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Elimination of “A” Designation: The Apprentice designation is not needed anymore

  1. Default
    Medical Coding Books
    Quote Originally Posted by espressoguy View Post
    The part you quoted about what happens after July 1st is just a proposal at this time. To the best of my knowledge nothing official has been stated. Based on the comments here and elsewhere, I would be surprised if the proposal goes into effect exactly as it was outlined in the January Coding Edge.

    Even if it did, the new proposal makes no mention of substituting classroom for on the job experience, as is the case currently.
    The issue that I take is that the requirements now being considered are game changers for some of us.
    We only needed one year of verified employment in the field.
    The education was counted as satisfactory enough to constitute one of the two years of "experience" necessary.
    If only one year is necessary at the possible July date, then those who have those minimum 80 hours should receive the benefit of that education"as advertised."
    In other words, if the education is still being considered as constituting one year of experience today, why should that change in July?

    Mind you, I've got my time in.
    To consider those who have obtained the educational requirements and successfully passed the CPC Certification Exam as now needing to pass another exam and discounting their education is a tad unfair.

  2. #142
    Default Help
    I have been in a catch 22 for about a year. I passed my CPC at first attempt because I did go to school and study hard. I am not financially able to pay for yet another exam that will not gaurantee me employment. I have been out of work for some time so just renewing my certification was costly for me, but what choice did I have? Let my hard earned credential lapse and lose all that time and money already spent? I sent letters out to all medical offices and hospitals in my area asking to intern just for the experience but have had no bites. People want experience. I have the credential and schooling, but no on the job experience so no one wants to give me a chance even for free due to "liability" reasons. I can't help but feel scammed by a system designed to protect the veterans with job security. What do I do now? Can some experienced coders please offer some advise as to how to break into the field? I am one of those people on assistance that desperately wants my life back. I not only need employment, I want one so I no longer feel like a charity case. I am capable of working and should be. HELP!

  3. Default
    I'm not paying to renew my membership. I'm not paying to take another test. This is ridiculous. I passes this exam on the first try, not only this test, but also the NCICS (National certified insurance and coding specialist) test on the first try. Am I working in my field of study? NO!! With that being said, I am done!!

  4. Smile Credential Loss
    As others, I am a little distressed over the A elimination. I have felt that it is not the "A" that has kept me from employment consideration, but rather the lack of experience. I have applied for employment stringently since passing the CPC exam with minimal success. I just do not have the "hands-on" experience. Passing a 20 question exam is not going to give me this experience either. Not to say that the exam would not be a beneficial experience, but to use it as a criteria for A removal and charge money for it, denigrates the credential. In other words, fee for a service which does not expand time-in-grade or experience.

    My biggest concern - losing my credential. I worked very hard completing the AAPC independent study course, additional studying for and passing the exam. Does this mean that if I don't complete one year and/or sit for exam, I will lose my credential?

    Concerned

  5. #145
    Default
    Has anyone thought about those students who graduate with a Bachelor's degree and then go on to get a Master's degree? Most students will graduate only to find out that they cannot find a job after they've completed 6-8 years of college and also have the tremendous burden of student loan repayments staring them in the face. I think that, as coders, we have it easy. We don't even have to have a college education to get a job yet we work with many professionals who have high level college educations. I think the AAPC must hold us to a higher standard and if that means working as a coder for a year or taking two tests, then so be it! Coders MUST be knowledgeable about the medical field and if a newly credentialed CPC goes into a medical office with no experience, they are going to be totally lost. Especially if they went through a terrible program like I did. I learned how to code on the job and through my own research and experience, not in class. Real life is nothing like the AAPC certified classes that I have heard of or experienced myself. Ask a newly credentialed CPC with no experience how to explain a consult clearly to a physician who has been practicing for 30 years. I believe that we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard because of the field we work in. We affect patients medical records for the rest of their lives and can potentially cost physcians their jobs if we teach them to code incorrectly. I had to have a year of coding experience after I received my CPC-A and I think that was totally fair. I worked hard to find a job and I worked hard to learn as much as I could while on the job. I feel very strongly that we have to look at our careers just like any other student would look at a career. When you are just starting out, you may have to start at the bottom and work your way up. That's life!
    Chrissy, CPC

  6. #146
    Location
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Posts
    641
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by terrahbooks@yahoo.com View Post
    I have been in a catch 22 for about a year. I passed my CPC at first attempt because I did go to school and study hard. I am not financially able to pay for yet another exam that will not gaurantee me employment. I have been out of work for some time so just renewing my certification was costly for me, but what choice did I have? Let my hard earned credential lapse and lose all that time and money already spent? I sent letters out to all medical offices and hospitals in my area asking to intern just for the experience but have had no bites. People want experience. I have the credential and schooling, but no on the job experience so no one wants to give me a chance even for free due to "liability" reasons. I can't help but feel scammed by a system designed to protect the veterans with job security. What do I do now? Can some experienced coders please offer some advise as to how to break into the field? I am one of those people on assistance that desperately wants my life back. I not only need employment, I want one so I no longer feel like a charity case. I am capable of working and should be. HELP!
    terrahbooks,

    While I sincerely applaud your schooling and certification, I take issue with your comment about feeling scammed to protect veterans with job security. Who scammed you? Who promised you a job, was it the "veterans" or was it the school that wanted your money? I think your anger and/or frustration is misplaced. Many veteran coders have given advice for seeking jobs in previous posts, if you and the others would care to search for those posts. I hesitate to offer advice again, as I think a lot of senior coders do, not because we don't want to help, but because we got tired of being trashed ALL the time for being "condescending, patronizing, etc." We offered good, solid advice, but because a lot of newbies didn't seem to want to start at the bottom, or work for a billing service, or any of the other suggestions we offered (the same things that many of us "veterans" started with), we were continuously told that we were offensive, patronizing and condescending, demeening, among other things, some of them very rude as well. I know many veteran coders and we have all worked very hard to get where we are. There also seems to be a lot of newbies saying that with ICD-10, it will level the playing field. This also is not entirely correct, as the veterans have the additional knowledge that most schools don't teach, and that is how the insurance and billing process works, how rule-making at CMS works, and many other things that won't change with ICD-10. Yes, there will be some adjustments to some of those rules and practices, but for the most part, that kind of knowledge is learned on the job and by experience. I don't want to start another debate here, but I personally think someone should have to have two years experience prior to sitting for your certification. I believe many schools and courses have done many people a disservice (maybe not all) by "promising" you a job, working from home and making boocoo bucks. Its really not fair. I also know many veterans on here that have tried to offer the advice to check with some physician offices in your area and see if what the schools are promising is correct. Talk to other coders (or those in any other profession you may be interested in) and find out from them what it takes to get hired in your area. Also, not all veteran coders are able to assist newbies. I have mentored several newbies in the past when I was able to, and my current employer has internship, but not everyone is in that position. And just to let you know, I remember where I came from, I remember how hard I worked to jump to the next level!!

    Again, Kudos on your education and initative!
    Machelle Morningstar, CPC, COC, CEMC, COSC
    AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

  7. #147
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by pamps76@yahoo.com View Post
    None of this really makes ANY sense to me. I graduated from an AAPC- approved 1 yr. rigorous coding school 1 yr. ago. At the same time, I was/am pursuing an A.S. degree in Health Information Technology (will graduate in May and then take the RHIT exam). I passed the AAPC certification exam as a CPC-A. I have been very diligent trying to get any experience to get rid of the "A" on the end. I have tried to participate in the Apprentice program that AAPC offers, with the closest office being 45 minutes away from me and they had nothing available for me. My question to ALL seasoned coders, hiring managers, etc.. is how do we gain experience (and therefore get rid of the "A" on our credential) if no one is willing to hire non-experienced coders??? You can't get experience if you don't have any experience!!! It is highly FRUSTRATING!!!!! Passing the CPC exam was grueling in and of its self only to be "awarded" with a credential that means nothing...and even less than nothing if you have the scarlet "A' attached. Woopee, now I get to pay more money, and take yet another test to get rid of the "A".....and guess what, still no experience, so still NO JOB!!!!!

    I am highly-motivated and generally possess a positive attitude, but this whole thing really rubs me the wrong way!!! Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Happy New Year!!
    You may want to check with AAPC and see if your degree class for RHIT can be counted as time towards your experiance. Back in "06" mine did. I didn't want to get the CPC-A
    so I used my school (AAS HIM) they gave me one year of time for this (because of my class structure) and one year for my fist year of employment after finishing school.
    CPC, COSC

  8. #148
    Default Well said my friend :)
    Quote Originally Posted by mmorningstarcpc View Post
    terrahbooks,

    While I sincerely applaud your schooling and certification, I take issue with your comment about feeling scammed to protect veterans with job security. Who scammed you? Who promised you a job, was it the "veterans" or was it the school that wanted your money? I think your anger and/or frustration is misplaced. Many veteran coders have given advice for seeking jobs in previous posts, if you and the others would care to search for those posts. I hesitate to offer advice again, as I think a lot of senior coders do, not because we don't want to help, but because we got tired of being trashed ALL the time for being "condescending, patronizing, etc." We offered good, solid advice, but because a lot of newbies didn't seem to want to start at the bottom, or work for a billing service, or any of the other suggestions we offered (the same things that many of us "veterans" started with), we were continuously told that we were offensive, patronizing and condescending, demeening, among other things, some of them very rude as well. I know many veteran coders and we have all worked very hard to get where we are. There also seems to be a lot of newbies saying that with ICD-10, it will level the playing field. This also is not entirely correct, as the veterans have the additional knowledge that most schools don't teach, and that is how the insurance and billing process works, how rule-making at CMS works, and many other things that won't change with ICD-10. Yes, there will be some adjustments to some of those rules and practices, but for the most part, that kind of knowledge is learned on the job and by experience. I don't want to start another debate here, but I personally think someone should have to have two years experience prior to sitting for your certification. I believe many schools and courses have done many people a disservice (maybe not all) by "promising" you a job, working from home and making boocoo bucks. Its really not fair. I also know many veterans on here that have tried to offer the advice to check with some physician offices in your area and see if what the schools are promising is correct. Talk to other coders (or those in any other profession you may be interested in) and find out from them what it takes to get hired in your area. Also, not all veteran coders are able to assist newbies. I have mentored several newbies in the past when I was able to, and my current employer has internship, but not everyone is in that position. And just to let you know, I remember where I came from, I remember how hard I worked to jump to the next level!!

    Again, Kudos on your education and initative!
    Very well put Machelle! I do believe you speak for the vast majority of us "seasoned/veteran" coders.

    Kudos to you for speaking up!
    Roxanne Thames CPC, CPC-I, CEMC
    rthamescpci@gmail.com


    "Remember the greatest gift is not found in the store but in the heart of true friends"

  9. #149
    Location
    Phoenix/Scottsdale
    Posts
    139
    Default
    I really am apprehensive to chime in on this thread/subject however, I will. I was in the field for about 10 years before I was interested in coding. It was not until then that I decided to go and become certified. That is the way it should be. You have to learn all aspects of the medical field and insurance and laws, regulations, etc. before just "taking a test" to become a credentialed coder. Most of the people who cannot break into the field are those who decided to get into this field thinking they would make quick, lucrative cash. You have to love a profession/field or calling before you go into it and call it your own or make a living from it. This, I believe, is where the difference is. How do you know you want something that you have never done before? Just because you MAY get to work from home (which is not always what is is cracked up to be) or to make 50,000.00 a year. It takes many , many years of blood, sweat and tears to get where you want to be, not just three little letters after your name.
    Those who are certified, even with the A after it, Don't give up! Keep looking, learning and by all means, do not let your credential go.

    Sincerely,

    Kristin Felty CPC, CCC, CCVTC

  10. #150
    Default CPC-A designation
    I've had my "A" for almost 3 years. I went back to school in the Health Information Technology program at my college because there weren't any coding jobs, they were outsourcing, or they wanted 2-3 years experience. (Although, I think passing the certification exam should count as partial experience.)
    I had planned on taking the 800 question online exam when I finished my classes. But after learning about this exam, I was thrilled. I realize that a 90 percent will be required to pass, but I feel I have a better chance of doing so now then when I took the certification exam. The first coding classes I took weren't nearly as detailed as the ones I'm taking now. I hope this goes through.

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    By JCain350@aol.com in forum Medical Coding General Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-17-2012, 09:08 AM
  2. Apprentice designation
    By hmgriffith in forum Medical Coding General Discussion
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