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The Work of a Coder: Survey Comments

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Currently studying your handbooks and when ready will take the CPC test.  My provider knows the importance of accurate coding and does a great job, however, when it comes to my education does not feel it's warrented because of his knowledge.  I strongly disagree and purchase my own membership through AAPC and purchased my own handbooks and study on my own time. I don't know how much this helps., but I'm an example of an employee in a good work environment that wants to strive in this position but not assisted what so ever by management to help me with coding education, payor updates ... Thank-you

Having the support of management for CEUs, paying for exams, encourging education is such a benefit.

I personally have $1000 educational account for my coding and medical manager credentialing.  My staff each has a $250 educational account which usually does not include books unless they want their own. We have 5 certified coders including myself. Each coder has one surgeon to coder for as well as other front office duties. They rotate each week between checking pts in and out and catching up on their coding. All office coding in done after the dictation is available. Any denied claims are reviewed and opportinities for education are then gone over. Thank you!

The importance of our job is not accepted. The pay is not up to par.  I wish I could get our providers to see that we are their backbone to remibursement and that we are just as important as the clinical staff.

I have worked for a solo practicioner for over 30 years as office manager.  I recently completed the ISP program through AAPC (for which my employer paid) and I am scheduled to take the CPC examination March 1, 2008.  It has not only helped with the billing, but I also process all the authorization requests/referrals for several IPA's and the coding is helping in processing more accurate auth. requests as they require ICD-9 and CPT codes on all submissions.

I am currently employed by an inner city non for profit organization and am currently paid more per hr than when I was employed by a private practice. I was allowed $1000.00 p/yr for CEUs.  At my current employer I am pd a higher salary and don't mind paying for my dues,ceu's etc.

I work for a single physician practice. With reimbursements down and continuing to fall, I supply my own books and pay for my CEUs.  I do not make a lot of money, but I choose to keep my standards high.  The AAPC does not make it easy to continue to remain a member, financially, I do not know how much longer I can continue to belong to this group.  I enjoy my work very much and I know I make a difference.

I love my job, I love the people with whom I work.  My supervisor is the main reason my complany pays for my education/CEUs; she is fabulous.  I wish I could spend more time with the physicians in our clinic, because now I only see them at the educational audit (which is twice a year).    My greatest wish is for an increase in education for all physicians in the importance of correct coding, compliant clinic practices (correct procedural coding, correct E/M coding), and the importance of documenting clinic policies (how the clinic handles "Incident-to", RN performance, documentation requirements, expectation of dictation standards, etc.).

I am just beginning to actually do more coding since receiving my CPC -- did it for 20 years prior.  I would attend more seminars and the annual confernece if my employer reimburesed me or paid for these.

I am proud to be a credentialed coder, but would like to get my CCS-P, but with my salary the $385 exam fee is hard to save up for. Wish salaries would increase along with the work that seems to be generated from transitioning to EHR-which falls on coder shoulders.

Raises are only based on a VERY high production expectation.

I am still coding from paper charts and also am NOT being paid as a coder.

i was currently moved from coding outpatient records to coding only heart caths and peripherals at no increase in pay, even though I did ask my supervisor to check with her boss, she never did.  Also was made to take this position against my wishes.

I am recently certified CPC and do not actually perform as a coder.  I more or less problem solve, catching errors when denied and am a source for other coders questions as not all of our coders are certified.  I catch errors from insurance remittance and provide problems to my manager for poster's meetings.  Also my employer paid for testing, books, and may pay for some CEUs (not tested yet) but I pay yearly membership fees and CEUs.  Our corporation is just starting to get certified coders.

Iwish more employers would help out the coders with more resources and education. Also paying for our renewal each year.

I manage all of the coding and front-end staff as well as do physician education, clinic education and set up policies and standards for staff and clinics. Coding is a vital piece of the puzzle and needs to be emphasized and recognized. The current pay scale should be addressed and the importance of the position reflected in a rise in the scale.

I look forward to the day when a CPC credential is respected equally with the CCS (AHIMA) credential in our facility.  I feel that I am just as qualified as an AAPC credentialed coder as the AHIMA credentialed coder, yet the CCS is paid more.

Not paid enough for all of my job responsibilities

Unfortunately, I work for an employer who is only interested in the almighty dollar and will not support me financially in my endeavors to keep updated with CEUs.  He also refuses to pay me for my ability to get payments ffrom the insurance companies in a timely fashion and get full reimbursement.  I feel that medical students need to be required to take coding courses before they graduate and Ifeel that physicians should be required to have CMEs in coding. My employer enjoys the fruits of my labor with no gratitude for my efforts.

I work in a hospital-owned physicians' office. We do not receive any money for CEU or membership. There is a central office that is over all the clinics in the network. They have all the resource information and will only pass it along if we request. Sometimes it is a matter of trial and error.

Sometimes it is very difficult to attend conferences and/or seminars since it is an out of pocket expense that is not reimbursed.  Airfare, hotel and conference adds up to a lot.  One or two day seminars are much easier, especially if you can travel back and forth each day.  Coding books are not always supplied by the employer and therefore we either go without or have to purchase on our own.  Local Chapter is wonderful.

I do some coding but my department does not really have a person coding a a job.  I only happened to study by my own and get certified and pay my own membership/credentialing each year.

I work for the VA and have a very good supervisor and supportive environment but would like it better if they pd for some of the seminars the AAPC offered as they are quite costly and not conveniently located.

I feel that it is interesting that the cost to renew my annual coding certification is almost three (3) times the cost of renewing my nursing license.  Not to mention that CEUs are much more expensive as well.  I don't see how those without a nursing license and the higher income associated can afford to keep their certifications.

In general, I love coding. I recently, however, went part-time in my office and  took a full time job (outside the medical field). I informed my employer I could  not get by on the hourly wage they were paying and after almost 12 years of service I felt I was being underpaid. I was offered a raise to stay on part-time  (as they had no one to replace me) and that was what I agreed to do.

I changed jobs in Nov 2007, enjoy being a part of a group that finds coding compliance so important. Would be nice if the employers would be as involved with helping to pay for the CEUs.

I love coding and working in the health care field, but it is very expensive to maintain credentialing.

The providers needs a review of the necessity of properly trained professionals and more current books and or material to improve on the quality of production

Work flow is not regulated. It is a surgical practice and the ops come in spurts, no regular schedule there are now 50 surgeons and 2 full-time coders. A few physicians code their own and we have to check it. But I code in a process when the codes are already on the case one tends to "skip" some steps of the process and miss issues. I was hired as a general surgical coder and in short order learned I was the chosen one for vascular and interventional. I was sent to one seminar, which was excellent, but the bulk of my learning vascular/interventional was on my own time without any reflection in my pay. I spend a lot of my "free" time keeping abreast of changes and learning new codes etc.

It wouls be great if my employer would help pay for CEUs. They do provide current code books each year but anything else is my responsibility.

Coders are not held in high importance and get little repect. They are viewed as complainers and trouble.  When a coder approaches a provider they say "Here comes trouble."  The billers who handle the posting of money are held in much higher importance.  It is very discouraging.  Plus coders have to go through education to get certified, take the 5 hour exam, and keep up their CEUs.  It is very difficult with the level of pay we get to pay for CEUs that are so very expensive to get.  Sure there are free CEUs out there but they may not include the information you  are truly interested in or really need.

I wish my office would help with the financial costs of keeping up with coding when I sign up for CEUs and classes. They are benefiting from my expenditures. Also, our pay scale is low compared to the national average.

I work for a government payer which is totally different than working for a physician.  Although my employer only hires experienced certified coders, they do not pay for conferences, workshops, or membership/testing fees.  The do provide basic coding reference materials.

I've worked in the medical field, doing the coding and billing since 1982. I worked for this pain management and anesthesia group as a biller for the last 3 1/2 yrs, Dr decided to outsource the billing in June 2007 which turned out to be a mess. He called me back last Dec. to work from home taking care of his A/R and also asked me to teach him how to do the billing and coding for pain mgmt and anesthesia since he decided to do the billing himself. I was in the process of studying on my own to take the certification test, this is my goal, but I had to stop my study and hope to resume soon.   My only concern at the moment is that that the out-of-pocket expense once certified, is very high and I find it will not meet my budget, therefore, I am having second thoughts about it. 

I am actually a claims biller/followup account representative, who had coding experience and decided to get certified in order to futher my career.  Since CPC is not required in my job duties, my employer does not pay for anything relating to my certification.  Nor do they allow me to attend AAPC functions on the the clock.  But, being CPC does assist me greatly in my job with denials and appeals and with rejected claims. Since I am a coder, I can identify coding errors that have caused claims to reject.

We work overtime quite often and it goes unappreciated quite a lot.  We dont get  the pay that is often mentioned in your salary surveys..

I feel that there is a misrepresentation of what a coder does.  There are very few places that do strictly coding and from what I have seen in my employment search and current position, CPC is expected to do a lot the billing duties.  My CPC has helped with the understanding and reviewing of the doctors choices, but that is the extent of my coding.  The few places I have found that need coders require 5 years experience and I feel the school and the AAPC misrepresent the salaries.

This survey is clinic/hospital based, however some of the questions apply to payer relationships between medical directors and coding personnel (both employees of a payer) regarding quarterly code updates, claim appeals, documentation interpretation, system set ups, coverage policy creation and/or revisions, educational communications to provider networks, responses to FAQs, etc. I, and my credentialed coworkers, work daily with one or more medical directors (and these MDs know documentation requirements!). This is why I responded to those situations that do occur in the payer world, with a selection other than the NA button. My employer pays limited funds for CEUs as long as it's all instate and relatively inexpensive.  National Conferences or the CPT Symposium are out of my pocket. Thank you for the opportunity.

The only coding resources provided are the current ICD9 and CPT and the internet. Any other resources used are the employees'. The practice wants credentials, but does not reimburse the annual dues and does not pay a higher salary for certified coders.

CEUs are important to keep coders up to date.  The fact that proof of CEUs is now every two years is helpful.  The fact that the cost and time to obtain CEUs keeps going up, is counter productive for my business.

The clinic I work in is a hospital based speciality physician office, General/Vascular/Thoracic.  I do all the procedure coding, E/M coding/auditing & including the billing for 3 surgeons.  There is a department that deals with the insurance, but I have to do any inquiries that might come from my office. The general surgeons I work for are the best, however the clinic directors and VP do not view me as a "coder"  I am merely a billing clerk that they prefer to pay $10.01 per hour for my knowledge.  They quelch any idea of "coders" and demode those of us who have become CPCs.  We all are looking for other employment, but in a rural area, there is not much to find.  I am only building my coding resume and will leave as soon as I find something else.  We are not allowed a voice and get in trouble for questioning our terrible compliance department.  I'm good at what I do and I want out.

First of all I love coding.And second is that I like my job but I think the salary should be much more than that for a certified coder.

The job and enviroment are lousy, the pay is not the best, but is hard to get empoyed

I am entry level with data entry.  I am still an apprentice so I have a lot to learn.  I am very happy in my position but have ample room to grow.  I am very interested in learning as much as I can and to possibly move into credentialing as an E/M coder, or an auditing position.  Because of my entry level position, I am careful about how many buttons I push with cost reimbursement, etc., however, so far the group has agreed to most of my request for educational material, etc.  My cost comes from going to my local chapter meetings.  I feel these are a must because I  am able to gain more knowledge in the field through the audio conferences.

Work is extremly productivity driven and not well paid as compared to other professions for the amount of education and credentialing expected.

My company has limited spending, and it is very hard to keep abreast of the update. Most my education is coming out of my own pocket.

I am new at my current job. I have not found the need to pay for CEUs as I have found plenty of free resources and my employer provides time and space for our own chapter, and our providers often provide lectures. However, I find our providers are not very respectful of coding.

I am responsible for reviewing, entering and posting physician office charges for three family physicians and one ENT.  I also code, enter and post anesthesia for two hospitals.  I use the aAnesthesia crosswalk after coding the surgery performed.  I work 40 hours every week.  My employer does not reimburse for any of my CEUs.  What a shame.  They require it but won't pay for it.  Linda Weinberg CPC, CMA, Educator

Unfortunately, coders are underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked.  I work for an institution that welcomes the most of its coders and billers, but is not willing to contribute financially to their continuing education, and my employer does not foster or support the employee who wants to aspire to the top level of credentialling.

I only wish practices would recognize salary requirements which experienced coders would like to be compensated for and reimbursed dues and CEU out of pocket expenses.

My employer pays for all my expenses with my coding certification. I am the only coder in my practice and there is very little extra time for spending on keeping up with all the new updates for everything. But compliance is very important to me and I always try to do the best I can. Sometimes my physician and CRNAs get tired of me confronting them on documentation issues but it is my job as a coder to do my best to get it right, and they always don't see it that way. But we carry on.... 

I am coding in Homecare. However, as of Jan 1. 2008 coding has become even more important in Homecare since the inception of PPS.  I am fortunate that my agency sends me to educational classes and pays for all my CEUs.  I am also required to recertify every two years, so it is VERY important to remain on top of any changes.

Thanks to one of my employers, I can cut the amount of money I spend on personal books since they now provide CPT books for us every year.  i still prefer to buy my own ICD-9-CM book and a Procedural Desk Reference. This same job also allows us to go to seminars and meetings for CEUs without us using vacation time for it.   They also arrange to have a lot of in service audio conferences at the office to help us with earning CEUs without cost to us.   

I am new at this position and previously I paid all my ceus and membership which cost around $350.  I work doing mostly denials and research why specific CPT codes deny frequently.  I alos research modifiers and their reimbursement with Insurance carriers. My work environment is adequate. About like most offices.

Working as a coder for almost two years and am disappointed in the salary.

I do have a very supportive employer.  They only hire certified coders and support us in any way they can.  Materials, reference books and seminars are paid for by my company.

I like my work but I don't like the pay. 

It would be nice if there were more seminars that were free to keep our CEU credits.  After paying dues and then having to pay $$ for CEU credits, it gets to be a little expensive.    My work environment is great and I have a great boss.

I work only part time in a small audiology office.  It was the only place near my home that would hire me without my having experience in the field.  I am greatful for the job but I wish I could do more coding than I get to do.  There are only certain codes that I get to use therefore there is no need to use my books.  My boss will not pay for the books and does not care if I get my CEUs because she does not care if I am certified or not.  It is really discouraging but I continue to work for her so that I can get my two years experience in so that I am not considered an apprentice anymore.  Then maybe someone better will hire me.  I really enjoy coding.  It is like going on a scavenger hunt.  You have the doctor's notes and reports as clues and it is up to you to find the right code.  It is also a very valuable part of the medical field.  Without coders things would run very slowly in a doctor's office.  Payments would not get made and the doctors would not get paid as quickly as they do.

Work is great.  Enviroment is a pleasure.  I really feel that question 7 is truly twisted in regard to money.  Anyone who is certified automatically has to spend $150.00 minimum just to keep their membership with the AAPC. Never mind the CEUs for keeping their certification.  A high percentage of providers do not pay for the continuation of keeping their coders certified.  And now I won't even get into the CEU area.

Work environment is very good.  However, doing a mixed position (coding, keying, and transcription), the pay is low.  I also noticed from reading the Coding Cdge that my state seems to be one of the states that doesn't pay certified coders very well.

My company used to pay all the cost of CE, however, we are being asked to bear the cost due to the DRA.  On the whole my company is very supportive of the coders. They supply us with all the books we need for research and ask us for opinions on very coding software and new books.

Too much responsibility and liability is placed on the coder.  Salary does not commensurate with the responsibility place on  the coder.

I have been unable to find a job as a CPC in the area where I live.  I did have a position as a coder for about 1 year but the practice cut my hours to half-time and I was forced to seek a position elsewhere.  I was then forced to take a position as an LPN as no one was hiring a coder at that time.  At my present position, the lady who has been doing the coding for the past eight years (non-certified) will be retiring this summer, and I will be moving into her position.    I would love to be able to attend conferences, etc., but my employer does not pay for those items and as I am the only person working in my family. I cannot afford it.  I did get to go to one in Atlanta, Ga., and it was great.  I enjoyed meeting the coders from the other states, etc.  My wish is that one day, I might work for someone who will send me to another one.

I am sitting for my CCS and will drop my CPC because it way too expensive to keep up.

I would love it if my employer would pay more for CEUs but at this time I don't see it happening.  We are lucky enough to get an audio conference here and there so that helps.

I have 12 speciality doctors that I code for.   My provider has had helped me with my membership/CEUs but recently I've become a part-time employee working under a contract just for coding/billing.  I will be responsible to pay for my CEUs/membership.

The only downfall to my job is my job does not pay for CEUs or for our renewals each year.  We have to pay out of pocket for that each year.  I do not feel it's fair because they pay for the continuing education for our nurses and our doctors but not our coders.  They need to think about possibily offering to pay for them.  Or at least pay for half.

In my environment the manager is a CPC but seems unconcerned for growth of her CPCs.  She has went to National AAPC convention by herself, not even letting the other coders have an opportunity to go with her and not sharing the information when she comes back.  She also will not let us take on the job time to go to a seminar, excepting maybe once a year, if we find the seminar and it happens to be in our minimal budget for continuing education.  We are forced to go to local chapter meetings on our time for our CEUs.  If there is a seminar we wish to go to on company time chances are we have to take our own personal time off to do it.

I am very happy with the practice I am employed by. I have worked for physicians for about 28 years and my current employment with orthopedic surgical practice is by far the best job I have ever had (Next month starts my ninth year with this practice). The practice paid for my CPC credentialing, including keeping my CEUs current.  I have a great office manager who makes sure I have the necessary tools to my job correctly and efficiently.

We are offered no money for CEUs and I feel this needs to change

Coding resources and related information are not easily accessible and they come very expensive in the market. AAPC can do a lot about this.

We are poorly paid based on the regional average - only about 12.00 per hour

Great place to work.  I only pay for one or two CEU per year.

It is too expensive to keep the certification

I love doing the coding and I wish my office would be more supportive in keeping up my credentials so I wouldn't have to pay for everything myself.  The people are nice to work with, but the owner is VERY cheap when it comes to his people and equipment, his idea of a raise is a quarter per year!! But he enjoys out of the country trips while we have to make do with very out-dated office equipment that does not work half the time!!!

I wish I would get paid accordingly, the pay around here for CPC'S is lousy. I work in Kansas. I make just a little above minimum wage. I  think that is appalling considering all that I have to do and have to have CEUs on top of that and above all that I am certified.

I've been doing thi for 5 years and still don't make enough to live and I make 25$ hr. So i dont care much for my job or what happens in the office

Becoming a coder was very sugar coated. It has been very disappointing that the employers don't pay for CEUs or any credentialing dues. You have to buy your own books.

I am not given any $$ to get CEUs nor any time other than my personal time to get CEUs for my CPC - the only on office time CEUs I get are ones that are related to something the practice manager wants me to attend for other than my CPC purpose.

It should be noted that most employers in this locality DO NOT PAY for CEUs, testing fees, or any other education.

my work environment is very noisy and I am expected to hurry to get the charges in. I feel a lot of days that I cannot give my best as a coder because of fear of falling behind in work which is not fair for me or the patient. I would love for my employer to at least help pay for workshops snce they are so expensive I pass a lot of them up because of the cost.

It's so expensive and as a single mother it is hard to find the money to pay memberships and then have to pay for CEUs and coding resources every year.

In the office I work for they want a coder who is certified but wants to pay them as if they were not certified.  I have had to buy my own books, pay for any CEUs participated in, paid for my AAPC membership and testing for becoming a CPC.  When I began the process to become a CPC it was for for betterment of our practice but as I completed my classes and approached my date of CPC testing my employer became threatened and has made my working conditions very difficult, which in turn has caused me to pursue other employment for as a CPC.  Employers want a CPC but are not willing to pay the wage for one.

As a previous Office Manager I found it very important to share all coding updates with fellow employees.  I also purchased my own specialty books to make sure I was following specific guidelines to avoid insurance denials for specific provider groups.

I am very fortunate to have the doctor's support and pay for everything, including my supplies.

Although my employer does pay for membership/CEUs, I often will purchase materials to assist in coding knowledge/reference materials.    Only 1 of my 5 physicians has any interest in coding.  He is younger and new to the practice.  It is very refreshing and helpful to have a physician perspective to accurate coding.

I am greatly disappointed that continuing education in medical coding is not encouraged in terms of financial assistance and/or paid leave for attending workshops, seminars, on-line audio sessions, etc. by my current employer.  However, I also realize that profits at a physician's office are decreasing due to decrease in payments from both private insurers and from government-supported (i.e. Medicare and Medicaid) insurance programs.  Therefore, physician-owners are reluctant to increase expenses.

It does not make any sense that it is so expensive to obtain the necessary CEUs for re-certification.

The providers codes and diagnosis are always checked by a certified coder and if there are any changes needing to be made the provider is always consulted with an explanation as to why and the provider has to sign the change.This helps to create and maintain a good working relationship between the providers and coders, it also allows for the providers to see that their money spent on continuing education for their coding staff is very beneficial.

I have worked here 7 years and have paid for all my coding classes and CEUs. They do not reimburse me for any of my expenses. 

Good environment. Wish we had more opportunity for paid education .Wish I made more than .50 above the other person in office who is not a coder and does same type of work.

I have been credentialed as a coder and am still living on the poverty level.

As a certified coder I feel like I am still underpaid.

Physicians of small practices do not provide the necessary materials or provide  a matching fund for coders to get CEUs updated.  In my physician's practice, each time she dictates an op note, for example, she codes all of the CPT and ICD-9 coding.  She learned her coding thru the professional arm of her specialization.  So, for her to pay for me to keep current does not make much sense to her because she does 90% of her coding and I just make sure it is correct and follow up with ins.  It would be nice if the seminars and books that were offered to coders could include a price reduction for those whose employers/providers do not pay for those things.  In my case, it would be an incentive to do more, but I am limited because of what I have to shell out of pocket, while coders in my chapter for instance, are paid for everything they do, meetings, seminars, workshops, time away from work, books, etc... small practices just don't have the revenue.

I have tried to get on as a coder where I work. They say I do not meet the standard to code in the hospital, because I do not have hopsital coding experience. If I leave the hospital and go to physcian office I have to take a cut in pay. I didn't go back to school to get certified and then turn around and take a cut in pay and still make less than what a coder starts out at.

I code for an acute care facility.   My company also thinks it is tremendously important that we keep our credentials, and have CEUs, however they refuse to reimburse for these expenses. Therefore, I spend as little out of my own pocket as I can get by with. That is the main reason that our magazine Cutting Edge, and the local meetings are so important to me.

Our physicians are very good about paying for CEUs.  We try to audit their coding and reeducate where needed.

My employer pays all renewal dues and pays for my continuing education.      As a compliance lead I am able to provide feedback to the appropriate parties that are affected by issues that may or may not affect them.  My opinion is valued and my research, process and policy making is greatly appreciated.

Coders with experience and certification are being underpaid. Certified coders with no experience salary requirements are too high.

Certified coders are not paid enough.  Without our knowledge, most practices would not bring in the income or comply to compliance rules.  Coders keep most practices on the straight and narrow path with our ethics because we can be quite anal about everything being done to the highest standards. I am very proud to be a coder.

Coders here are not paid for their knowledge or experience.  Because we are from a small community, the wages are not very good.  I wish there were more local workshops so I would not have to travel almost two hours to get there.  There are enough coders in our area who would like to have it closer to Newport, Vermont area. As for this organization: they will help in education and do help pay for CEUs up to what you need -not beyond just for the education of learning and becoming more experience in the different fields.

There is no career path here for coders and therefore an increase in our compensation is not tied to quantifiable career path accomplishments.    The work is monotonous, as we only code surgeries--nothing else.

I would like it if my employer reimbursed for membership fees and CEUs

Since we do not do any billing in the government agency I work for, we are using ICD-10; mainly for research ability later. I enjoy the work that I do; but I would like to have my CEUs paid for by my contractor. They do not feel that a certified professional coder is a trained professional. They do pay a fraction for the continuing education our physician assistants need. At present time, I am working on getting a government position due to our contractors lack of interest in their employees. They want to keep all the money they make for their professionals; but do not want to help them with continual training to make them better employees.

1. This is the 2nd year that I have had to pay for my CEUs - so cost could increase in years to come.  2. I find that to do my best coding, I need to have a quiet surrounding. In my office space - I do not have quiet.  I find it very unproductive.  3. I think Physicians need to be better trained on how to dictate their reports.  Not just to fulfill compliance issues, but to aid in reimbursement.  Statements like:  "level of difficulty", "additional time spent doing...", additional risk to the patient, areas or organs that were already compromised, thus adding to the risk for the pt.  Ins. co. care about risk to the pt, time spent and skill of the physician.

Our company is unique in that we have incorporated on-site continuing education into our compliance plan.  I function as the auditor and educator.  Our physicians are expected to know the rules/regs and pass quarterly audits as are all employees.  We pay for/provide 75% of all CEUs when related to the employee's job.

We are a very large multi-speciality children's practice in multiple states. We have a strong compliance department with legal support and administration to support our compliance, billing/coding and physician education services.  Nothing is perfect and we all know that this is a very difficult and demanding job having the proper support, education, funding for CEUs and compliance/legal it certainly makes the position of manager over all of this more comfortable.

Coders seem to be the "dumping ground" for things no one else wants to do, and we are not appreciated by most of our co-workers because they don't understand what we do. It costs way too much to become certifed and for dues, so if your employer won't pay for CEUs and membership it is very expensive for the regular person especially if you want to have more than one certification.

I love the work I do.  I do wish I could get better at it have more time to review documentation and read more on the speciality I have chosen to do work in. Also wish it was a little less expensive to get CEUs.

I get my CEUs from magazines and your websites.

I am the only coder and our doctors do none of the coding. They do pay me to go to seminars for coding and compliance. 

I wish my employer would pay for some conferences that are out of town (like the National Conference).  I also wish they would pay  for the yearly dues.

The payer that I work for decided that although they previously encouraged my becoming a coder, they no longer support my continuing education and will not consider my CEUs or professional associations as pertinent to my position. Although I am expected to field coding questions, provide expertise, and consult regarding coding, I have been advised that the company will not financially support my continuing education because I am not "actively coding."

I would be more apt to complete more courses to expand my knowledge if the prices of CEUs would drop.

I don't think that AAPC grasps that a lot of coders don't get financial support to attend conferences to get CEUs or purchase books. I am out an enormous amount of money personally per year just maintaining my credentials.

Montana is unfortunately behind in wage scale for coders compared to the rest of the nation. Our cost of living however is not. I love where I work but may need to seek employment elsewhere out of state in order to have any retirement in 20 years.

We do not have a professional coder for our practice at this time.  We are a County Health Department and a Community Health Center (FQHC).  I am attending a coding boot camp next month and will be taking the test to be a professional coder at that time.  I have been working with CPT and ICD-9 for over 7 years at this practice and teaching our providers as I learn. This is the first year for me to be a member of the AAPC and my employer paid for my membership and is paying for the boot camp.  I am paying myself to take the test.

My employers enable me to go to one specialty coding course and one Medicare course per year, which give me all of my CEUs for year.  I pay for my membership in the AAPC.

My work has a confusing message.  They want experience, but not necessarily certified.  We can only ask for documentation if there is none.  It is a VA facility and doctors usually are not held accountable.  We have monthly satellites for coding and we can ask for books, sometimes we get extra.

I am a self employed billing specialist.  Question 2: My "employer" purchases coding materials & reimburses for CEUs.  I answered "yes" because, although I pay for it myself, it is a tax deductible business expense.

All of my physican's coding is reviewed by me for accuracy. It never is billed until I review it. My employer pays for CEU and membership and resources.

I work for an IPA so we have no physicians practicing out of this office.  I do clinical review of claims prior to payment and provide support to our physician offices when they have coding questions.  Once a year, we provide a CPC certification course for interested personnel in our physician offices.

my physicians are very good about paying for my membership and CEUs

I keep my ASRT license current and pay for that myself as I am not currently working as a radiologic technologist.  The hospital pays for all other resources and classes.

I am employed by a payer & they pay for my membership dues & CEUs needed. I am very fortunate to be able to diversify in my functions.

With the cost of everything rising, paying for CEUs falls into the bottom of the chain. May certified coders in our area are letting their certifications expire, hoping their employers would rather keep an experienced coder than let one go because they let their certification go. Between the cost of transportation to get CEUs or audio programs, the cost of maintaining certification vs the cost of eating or dressing families, certification goes. 

We code for the emergency room.  Our jobs are very important and it is important that we are certified.  Our manager is very good and very helpful. Our company also pays for all the cerification and CEUs and everything necessary to do our jobs properly.

