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

  1. Default
    Exam Training Packages
    That is a good question. I have recently received my CPC-A. I can't find a position due to lack of experience. Not only do I have to fund my own training for the ICD-10 change, which is completely unaffordable, now I have the worry of losing everything I worked for because of the changes they are talking about now. I also have a huge loan hanging over my head for school. I feel sick with "what a big mistake I made?" I would love an opportunity to prove myself, but apparently that is not to be. I find this so frustrating. I really thought I would enjoy this field. It is not easy, but that is part of what I enjoyed about it.

  2. #82
    Location
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Posts
    641
    Default
    Very nicely said, Kevin!!! KUDOs for another great explanation!

    I think there is a lot of misunderstanding with some people in what the basics for each credential means. You, hopefully, cleared up some of that confusion!
    Machelle Morningstar, CPC, COC, CEMC, COSC
    AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

  3. Question The 80 hrs of classroom and 1 yr exp. to lift "A"
    The initial (current), requirements of ways to get your "A" removed stated that you have to have 2 years experience OR 80 hrs classroom plus 1 year experience on the job. I actually completely forgot that the 80 hrs of classroom, through an accredited school, was considered 1 of the years of experience needed. I was recently e-mailing my previous proffessor where I received my certification for the Medical Billing and Coding program, and she reminded me of this. I wanted to see if anyone could tell me what the other year of "on-the-job experience" should consist of?? Does it have to be a job specifically in coding, or can the experience be ANY job in the medical office? For example, would clinical experience, patient scheduling, receptionist, and medical insurance, be considered the experience needed for that 1 year plus the 80 hrs of schoolwork?? I am just wondering, because ALL of these particular jobs have been mentioned as "foot-in-the-door" jobs that could lead to a possible coding position?

  4. #84
    Default
    Consider a new grad who has school loans.
    AAPC membership $125
    CPC test $300
    Coding books $165 (approx)
    totaling $590.00
    PLUS
    Clinical exam coding 20 operative/office notes price unknown

    ALSO like one of the previous post, I too am a registered nurse, and with passing the state board exam was allowed to take care of sick people.

    I found the CPC exam challenging, and feel passing it should allow you to practice as a full CPC. Let employers decide if they want experience or not.

    Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinion.

  5. #85
    Smile
    Quote Originally Posted by machshaffer@aol.com View Post
    The initial (current), requirements of ways to get your "A" removed stated that you have to have 2 years experience OR 80 hrs classroom plus 1 year experience on the job. I actually completely forgot that the 80 hrs of classroom, through an accredited school, was considered 1 of the years of experience needed. I was recently e-mailing my previous proffessor where I received my certification for the Medical Billing and Coding program, and she reminded me of this. I wanted to see if anyone could tell me what the other year of "on-the-job experience" should consist of?? Does it have to be a job specifically in coding, or can the experience be ANY job in the medical office? For example, would clinical experience, patient scheduling, receptionist, and medical insurance, be considered the experience needed for that 1 year plus the 80 hrs of schoolwork?? I am just wondering, because ALL of these particular jobs have been mentioned as "foot-in-the-door" jobs that could lead to a possible coding position?
    Hi,

    I am pretty certian that the other year has to be in the area of coding, however, it can be done in any speciality that you choose.

    Hope that Helps!

    Christina, CPC

  6. #86
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    26
    Default Removal of Apprentice
    I hope I understand this correctly. Since I am a CPC-A right now, all I need is a year of experience and a letter from my employer stating that fact or do I still need 2 years of experience and 2 letters, one from the employer and one from a co worker. I am going by removal of A guidelines listed on the AAPC site. Any info would be most appreciated.
    Thanks
    Tracy Hecox, CPC
    thecox@summitps.com

  7. #87
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,087
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by TracyHecox View Post
    I hope I understand this correctly. Since I am a CPC-A right now, all I need is a year of experience and a letter from my employer stating that fact or do I still need 2 years of experience and 2 letters, one from the employer and one from a co worker. I am going by removal of A guidelines listed on the AAPC site. Any info would be most appreciated.
    Thanks
    Currently there is no change in what it takes to remove the A from your credential. There is a proposal being discussed to allow further testing to replace part of the requirement, but it is not yet official. So as of now, you still need either two years experience validated by an employer or 80 hours of classroom work and one year experience.
    Arlene J. Smith, CPC, CPMA, CEMC, COBGC

