEUs for CMS-sponsored webinars and workshops are accepted by AAPC at a rate of one CEU per hour. These CEUs may come from CMS national or MAC offices. A certificate of attendance or completion with the CMS logo is necessary to show participation.
  • If you have attended or are planning to attend one of CMS’ National Provider Conference Calls, you should be aware that CMS does not provide certificates of attendance for these calls. Instead, the AAPC will accept your emailed confirmation and call description as proof of participation.

AHIMA Sponsored Events (not eligible for specialty required CEUs)*

  • CEUs are accepted from programs sponsored by AHIMA national offices and the state or regional AHIMA branches. One hour of instruction is worth one CEU. We also honor CEUs from AHIMA for online self assessments. A certificate of attendance or completion is necessary to show participation.
  • AAPC does not accept CEUs from other entities that offer “AHIMA approved” CEUs. These organizations must apply separately for AAPC CEUs and receive an AAPC index number and CEU value. For example: ABC Company sponsors a coding event and applies for CEUs through AHIMA. This event would also need AAPC approval in order to qualify for AAPC CEUs.

CMEs and AMA PRA Category 1 credits for CEUs*

  • AAPC will honor 1.0-for-1.0 CEUs for any live event offering CME credit or AMA PRA Category 1 credit. A certificate of attendance or completion listing the total CMEs possible for the offering is necessary to show participation. Physicians are advised to claim only the actual hours that they were present during the education. We ask that AAPC-certified members abide by this request also. One hour of instruction is worth one CEU.

Post Secondary Education (not eligible for specialty required CEUs)*

  • If a student currently holds an AAPC certification, AAPC will accept time spent in post-secondary education programs. This includes diploma and degree-granting programs that relate to health care, health care business, health care finance and health care management. Each CEU is earned based on transcripts showing the “clock hours” or “credit hours.” Clock hour CEUs are earned at the rate of 1 CEU per clock hour, and should be no less than 80 hours. Credit hours are earned at a rate of 10 CEUs per credit hour. In either case, the maximum number of CEUs that can be earned in this manner is 40 hours per year.

*If completed education doesn’t fit into one of these categories, CEUs will not be accepted.

Healthcare Business Monthly


AAPC offers 1.0 CEU for completing the test in each Healthcare Business Monthly for a total of 12 CEUs per year.

Please note: CEUs earned from the Healthcare Business Monthly publications are counted based on the issue date, not date of completion (be sure to only use issues from your specific timeframe).

Authorship CEUs

  • CEUs are offered to people who are not employed/contracted with the publication (Healthcare Business Monthly) and who are not being paid for the work performed
  • CEUs are awarded to authors of articles published in the Healthcare Business Monthly, regardless of general/specialty orientation

Our membership relies on authors of the Healthcare Business Monthly to be the most knowledgeable coders in their profession.

  • To be considered as an author for Healthcare Business Monthly, submit the entire article, proofed and ready for publication, to AAPC
  • Authors will be notified via email whether or not their articles are selected for publication
  • Authors will be notified in which Healthcare Business Monthly issues their articles will be published
  • Authors will receive a CEU certificate after the article is published

CEUs will be awarded according to a word count of the final polished article. Word count increments are as follows:

  • 500 - 999 words = 0.5 CEU
  • 1000 - 1999 words = 1 CEU
  • 2000 words plus = 1.5 CEUs

No more than 1.5 CEUs can be awarded for a single article. Word count considers only your own curriculum, not links to source documents that can be accessed from the article.

  • CEUs are awarded in 0.5 increments
  • An article awarded 1.5 CEUs can be split equally between 3 authors
  • An article earning 1 CEU can be split equally between 2 authors

NOTE: What will make your article stand out from the rest?

  • Pick a topic in which you have expertise, appropriate specialties will be assigned to the education
  • Narrow the topic so that you can cover it well in the space allowed. For example, instead of writing about “Coding Obstetrics” consider narrowing down the topic to “Ultrasound and Medical Necessity in Pregnancy.” That way, you can cover it thoroughly
  • Remember our readers live across the country. Refrain from focusing on local coverage issues or concerns
  • Read your Healthcare Business Monthly regularly so you know what’s already been covered and can get a feel for what sort of topics are selected.
  • Keep your sentences short and use your spellcheck. Have a coworker review your work for clinical accuracy
  • Cite your sources and quote experts in the field in your article to give it a professional edge

Core Educational Content
CEUs must be comprised primarily of core educational content (Curriculum A) to show competency. Curriculum A is something that AAPC credentialed members do at the core of their day-to-day practice. As such, APPROVED Curriculum A CEUs must comprise no less than 66% (2/3) of the total CEUs earned per CEU period

Curriculum A

Coding/Billing

  • CPT®
  • ICD-9-CM (Vol. 1-3)
  • ICD-10
  • HCPCS
  • Coding & Billing Policy & Procedure

Clinical

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Pharmacy
  • Pathophysiology

Compliance

  • Compliance Auditing
  • Compliance Planning
  • Self Reporting
  • Compliance Training

Regulatory

  • Medicare Regulations
  • Medicaid Regulations
  • OIG Work Plan
  • MS Transmittals
  • Teaching Regulations
  • NCDs/LCDs

Data/Claims

  • Data Management
  • A/R Management
  • Appeals
  • Revenue Cycle

Insurer

  • Payer Contract Negotiations

Related educational content (Curriculum B), includes professional self improvement and topics not core to a member’s certification. As a result, APPROVED Curriculum B can comprise no more than 33% (1/3) of the total CEUs earned per year. For example, if one core credential is held, 12 of the 36 total CEUs due every two years may be from Curriculum B.