Working for the VA affords the opportunity to complete a variety of coding.  This is an advantage over coders who only code for one specialty.  The VA is very good to support coders by paying for various CEUs and our coding books.  Some VAs will also pay for membership to coding agencies such as AAPC.

While our docs pick from a list when the code is not present the provider hand writes the diagnosis and/or CPT which is reviewed by me. If a code is changed or added, I notify the physician. I am not only the certified coder but the billing unit manager. I manage many sites including an ASC and regulated plus non regulated space, inpatient, outpatient and office. Our charge budget is $30 mMillion this year.  My practice pays for all memberships , CEUs, coding resources and credentialing.

I had to pay out of pocket for my class & books, but my employer renews my membership and provides me with current tools.  (This is done b/c being certified is a job requirement.)

The company actually pays for the #7 (coding seminars, new coding books, etc.)

My company is very willing to provide materials, but not willing to send us to coding seminars.  A lot of the ones of interest are out of state. My company will not send us out of state.

I work for a not-for-profit and am the only person that handles insurance billing/coding and compliance issues.  Due to limited financial resources the company is unable to provide financial assistance for CEUs and coding resources.  However, I am very passonate about the mission of our company to provide services to children with developmental delays and disabilities.  The purchases I make are well worth the success of our practice and something I am willing to do.

The standards for medical biller/coders are not at a high standard and are not respected as a professional in their field.  Pay is not at the national level as based on your past surveys.  I have tried to get certified but it is all out of pocket expense for me and I have no help with the financial end of the bill.  I have worked in the field for 24 years and still have not been certified.  I have worked in the cardiology field for the full 24 years and have very slowly received pay raises.  I think their needs to be more eduction done for employers and for employees both.

Answer to question 7 is I have just gotten my CPC this month.  Not sure how much it will cost me personally.  To get Certified cost around $1700.00.

I pay all of my own expense for AAPC.  You really need to make this easier for the average person that doesn't get the benefits of an employer paying for their CEUs or for their AAPC renewal.      This is extremely costly to the "small" town person.    

I'm a certified coder/office manager so my position is somewhat unique.  I receive some fund and support for CEUs but would like to see more.

The physician is working on the accuracy for the codes.  I'm consulting the practice manager for coding and consulting the billing specialist for reimbersments. The practice manager (she's an RN) and billing specialist took coding boot camp. They plan to become certified in the future. I'm contract hire-therefore I pay for all my own CEUs and Books.

I am the only certified coder thru AAPC.  There are 20 coders on staff. My manager or leads are not certified.  I am not paid according to my certification.  Every coder is paid the same.  I am not valued as a certified coder.  I recently moved from a metro area and was paid $25 per hour, now I am in a rural area and am paid $12.50 per hour.

Pretty much satisfied because I can work my schedule the way I want but I could use a bit more money for what I do here.

Just wish my physician's idea of salaries for CPC were a little better and they really understood the importance of being certified.

unhappy with salary for what i do.....very underpaid

Way underpaid. I'm trying to gain experience and all I've gained is a headache. The managers here are not coders and have no clue what it's all about.

My docs code their own hospital charges, which aren't always accurate.  Their office charges tend to be more accurate. We have to correct icd-9 codes all the time.  While they want me to be educated and up-to-date on coding, they do not pay for it, but do pay for the nurse CMEs. i also spend a lot of time correcting coding and doing reviews from work performed by 2 noncertified employees

Our providers have always paid for our CEUs and membership dues but they are becoming more and more frugle about it.  They are expecting more from us CPCs here but are wanting us to find ways to get free CEUs .  They want to reap the benefits but don't want to invest money into it...

My employer pays for my membership & CEUs so I have no out of pocket. Wasn't sure if you were requesting what it cost to maintain my credentials.

The survey questions are not easy to answer, I would say agree for some md's and disagree on others...  Regarding CEUs, until this year, we were not reimbursed for out of state travel expenses, which makes it more difficult to find educational courses that we feel are relevant in state, or we can pay for ourselves to go to something out of state.

We are working in a system which is being tailored for the companies needs. It is to improve patient visability, eliminate having to read handwritten notes and more.      At this point, there is still a lot of work needed.  We spend hours working in workques, due to interfaced, Epic, Ingenix and provider direct charges, which  are filtered errors. Also, when a new provider's name is not entered immediately on a system table, all claims are rejected and sent to a work queue.      We feel we are going around in circles. There are "Go Live" dates, meaning certain areas, such as anesthesia have not been added to the system. We have to be aware of the "Go Lives", inorder to code for that service.  You forget, work queue!    Since we are a huge operation, we code for an entire region...example Orange County, San Diego, Fontana...all different regions, with over 250 providers in each, every speciality you can imagine, a sure set-up for mistakes.    Do we think the pay is adequate, absolutely not.

My superiors are very supportive of my credentials, but are not able to pay for the upkeep of all of them-they chose the CPC to maintain, & the rest are my responsibility.  They previously paid for all 5, but policy changed last year.  I have had to drop 2 certifications, but do maintain 2 on my own besides the CPC.  I maintain CCS-P & CMC.  I am also a proctor for PMI, which is why I maintain one of my certifications through them.

I love working with my 5 physicians ( 90+ in the clinic).  I have been coding for 17 years and love the challenges it brings.  I wish the clinic would recognize how vital coders are and compensate them accordingly.  Pay is very low compared to other facilities locally as well as nationally.

I'd like to have more free or low-cost seminars for CEUs available.

I wish my company would pay for all my CEUs that are required each year. 

I don't know the outcome of my coding through billing to EOBs. Encouraged to be certified but won't pay any membership fees or CEUs. I am told throughout the year that I should spend my own money since I got certified and its my responsibility. Never recognized as specialized coder.

I like the work I do. I don't like that my employer doesn't pay for my continuing education.

