As someone who has spent the last four years gearing up for ICD-10, I have to say that I do understand everyone's frustration regarding the money spent as we implement this transition. However, I hope that you all think of your certifications as proof of your professional expertise, and consider the administrative costs as well as the operational costs of such an immense project as being not only necessary but reasonable. I do understand that it's a financial burden for unemployed coders, or those who work for practices who choose not to assist their coders with education. However, I'm also surprised to learn how many of these coders do not take advantage of their local chapters, where they can learn and network at the same time. Our chapter asks for a $10.00 fee to cover the luncheon and room, but the last three out-of-town chapter meetings I attended (no lunch) were absolutely free. And there were fewer than 20 people attending each of those three meetings. It's hard for me to understand why more coders don't take advantage of this resource and then complain about training costs.
Let's think about other industries--your car mechanic has to attend training (not free) to keep up to date on the new technology that rolls off the assembly line each year new models are introduced. We certainly want our cars to be safe and reliable, so wouldn't we expect our mechanics to know what they're doing?
Also in healthcare, clinicians have to stay up to date on new technology, new care models and changes in healthcare delivery. This ongoing training (again, not free) is essential to continue to provide quality care.
It escapes me why we cannot seem to see the value of our CPC certifications in the very same way we respect the knowledge and experience in other fields. I am not so entitled that I think the AAPC should provide me with everything necessary to maintain my very own job. It is my responsibility to insure that I take care of myself and my career. I need to do this, plain and simple.
With that, I certainly cannot and will not complain about the relatively small amount of cash I have to spend to retain my expertise in my chosen field. It would be a lot more costly for me to lose my job or to become unemployable.
Pam Brooks, MHA, CPC, PCS, COC
Dover, NH 03820
If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney