Is the July 1st date, and set requirements for apprentice status removal, still set to take place? What is the status of this issue? Thank you in advance for any information. -Nick
The following is a shortened version of an article from the AAPC Coding Edge magazine January 2012 issue written by Reed E. Pew, AAPC Chairman and CEO.
Effective July 1, 2012, the CPC-A credential will no longer be granted. All current CPC-As would have their â€śAâ€ť removed by doing one of the following:
1. Getting at least one year of on-the-job experience no later than 12/31/2013, (helpful to those with a job and currently working towards that end)
2. Successfully passing a clinical exam consisting of coding 20 operative/office notes.
3. No current CPC-A would be grandfathered into the CPC credential.
Those taking the CPC exam after July 1, 2012 will have two ways to get their CPC credential:
1. Have one year of coding experience prior to taking the CPC exam with proof given at the time of the exam, and then pass the CPC exam or
2. Pass both the CPC exam and a clinical exam by coding 20 operative/office notes.
On the job experience after taking the CPC exam will not be required. It does not matter in which order the two exams are taken.
The clinical exam will include a sampling of office visits, surgical notes, E/M coding, ancillary services, modifier usage, and diagnosis coding. A 90% pass rate on the clinical exam will be required and will be determined by correctly coding 18 of the 20 notes. The clinical exam will not be multiple choice, it will be free form and hand graded. The same 5 hours and 40 minutes time restriction and code books will be allowed, and the clinical exam can be taken at any AAPC proctored exam site.
Both exams will be paid for at the same time and the cost for both exams will increase by $35. Applicants may still take each exam twice to pass it. If the examinee already has one year experience, then he or she would pay only the CPC exam price. If one exam is passed after two attempts, but not the other, then the fee for the exam not passed would be paid to retake it.
Of course, current CPCs are not affected by this change. We would appreciate comments to this important change to our credentialing program through 1/31/2012. You may go to www.aapc.com/cpc-acomment to submit your comment. From those comments, we will either proceed ahead, make modifications that strengthen the change, or slow down the change due to legitimate concerns that AAPC has not properly considered.
To me this sounds promising. Though I'm not looking forward to spending a total of over 11 hours of testing time and paying for two exams, but whatever it takes and hopefully it'll better help me reach my goals. Iâ€™m not fond of the $35 increase of the CPC exam price, and they donâ€™t mention how much the clinical exam will be, either.
Iâ€™m presuming AAPC has terminated the "Virtual Experience: Apprentice Removal" program. I was seriously thinking of signing up for that, but now am glad I didnâ€™t. I feel badly for those that started that program and were unable to complete it because AAPC brought the programâ€™s website down sometime last year. I would hope AAPC would recognize those that started it and give them some sort of credit towards this new clinical exam, at least financially.
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