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Penny Richards

Penny Richards is the ACDIS Member Services Specialist. She is your primary contact for membership questions, including those about certification, recertification, continuing education credits, and employer verification inquiries.

Conference Update: Call for poster presentations open

Share your CDI success with ACDIS conference attendees.

Share your CDI success with ACDIS conference attendees.

Have you thought about presenting a poster at the 2015 ACDIS conference in San Antonio? It’s a great opportunity to showcase your organization’s CDI program and success with a national audience. This popular event is always well-received by conference attendees. To give you an idea of what you might present, here is a partial list of topics from last year (you can view them in the Forms & Tools Library under “conference materials”):

  • Work flow, tracking processes, DG denials
  • Anatomy of an effective query
  • Documentation impact on quality, reimbursement
  • Pediatric-specific tip sheets per service line
  • Transforming from I-9 to I-10
  • Effective provider communication and education
  • Physician champions in urology
  • Malnutrition documentation
  • Charting query success
  • The value of ancillary services

Posters will be on display in the exhibit hall throughout the conference. Presenters are required to be on site for a dedicated time, one to two hours, to speak with conference attendees about their poster. Presenters may bring handouts, though these are not required.

We’ll take a photo of each poster and post it along with a one-page description (due from each presenter) on the ACDIS website following the conference.

To apply to present a poster in San Antonio, click this link, download the application, and return it by February 13. The conference committee will review the applications and select acceptable ideas for conference presentation. Limit, one poster per facility will be approved. Presenters receive a $200 discount off their conference registration fee (one discount per poster).

Email Penny Richards with questions.

Clarifying new CEU requirements for CCDS recertification

Changes took place.

The number of CEUs required to recertify the CCDS certification will rise from 20 to 30 on March 1.

We kicked a hornet’s nest when we announced earlier this month that the number of CEUs required to recertify the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) certification will rise from 20 to 30 on March 1.

A number of people wrote to us, concerned that they won’t be able to meet the new 30 CEU requirement.

We find that the great majority of people recertifying generally submit many more than 20 CEUs with their application. And, since we accept CEUs from a number of agencies other than ACDIS (including AHIMA, AAPC, ANCC, among the most frequently accepted) the likelihood that this new requirement will stymie a candidate’s ability to recertify we anticipate will be negligible.

The following include several ways to obtain CEUs towards your CCDS recertification:

  • CDI Journal quiz: The CDI Journal is published six times a year beginning in 2015. ACDIS members may read the magazine and take the corresponding exam for one credit per edition.
  • ACDIS quarterly conference calls: Held four times a year, and free for ACDIS members, these calls also qualify for one CEU credit upon the completion of the accompanying survey.
  • Annual ACDIS National Conference: The eighth annual ACDIS National Conference supports 13 CEU credits. We know how valuable the information shared at the conference can be to your professional and programmatic growth and the number of CEUs awarded for attendance supports this.
  • ACDIS Local Chapter Meetings and conferences: There are more than 30 local chapters meeting throughout the country in 2015, many of which offer extensive educational sessions and work with ACDIS national to provide CCDS CEU credits to their members. Visit the Local Chapter page on the ACDIS website to connect with the chapter nearest you.
  • HCPro CDI Boot Camps: There are a number of CDI and coding Boot Camps available which offer credits, the numbers of which vary depending on the length and subject matter of the program. Check the Boot Camp web page to learn the CEUs for a particular program.
  • Up to 10 CEUs for any other single activity, such as conferences and training by other agencies and associations.
  • CEUs at a rate of 1-for-1 for individual training and education activities that are CDI training and education, ICD-10, clinical (disease or diagnosis), coding, documentation improvement activities, or diagnosis/pathophysiology education  from other organizations, such as AHIMA and AAPC, nursing CEUs and CME credits.
  • Completing college courses relevant to healthcare/healthcare management, CDI, or clinical coursework for creditor degrees (10 CEUs per credit).
  • Presenting CDI-related topics at seminars/speaking engagements (two CEUs for each half-hour of presentation time).

