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

  1. #41
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    38
    Default
    Medical Coding Books
    This has certainly been an interesting thread to follow! I have so many things to say... The Apprenticeship program has actually been very helpful to me. Maybe it is because I understood the whole process right at the beginning -- my instructors explained it all to us pretty early. I had no illusions of starting out in a high-level coding position. But if I didn't have the CPC-A, I doubt I would have been hired on with no experience to do insurance followup for a large practice. If I hadn't put in my time at that job, I would definitely never have gotten my current entry-level coding position.

    This was a huge career change, and it was a ton of work and sacrifice. $14-20? I've been more like $10-13 for the last two years. Low starting salaries aren't forever. My "A" will be coming off very soon -- I am gathering my documents for submission within the next few days. I guess I don't really care how they change the credentialling process from now on, but this program did work for me. I think it was intended for people just like me who enter the field with great enthusiasm but without much experience.

    That being said, I know from reading the forums that CPC-A hasn't worked for everyone. I think the market is rather saturated with inexperienced coders. It sounds like AAPC is trying to move away from that, and the idea of letting one's resume speak for itself is a good one.

    And if you can get a CPC credential without the A by coding 20 notes, that's a heck of a deal (even for $300). Care to guess how many I'll have coded to earn that distinction?

    Jennifer Reynard, CPC-A

  2. Default
    At least they get "experience" through doing an externship! We go to school and get the credential and then what?? I agree that most people do not have experience as coders, but HOW DO YOU GET EXPERIENCE if no one will give you a chance?? I am not arrogant nor stupid enough to think that I could code all scenarios or inpatient coding, but you have to start somewhere and given all the resources, software, encoders....and dare I say seasoned coders or HIT professionals that remember what it was like for them as a new coder to perhaps offer some guidance and assist in the training process?? How about this....in order to preserve your credential, it should be required that you mentor newly-credentialed coders. It's a win-win scenario. You, being a "seasoned" coder can brush up on things that you may have let slack by helping/guiding a new coder. This allows you to stay fresh and on point and helps a newbie at the same time!!

  3. Default CShaffer, CPC-A
    Pamps76,
    I think your idea for seasoned coders to help with training process, for the new coders, is a great idea. I think if the AAPC continued to offer the Apprentice Program, and offered the seasoned coders the ceus they need to maintain their credentials to help with the training and/or mentoring process, WOULD benefit all the way around! I beleive there are probably a few that would get on board with that idea, and it would be a great way to create the bond between those who "know their stuff", and those who are eager to learn from them. And it would definately give the new coders an insight on what is expected in "the real world".

  4. #44
    Location
    Northeast Kansas (NEKAAPC)
    Posts
    692
    Default
    While this is a great thread with many good ideas and also valid concerns, please remember you all need to express these comments through the link provided in the article.
    Brenda Edwards, CPC, CDEO, CPB, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC, CRC
    AAPC Fellow
    AAPC ICD-10-CM/PCS Training Expert


    Kindness is contagious-PASS IT ON!

  5. #45
    Location
    Ellenville, New York
    Posts
    1,177
    Default Coding Edge access here
    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards View Post
    While this is a great thread with many good ideas and also valid concerns, please remember you all need to express these comments through the link provided in the article.
    That is accessed from the home page, correct? I will copy what I wrote here to that link, but I am still old school when it comes to journals - still prefer to read the paper copy and that is where I read it and made my comments.

    Lance Smith, MPA, COC, CPMA, CEMC, RHIT, CCS-P, CHC, CHPC

    Director, Health Information Management
    HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley
    Kingston, NY


    2016 Secretary
    Ellenville, NY Local Chapter

  6. #46
    Location
    Northeast Kansas (NEKAAPC)
    Posts
    692
    Default
    www.aapc.com/cpc-acomment is the link in the article.
    Brenda Edwards, CPC, CDEO, CPB, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC, CRC
    AAPC Fellow
    AAPC ICD-10-CM/PCS Training Expert


    Kindness is contagious-PASS IT ON!

  7. #47
    Location
    Tacoma Washington Chapter
    Posts
    21
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards View Post
    While this is a great thread with many good ideas and also valid concerns, please remember you all need to express these comments through the link provided in the article.
    Great to remind everyone again. I had mentioned this in a previous post to leave comments on the link provided in the article in the Coding Edge.

  8. Default
    I was certified over a year ago and I decided to code the 800 notes that the AAPC offered to remove my Apprentice status. They shut down access to the notes due to complaints about how hard it was to code those notes. I received an email explaining that and was told that it would be revamped and then would be up and running again. When that did not happen in a timely manner I asked to be reimbursed and was sent a check. I am still wondering how I will remove my A, but feel better that they did reimburse me.

  9. Default
    I too have a CPC-A, but reading all these comments is making me quite upset. Had I known that it would be this difficult to get a job in this field, then I would've stuck to my previous profession as a medical technologist with 10+ years of experience. Whether you have the experience before or after taking the exam really isn't the point to me: it's getting the experience in the first place. Doing a job search made me realize that nobody is hiring if 1: you're not certified; 2: you don't have at least 1 year of experience. People here are talking about having experience before you take the CPC exam.... HOW DO YOU DO THAT???? iT'S A CATCH-22. Another sore point is that there are no internship programs even remotely close to where I live. Another thing: most jobs want the AHIMA certification, not AAPC.

    I couldn't even accept an internship right now because nobody is paying me even minimal wage to do it. I have 2 kids who would then require some daycare and after-school program; not to mention that I would need money for gas to get to the "job". How do I do that with no extra income?

  10. #50
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    265
    Default
    I had the great privilege yesterday of calling a CPC-A into my office and watching the excitement on her face as I offered her a coding position. I hired this person only one month ago into an entry level position which she was eager to accept. After only a few weeks of recognizing her positive attitude, eagerness to learn, dependability and work ethic, I was thrilled to be able to place her into the position she had hoped she would eventually move into. I will reiterate what so many have said in this thread. Keep a positive attitude, be willing to accept an entry level position and then show your employer you possess all of the above mentioned traits. All of the "seasoned" coders can repeat stories of starting at the bottom up. And we will all tell you that no matter how many years of experience we have, we continue to be challenged and to learn on a daily basis. The AAPC certainly has the best interest of its members at heart. We all need to remember that they have the incredible responsibility of maintaining the integrity of our professional organization so our credentials continue to be worth all the effort each of us put into obtaining them.
    Robin Zink, CPC, CPPM

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