In my office, my co-worker and I ARE the whole billing department. We do all the coding, compliance, physican & staff education, charge entry, phone calls, insurance claim denials/appeals, and the list goes on! We are very fortunate to have supportive physicans and are willing to hear when there is an issue and resolve it quickly. They welcome education for us and by us (complicance) and financially cover all our coding expenses.

Where I work, coders do not have to be certified and only have basic knowledege  of coding to be employed and they do not pay for any education for CEU credits  unless it is a mandatory class or seminar.

I enjoy my work and interacting with the physicians.  I feel my employer should pay the cost of CEUs per year.  I was fortunate enough to have my CPC paid by my previous employer, but had to sign a 2 year contract.  If I left the company prior to 2 years, I would need to reimburse them.

We are very, very, underpaid.  I make approx $23,000 a yr with 12 yrs coding experience this year.  The coders in our office, 4 of us, just took the CPC certification test Jan 11,2008 & are waiting for the results.  Even if we get certified, we'll never get to the estimated $39,000 a yr for cerified coders in the "Great Lakes" region.

My experience has been good for my first job.  However, I have been very disappointed that my employer did not cover expenses for my certification and materials to get my certification.  This is all work related and is investing in their success as well as mine.

I am not yet certified so some questions here do not apply to me. I do not know if my manager will be paying for my CEUs or if I will. I believe they will since they paid for my training and the certification exam. I audit the bills that come in requesting payment, so I deal with a different side of the coding. I am familiar with codes from many types of providers.

We have a new manager this year and she believes in paying for education. In the past I paid the amount I listed. The manager is trying to get more paid this year.     Providers assign the code and we do 100% audit in this office. We educate the provider. They want the education to code correctly.

Self-employed (billing service) so my "employer" covers certification retention costs.   Some of my providers turn a deaf ear to audits/compliance with billing.  Others want to do EVERYTHING correctly and the documentation supports the same.

I work for a very large hospital.  There is a suite of approx. 60 coders. It is a great place because all the coders work together. If you have a question you can ask others with specialty expertise. The floor works as a unit and the management staff is very informed and a great help. Management purchases and informs us of several different ways to get CEUs and allows us to flex time if we need to attend at meeting.

I work for a group of six general surgeons one of which specializes in vascular surgery. The physicians are wonderful about sending me to educational seminars and encourage me to be successful in my present position. They have financed my education and have been there with any problems or questions I might have. They are a wonderful group to work for! 

I would like the option to work from home more often, especially on the weekends.

Our office does offer some of the CEUs as a company sponsored seminar; however any remaining CEUs outside of the audio seminar's they purchase are the responsibility of each coder. They will also reimburse you for your testing if obtaining the credential is part of your job duties. If you have experiance with coding you do not need to be certified to obtain a coder position however you must be certified with 18 months of obtaining a coding position. 3 of my 8 physician's do their own coding; however it is my responsibility to audit their coding and educate as needed on coding and documentation requirements to maximize reimbursment and compliance. It is also my job to assist the appeals representative when necessary.

personal out-of-pocket expense is for membership dues only.

it is very important to keep up with updates for both the company and myself, but it is nearly impossible to do this with deadlines and having to pay out of pocket.  It gets expensive.

I am fortunate to work in a very productive environment.  I am the only Coder w/in my department, which consists of 35 physicians (including 3 mid-level providers)which is our Hospitalist Group.  I am responsible for educating the 30+ physicians w/in our practice on E&M docunentation, audit their H&P's and Consults daily, and enter the appropriate data and the charges into the 3-M system.  The manager in our department is extremely supportive of all education and CEU management.

I am pleased with the support I receive on the job everyday and that my employer still holds accurancy over productivitiy even though we do have to meet quotas everyday but we also have the backing of the employer to pay our tuition each year and to also pay for us to go outside of the office to attend seminars to gain our CEU'S each year.  They also pay us for the day's wages while we are attending these seminars.

UNDERPAID

My supervisor and I disagree on the importance of attending seminars in my fields of coding. My resources are also limited each year as to how many we can purchase. Whatever I do not receive I pay out of pocket.

I think there needs to be more CEUs dealing with  claim submissions and help with the appeals processes. Also, the price of CEUs are way too high. Since my employer does not pay for these seminars, I am burdened with these costs.

I feel underpaid for my job. I am actually leaving this job in a week to take an instructor position that will pay almost $10,000 more per year.

I just passed the CPC exam in Nov 2007.  My need for CEUs is new to my place of employment.  I am sure that they will help out with the cost for CEUs, etc.  The CEO, Director of Operations and the providers are very supportive of me, my experience, and my knowledge.

Our office has limited funding for CEUs. Most of it is in office done by our doctors some of it is teleconfrences. It would be nice if they would help pay for a conference out of the office.  We really do not have any confrenences in our area we have to travel to far a lot of times if we want to go to a confrence.

My physicians generally provide their own ICD-9 and procedure codes. Where they are correct most of the time, two of the three physicians are receptive to my advice to them when I perform random audits. They understand that I am not here to criticize, but to help them with compliance issues and to obtain maximum reimbursement for their services. I have to say that I feel that they do appreciate what I do. The work environment is pleasant as far as the staff goes. The demands made on myself (and the others for that matter) I feel are too extreme. The volume of work in our office is three times as much as most of the practices surrounding us and yet we are expected to get all of our work done in the same amount of time that the office with lower volume does. Also, the pay increase for becoming a certified coder was not as attractive as it was originally set out to be. The extra work I do in a day and the expense of going to meetings and feeding parking meters with my own money has me down to less than $1 and hour pay increase. I like what I do, but there are days that I just don't feel it was worth it to become a certified coder. As a single mother, I need all my money for my family.

My job is unique since I work for only one physician who owns her own practice.  She pays for my CEUs (up to a certain amount), I work from home and all materials and equipment are provided by my employer.  Our office is completely electronic which makes it easier for my physician to choose the right codes and to get the documentation correct.  I still double check her work but she is very accurate.  Hopefully in the future more physicians will take advantage of EMRs out there b/c they help streamline all processes and make coding easier and more accessible  (if they are used correctly).  My physician is open-minded to the education that I present to her and understands coding concepts well.

