MMA (Medicare Modernization Act) made it "mandatory" that contractors (formerly FIs) have certified coders at specified higher levels of the provider relations chain. As for how many adopted or implemented this mandate, or what time line they're being allowed, I do not know. Actually, I read something in '07 that posed the question of how many contractors are actually abiding by this regulation.
Regardless, MMA did not dictate anything like that on the provider side, just payers only. Hawaii did have something in place that required certification on the provider side, but right now any certification outside that state is by voluntary basis only.
With PPS, Pay for Performance and other CMS initiatives on their way, I do anticipate something like that happening one day. Certainly someone from the Academy (since we've got lobbyists) has more sound information than I, and will hopefully give us an article on that in the coming year.
It'd be nice to see us finally receive the same recognition as nursing staff and some allied health providers, as what we do is arcane to most folks and requires a certain level of expertise not readily available through other healthcare professionals. I guess just keep your fingers crossed????
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