Those whose CCDS expiration dates fall close to March 1, 2015 change in requirements may need additional assistance. Rest assured we will work with you to manage the change.

ACDIS sends reminder notices 90, 60, and 30 days prior to your CCDS expiration. To ensure you receive these notices make sure to communicate any email or mailing address changes to us. You may do this via the Contact Us link on the ACDIS web site. It’s your responsibility to notify ACDIS of any address changes and ultimately, your responsibility to know when your certification expires.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Penny Richards.



Reminder: Changes to the CCDS processes implemented Oct. 1

Changes took place.

Do you have your pin?

The following changes took effect on October 1, 2014:

1. Exam eligibility period will change from one year to 120 days (four months) in which to schedule and take the exam

Candidates will have 120 days (four months) to schedule and take their CCDS exam. Once the application is approved, ACDIS submits the candidate’s names to the exam company. The exam company emails (and mails) the candidate’s scheduling instructions. The candidate is responsible for scheduling his or her exam at a location and date convenient to him or her.

Note: Presently, candidates have a one-year window in which to take the exam. Any candidate sent to the exam company prior to October 1, 2014, will be grandfathered into the one-year eligibility window.

Candidates who do not take their exam within the eligibility period forfeit their exam fee and must reapply.

2. Re-exam fee will change from $100 to $125.

This fee is applicable for a one-time only re-exam for a candidate who fails on his or her first attempt. It also applies to candidates who are absent from their scheduled exam. ACDIS is charged by its testing company for every scheduled exam. Candidates may change their scheduled testing date one time with no fee, and must do so by contacting the exam company at least two business days prior to their scheduled testing appointment.

3. Fees implemented for replacement certificates and lapel pins

Replacements for certificates and pins damaged in transit will be provided at no cost. ACDIS will assess a fee of $25 each for other replacement requests for certificates and lapel pins. The fee is payable by check or credit card at the time of the request.

All replacement orders and payment instructions should be sent to: ACDIS CCDS Administrator, 75 Sylvan Street #A101, Danvers MA 01923 Email:; Fax: 781-639-5542

Reminder: Your CCDS re-certification is due by the two-year anniversary of the date you passed the exam. There is no current plan to restructure the CCDS re-certification requirements to include any specific number or level of ICD-10-related continuing education units. You may re-certify at your convenience and if you need more time, there is a 45-day grace period.

For example if you passed the CCDS exam on Sept. 1, 2014, you need to re-certify by Sept. 1, 2016. Using the 45-day grace period, it will be due no later than November 15, 2016. To re-certify, you need to submit continuing education credits earned during the two year period that you held the CCDS certification (so, from Sept. 1, 2014 to Sept. 1, 2016).

When you are ready to renew, complete the re-certification application, and send it, along with proof of CEUs and the applicable fee, to the address on the application (mail, fax, or email). The application is available on the ACDIS website.

We send several courtesy email notices as your renew date approaches, but you may not hear from us if we don’t have your correct email address or if our notices are blocked on your end. Make note of when your recert due date (your original exam date is on your certificate and on the score sheet you got when you took the exam). It is your responsibility to know when you recertification is due. If you’re not sure of your exam date, drop me an email and I’ll look it up.

CDI Week Cartoon Caption Contest

It is time for the CDI Week Photo/Cartoon Caption Contest. Post your (tasteful and respectful please) suggested captions for the following cartoon in the comments section and ACDIS Members Services Specialist Penny Richards will chose a favorite to win a prize.

Cartoon 6

CDI Week Photo Caption Contest

Here’s the next CDI Week Photo/Cartoon Caption Contest. Post your (tasteful and respectful please) suggested captions for the following photograph in the comments section and ACDIS Members Services Specialist Penny Richards will chose a favorite to win a prize.


Pic 6

CDI Week Photo Caption Contest

Here’s the next CDI Week Photo/Cartoon Caption Contest. Post your (tasteful and respectful please) suggested captions for the following photograph in the comments section and ACDIS Members Services Specialist Penny Richards will chose a favorite to win a prize. This one also comes from the 2014 ACDIS National Conference!


Pic 4-2