This is my first year as CPC and I have not worked out paying for CEUs yet with my employer.

Since I am a student, I realize that educating yourself is very costly. Unfortunately, the physicians in our office believe that we need to keep up with our coding skills at our own expense, even though they are the ones who profit. 

My employer only pays for one membership.  I have to pay for any other creditionals/membership I have.

I am the Billing Manager for the practice.  I became a CPC at the request of my employer (education, testing, and CEUs paid by employer), and I manage other certified coders in the office.  I perform coding activities on a daily basis but the majority of my time is spent managing staff, resolving day to day issues, preparing and analyzing reports, and negotiating with payors.

Although I do feel I'm appreciated, I do not make anywhere near what my education, experience, and even area says I should make.  I also have a very hard time keeping up with the CEUs as my organizaation seems to be pinching pennies always.  I do love my work as I code for a small physcians practice that also has one General Surgeon and one Ortho Surgeon, plus I code for many outpatient Docs.

Our office reimbursed $50.00/yr.

It is a constant struggle for providers to continue to pay for CEUs.  We are always having to prove the need for the course and it is rare that two of us get to go to the same conference.  I feel it is a benefit to have a coder who works denials as well as a coder who posts payments attend particular conferences so that they may learn together.

I feel I need to be paid more!

Must know it all. Huge multi-specialty group, hundreds of providers. 4 Reimbursement Specialists responsible for coding, compliance, management of billing staff, education for staff and providers. Overworked, underpaid.

I am the only coder in this office. I earn most of CEUs on my own. They will pay for a seminar every once in a while.

Certified coders should be paid more than experienced coders because they took the time and applied themselves to extensive study.  Certified coders are not appreciated much when a non-certified coder makes the same amount of money as the certified coder. Also, whenever you have to pay first for an inservice or workshop and then (maybe) you will get reimbursed for attending the meeting by your employee (reason being there is no money in the budget) tells me that the employer doesn't really support education.

CEUs need to be more obtainable and at a more reasonable rate.

Coders in the Illinois area are not paid what they are worth and are not valued for being certified and keeping up on CEUs

It would be nice if my employer would pay for my CEUs. And help me with the providers in our office understand how important coding is and how it could help them get every penny they deserve.

AAPC should do all that it can to provide FREE CEUs for members so that we don't have to spend all that extra money in addition to our annual membership dues.  I've actually debated whether or not to forfiet my certificate due to financial hardships.   

My employers say they understand the importance of certification, and are supportive of me to keep up my CEUs, but do not support me with the costs incurred with this. I dont think that is right, but do not have any options that I can see.

The certified coders in our department are poorly underpaid.  We are paid within the same pay scale as our NON-CERTIFIED billers. We are also very short staffed.

I pay for all of my CEU training up front and then I am reimbursed from the corporation upon showing proof of attending. I was promoted to a Medical Office Coordinator two years ago, so I do not do as much coding as I did. However I keep up on the coding on a daily basis. I check with the charge enrty and physicians to make sure things are coded correctly. I have to say that my company fully supports all of their coders and any seminars that we need to attend to maintain what we have learned as well as gain new knowledge in the coding field.I always make sure that I am available to answer any coding question that the coder or physician has. I have been a CPC for 7 years now. I love what I do.

My  physicians are very supportive of what I do and ensuring I am provided quality venues to obtain knowledge and CEUs.  They are very open to evaluating how they do things to ensure they are in compliance.

There is such a push on productivity that accuracy is affected. Our organiztion does not care how I obtain my CEUs and they are very reluctant to approve or pay for any educational workshops. I have been employed for 9 years with the same organization and have attended two educational workshops that they paid for.

I would like to be certified as a professional coder. The financing is a problem at this time. I would feel more comfortable with more knowledge as a coder.

I like the work I do, but I think it would be more productive if we were not in a cubicle setting. Very distracting. I also think we are underpaid in our region.

I wish the CEUs were not so expensive and I would like to see more of them offered.

We are a small practice, I am the only coder, responsible for all coding and correct billing of claims.  I am also the office manager, responsibilities in that area are sometimes neglected to keep up with the daily coding/billing needs.  My employer supports what I do, pays for my license and CEU requirements.  Finding time to go outside of the office for CEU is difficult, but manageable.

My employer will only reimburse management staff CEU and membership expenses.  The other coders have to pay their own way.

I would appreciate my employer helping offset all the costs of recertifying and renewing my memberships in all the organizations that I am a member of.

I am an LPN, CPC. I only make $22,000 per year salary. I work in a large family practice 11 physicians and one sports medicine physician. I bill for 6 doctors. I code, enter charges and answer phones about billing questions from patients simultaneously for 8 hours per day. My company does not mentor or encourage CPC credentialing, however my boss was very happy for me when I passed the exam. I have never been told I would get a raise. According to the AAPC survey I could be making in the $30,000 range but my company does not require certified coders therefore they will frown on me if I ask for a raise.

Regarding pay, I am paid per chart and for time off such as holidays and vacation. I am paid an hourly rate

I do outpatient coding in the facility setting. I currently have my CPC credential however my supervisor is pushing me to sit for my RHIT exam.  I am RHIT eligible. The facility I work for however will not pay for me to sit for the exam or pay my annual dues to the AAPC or if I were to become RHIT certified would not pay AHIMA dues either.  The only incentive to take and pass the exam is a 3% raise. I believe employers who ask for so much should give more in return in regards to certification and/or memberships to organizations.

It seems odd that they require coding certifications but will not pay for the yearly dues or any CEUs.

I really believe we should be paid more and companies should hel pay for our education.  

I am self employed and provide coding services for 20+ OB/GYN doctors in the Denver Metro area. Continuing education, coding books, and memebership fees are my responsibility.

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