Q #29: Why do most employers mention or ask for AHIMA certification instead of an AAPC?
A: Laureen: I don’t think that most employers do, it’s probably the type of jobs that you’re looking at are. In my area, in New Jersey, most of them want AAPC. So, I think it depends on your region, and of course if you’re… go ahead.
Alicia: I was going to say it, too. One of the things that when you go to get a job, the people that are listing the jobs are not from that department, they’re from HR. AHIMA has been around since 1920. Everybody knows AHIMA. AAPC has been around since the 80s. So, they don’t necessarily update their stuff, they just – “Oh, you need a coder? OK, this is the standard blurb we put in our ads.” So, you need to educate them when you go in and say, “Oh, I’m a CPC through the AAPC,” or whatever, and they’re probably going to be just fine with that. However, it is regional.
Alicia: Maybe, there’s a bigger AHIMA organization chapters in that area and have been for years or vice versa, the AAPC.
Laureen: If you’ve got a coding credential you certainly can still apply for jobs that they’re asking for AHIMA credentials because you’re a certified coder. Sometimes, it’s just educating the prospective employer, or you can do what I did, I got dually certified. For a long time I had my CCS and my CPC. Unfortunately, I let it lapse, I could kick myself, but that way was in both camps, if you will. I was an AAPC and an AHIMA member. I had a credential in each. So, I did that because I was a consultant, I was an educator; and so, that’s why I did it. So, if you’re worried, get both. If you can afford it, it’s definitely worth it. It does look – I think two credentials looks good. You don’t have to go crazy beyond that.
Alicia: Ryan just made a point about this question, if you say you’re a CPC and they want a CCS, and a lot of times they’ll give you a year to pick up the CCS, pick up the other certification – an employer will do that. If there’s something specific they want you to have, apply for it, and say, “Yeah, I love cardio coding, and I don’t have a specialty certification, but if you hire me, I’ll go pick it up. Give me a year, and I’ll have it by the end of the year.” So, market yourself.
Online Medical Coding Classes – Video
Laureen: There you go.
Q #30: Do you have any webinars for students who are currently in a medical coding class that can get the extra exposure and help that they may not get in the classroom?
A: Laureen: That’s what we’re doing, I hope.
Alicia: We get a lot of those [laughs].
Laureen: Really, that’s what a lot of people use my Blitz videos for. They are taking someone else’s coding course. They come and find CCO because they’re struggling with something, or maybe their instructor is weak in a certain area, and I tell them – Well, get the Blitz because it’ll help you review at the end, but you can also, when your instructor is doing, say the integumentary system, go to the Blitz, go to integumentary and watch that, even though mine’s a condensed version it will help, hopefully, fill in some of the blanks that you might be experiencing. That’s more targeted versus these webinars, which are a hodgepodge.
Alicia: If you do purchase the Blitz package then you get to come to the Thursday night webinars that we have with the students, our regular students. So, that’s helpful.
Q #31: Pulmonary question – Our group is still coding consult codes, the CCI Edits has changed this. Our private payers are bundling the consult with a spirometry code. My question is: can we charge a new patient code instead of a consult code?
A: Laureen: I’d have to research this, but basically if you’re doing, you’re rendering an opinion, and your opinion was asked for. And then you’re actually reporting back an opinion, then you do need the criteria for a consult and you should be able to get paid for it. If you happen to do spirometry as part of that, I don’t see why that would be bundled.
Laureen: But it’s an assessment so maybe that’s part of figuring out. I’d have to look at it a little bit more closely. So, again, if you could put on the discussion board then we can spend some time researching and then present it at a future webinar.