Curriculum B

Professional Self Improvement

  • Communication Skills
  • Management Skills
  • Time Management
  • Stress Management
  • Employee Issues
  • OSHA
  • Workers Compensation Benefits
  • JCAHO

Noted Exception: As the topics under Curriculum B are core responsibilities of a practice management, these limitations are not enforced for the CPPM® certification.

For more details about current CEU guidelines for member requests please click here. Preapproval for CEUs submitted by members are for Professional Self Improvement (Curriculum B) CEUs only.

For commonly asked questions about member requested CEU applications and the approval process please click here. For members to apply for Curriculum B CEUs only click here.

For members to apply for Curriculum B CEUs only click here.

CEUs Required to Maintain Credential(s)

Number of Certifications: Number of CEUs:

One Certification:

36 CEUs every two years

  • If CIRCC®, 16 must be related to interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding
  • If CPMA®, 16 must be related to auditing
  • If CPCO™, 16 must be related to compliance
  • If CPPM®, 36 must be related to practice management
  • If a specialty, 8 must be specialty specific

Two Certifications:

40 CEUs every two years*

Three Certifications:

44 CEUs every two years*

Four Certifications:

48 CEUs every two years*

Five or More Certifications:

52 CEUs every two years*

*Specific Credential Requirements:

  • If CIRCC®, 16 must be related to interventional radiology or cardiovascular coding
  • If CPMA®, 16 must be related to auditing
  • If CPCO™, 16 must be related to compliance
  • If CPPM®, 16 must be related to practice management
  • 8 must be specialty specific for each specialty earned

Note: Events must be specifically pre-approved for CIRCC®, CPMA®, CPCO™, CPPM®, and all specialty credentials, based on relevance and level of difficulty, in order to be eligible for CEUs.

Once CIRCC®, CPMA®, CPCO™, CPPM® and specialty CEUs have been met, the remaining credits due can be obtained from any pre-approved program.

Specialty Policy
Events must be specifically pre-approved for CIRCC®, CPMA®, CPCO™, CPPM®, and all specialty credentials, based on relevance and level of difficulty, in order to be eligible for CEUs.

Members who hold both a CPC, CPC-H, CPC-P, CPB, CPMA, or CPCO credential (hereafter defined as core credentials) and one or more specialty credentials will now (effective for renewals due after October 1, 2012) be able to apply earned, pre-approved specialty CEUs to their core credential CEU requirements. AAPC is approving this because specialty approved CEUs are also approved for core credentials. This should save members time and money in the future. The CEU Tracker will be modified to easily enable the recording of CEUs.

Details

  • Pre-approved specialty CEUs, effective October 1, 2012, can be applied to one specialty and one core credential concurrently.
  • Specialty CEUs can be applied to core credentials (CPC, CPC-H, CPC-P, CPB, CPMA, and CPCO); core CEUs cannot be applied to specialty credentials because they are not specialty approved.
    • Any pre-approved specialty CEUs can be applied to the CPC, CPC-H, CPC-P or CPB.
    • Specialty CEUs applied to the CPMA or CPCO must be pre-approved for both the specialty and CPMA or CPCO credentials, respectively.
    • The member is still required to meet the 16 required CEUs relative to and pre-approved for the CPMA and CPCO credentials.
  • Core CEUs cannot be applied to multiple core credentials.
  • Specialty CEUs cannot be applied to the CPPM credential.
  • Specialty CEUs cannot be used simultaneously toward another specialty credential CEU requirement.
  • There is a minimum requirement of 36 unique education hours spent for any combination of credentials held.
  • Total CEUs due (every 2 years) remain the same as in the current policy:
    • 36 CEUs for one core or specialty credential
    • 40 CEUs for two credentials (8 in specialty if one is specialty or 16 if one is CPMA, CIRCC or CPCO)
    • 44 CEUs for three credentials (8 in specialty if one is specialty or 16 if one is CIRCC, CPMA or CPCO)
    • 48 CEUs for four credentials (8 in specialty if one is specialty or 16 if one is CPMA, CIRCC or CPCO)
    • 52 CEUs for five or more credentials (8 in specialty if one is specialty or 16 if one is CPMA, CIRCC or CPCO)