  8. #88
    Location
    Dover Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,971
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by kseifert View Post
    I found the CPC exam challenging, and feel passing it should allow you to practice as a full CPC. Let employers decide if they want experience or not.
    You are absolutely correct, and most employers consider experience very carefully when interviewing candidates for coding jobs. But remember......this whole initiative is coming down from the AAPC, who currently provides a credential to people who may (or may not) have taken a community-college course in billing or coding, who may never have set foot into a physician's billing office, and who have been, over the past few years, communicating to the AAPC that they feel they have been ripped off because they have this credential, but are unable to find work. The AAPC recognizes that it is not the apprentice designation, per se, that's holding the new coders back, but the lack of experience and practical, hands on knowledge.

    As a hiring manager, I can tell you that simply being able to "code" is only a small part of the picture for the coders that I supervise. I think that's a huge misconception on the part of coding apprentices. It's not just about being able to look up a diagnosis or CPT code. It's about understanding the various payer rules, being able to sort out CCI edits, knowing how to navigate the CMS website, understanding healthcare law, being able to communicate with physicians, understanding EOBs and knowing what questions to ask to decipher denials. It's about being in the middle of the revenue cycle and considering the many, many variations that our multiple-payer system imposes upon us with each claim we bill out. I could go on, but I think I've made my point. It's not the apprentice designation that is the issue....it's about having sufficient knowledge to do the day-to-day work so that hiring managers and existing staff can trust that any coder's work will be accurate and compliant. That's why I strongly believe, and have communicated to the AAPC, that there should be a two-year (at least) experience requirement in order to sit for the CPC examination.
    Pam Brooks, MHA, COC, PCS, CPC, AAPC Fellow
    Coding Manager
    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
    Dover, NH 03820

    If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney

  9. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by cthompson1446 View Post
    Hi,

    I am pretty certian that the other year has to be in the area of coding, however, it can be done in any speciality that you choose.

    Hope that Helps!

    Christina, CPC
    Christina, Thank you for your reply. That is what I thought, I just needed to clarify that I was understanding it correctly. Also, I had one more question you might be able to answer for me... What if someone has MORE than the 80hrs of classroom required? Does it count for anything?? Just curious... I guess when I first completed the classes and took a job as a Medical Assistant, I didn't ask these questions because I was hoping to get the experience needed on the job....

    Christine

  10. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by Pam Brooks View Post
    You are absolutely correct, and most employers consider experience very carefully when interviewing candidates for coding jobs. But remember......this whole initiative is coming down from the AAPC, who currently provides a credential to people who may (or may not) have taken a community-college course in billing or coding, who may never have set foot into a physician's billing office, and who have been, over the past few years, communicating to the AAPC that they feel they have been ripped off because they have this credential, but are unable to find work. The AAPC recognizes that it is not the apprentice designation, per se, that's holding the new coders back, but the lack of experience and practical, hands on knowledge.

    As a hiring manager, I can tell you that simply being able to "code" is only a small part of the picture for the coders that I supervise. I think that's a huge misconception on the part of coding apprentices. It's not just about being able to look up a diagnosis or CPT code. It's about understanding the various payer rules, being able to sort out CCI edits, knowing how to navigate the CMS website, understanding healthcare law, being able to communicate with physicians, understanding EOBs and knowing what questions to ask to decipher denials. It's about being in the middle of the revenue cycle and considering the many, many variations that our multiple-payer system imposes upon us with each claim we bill out. I could go on, but I think I've made my point. It's not the apprentice designation that is the issue....it's about having sufficient knowledge to do the day-to-day work so that hiring managers and existing staff can trust that any coder's work will be accurate and compliant. That's why I strongly believe, and have communicated to the AAPC, that there should be a two-year (at least) experience requirement in order to sit for the CPC examination.
    How does a new coder obtain this experience when it is not in the coding classes? It is obtained with on the job training and experience. How is a new coder suppose to get this?

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