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AHIMA compared to CPC ?

  1. Default
    Exam Training Packages
    Hi Kevin,

    I agree with your statement, "I also encourage AAPC to promote the CPC-P and CPC-H credentials." I have seen only one job postings that requires the CPC-P credential. Other than that most employers don't even know what it is. I am a CPC-P as well and I thought that obtaining the crdential would somehow be beneficial to me, but so far I am not seeing how it is benefiting me. I hope that it will in the long run.

    As far as the CCS exam, do you have any pointers or recommendations for study guides? In your opinion, what is the difficulty level of the CCS exam? I am waiting on my ATT letter and would like to be studying in the mean time.

    Thanks,
    Nikky, CPC, CPC-P

  2. #12
    Location
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Posts
    121
    Default
    As far as I know, the CPC-H is for outpatient hospital coding and CCS is for inpatient. CCS test is very hard and complicated. You better study hard before taking it. It has 2 sections. The first section has multiple questions and you have only 60 minutes to finish 60 questions, so that's 1 minute per question. And the second part has 2 sections. It has inpatient and outpatient cases for you to code. I failed the 1st part by 1 point and was pissed off .
    I am planning to take it again next month. It is hard. Unlike the CPC test, this one you can't guess the answers. You have to know what you are doing.
    I am sorry if I dissapointed you, it's just it is a very tricky test. I would encourage you to study hard for it before spending your 300 dollars.
    P.S. this month AHIMA has a special 10% off for CCS test. Hurry up and get registered while you can save.
    Good luck,
    Lilit
    CPC CCS
    "The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure."

  3. Default
    I used PRG - Delmar now publishes it. It was very good.
    www.emarketing.cengage.com/2008PRG.html
    AHIMA also offers a coding exercise book (check out their site ahima.org). I don't know how that is but it might be worth a look.

    Janet Mohlenhoff, RHIA, CCS

  4. Default AHIMA compared to AAPC
    I have both CCS and CPC certifications. I can tell you, if I had a coice of taking the AAPC exam or the AHIMA exam again,( not that I want to put myself through that hell ever again) hands down I would take the CPC exam. CPC exam is multiple choice and the answer is right in front of you, you just have to find it and if you are a good guesser, you have some odds in your favor. CCS exam, like the previous post, is in 2 sections. First is multiple choice, but here's the kicker, if you do not pass the first part you do not get to take the second part. The second part is inpatient and outpatient where you must provide the answer (no multiple choice). You are given points for correct answers, but if you have an incorrect code they will take points away. So that exam, I found to be much harder. Also, you have to remember that inpatient and outpatient coding have different guidelines, so you really should have at least a year of inpatient coding experience.

  5. #15
    Location
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Posts
    121
    Default
    I wish I knew that I failed the first part so I didn't have to take the second part (the coding). They don't tell you if you did or didn't pass the first part before going to the second part. I agree, it is a lot harder and I hate to think about it that I need to take it again. Good luck!
    CPC CCS
    "The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure."

  6. #16
    Location
    Woodland Hills (Los Angeles), California
    Posts
    94
    Wink
    It seems like the odds are against us. They're making it very difficult for us to get "our foot in the door." I guess it will be years, unless a miracle occurs, before I get a coding job. That's too bad for me, because "time is not on my side."

    Now I have to think about getting AHIMA certification. All these hurdles are making my secular life extremely difficult for me.

  7. #17
    Location
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Posts
    121
    Default
    Oh, I am sorry to hear that.
    Defenetly get the CCS, and you'll see how many doors will open in front of you.
    I do have my CPC since 2006, but still am working to get my CCS because it's extremely important.
    P.S. Do not stress out over this. Be positive, and look for it. If you don't find today, tomorrow, next month, you will defenetly find a job after 7,8 months.
    Good luck!
    CPC CCS
    "The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure."

  8. #18
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,101
    Default Be Careful
    Do no think for even a minute that the CCS will make employers flock to you. I had the same impression: this certification will solve all my "problems." Guess what? It didn't.

    Luckily, I found my employment home before I sat for the CCS. Still, if you are expecting three more letters behind your name to drastically change your circumstances, I doubt you'll be pleased with the results. Although I encourage folks to challenge themselves, it's unrealistic to have reliance on something that can't do the work for you.

    The main point is that the hurdles don't end with gaining credentials, they're daily occurances. If you're serious about a career in coding or HIM, then you really have to be committed to the long haul. If you feel faint of heart at hearing that, perhaps this isn't the industry for you.

    Good luck to all.

  9. #19
    Location
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Posts
    121
    Default
    Hi Kevin, it's always nice to hear your opinions.

    I have to disagree with you becaue the CCS and RHIT is what all the hospitals are looking for. Last year I moved to NY and was looking for a job, with my experience I couldn't get any job in the hospitals because wherever I went, they wanted me to have AHIMA certification. I went to lots of places, took lots of tests, but still, it took me 3 months to find a job. I did, but not in any hospitals because hospitals did want their coders to have passed the AHIMA CCS exam.

    This was my experience and I wanted to share with you.

    Lilit
    CPC CCS
    "The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure."

  10. #20
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,101
    Default Clarification
    I'm not disputing that there are benefits to having credentials from AHIMA.

    However, what I'm advising is not to carry unreasonable expectations. I've worked in Woodland Hills, CA area before in a hospital environment; I know what the market leanings are for IP coders . . . it's just common sense not to put all your bets on a single event.

    Experiences are subjective, Lilit. I know for a fact there are hospitals and similar health networks that hire coders without their carrying AHIMA credentials. I have nothing against AHIMA--I'm a proud member. However, this goes back to what I've preached before: encouraging the acceptance of AAPC credentials in all healthcare settings.

    I just want to make sure I'm being clear.

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