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Note from the CCDS Coordinator: Over the Y92.838 and through the Y92.821 to Grandmother’s Y92.01 we go

Penny

CCDS Coordinator Penny Richards

By Penny Richards

Ah. Thanksgiving. While the ACDIS team will be out of the office for the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday, we know that the opportunities for mishaps requiring medical attention are far too plentiful to mention. We wouldn’t want to leave you without ACDIS’ guidance in this trying time, so here is a short list of codes that might prove helpful to the on-duty clinical documentation specialist. [more]

Note from the CCDS Coordinator: Happy birthday, ACDIS!

Penny

CCDS Coordinator Penny Richards

by Penny Richards

ACDIS and I are both celebrating our birthday this week. ACDIS is turning 10. I turned 10 a long time ago.

In 2007 (the year of ACDIS’ “birth”):

  • Apple launched the iPhone
  • Bob Barker appeared for the last time as host of “The Price is Right”
  • “Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix” debuted in theaters
  • Helen Mirren won the Oscar for best actress for “The Queen”
  • The Boston Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies to take the World Series

In the year of my birth: [more]

Note from the CCDS Coordinator: Is it time to recertify your CCDS credential?

ACDIS 522

CCDS Coordinator Penny Richards

by Penny Richards

In the next couple months, hundreds of CCDS holders will need to recertify their credential. Even those who’ve gone through the process may need a quick refresher. So, without further ado, here are some tips and hints to help you have a smooth recertification process.

You may recertify up to 60 days before your due date. Not sure when it is due? Look at the date on your certificate (the one you have framed and hanging on the wall, of course). Your recert is due every two years from the date you passed the exam. You can also email me (prichards@acdis.org) and I’ll check your due date in the CCDS database.

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Note from CCDS Coordinator: Do you really need the CCDS certification?

CCDS certification

I received an interesting question recently from someone contemplating Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) certification. She asked:

“I am wondering whether obtaining the certification gives the CCDS holders any special privileges? Are they able to perform duties that they otherwise would not be able to if they did not hold the certification (not by knowledge, but by law)?”

In my five-plus years with ACDIS no one has ever asked this question. Obtaining the CCDS credential does not give the holder any additional rights, privileges, or responsibilities. It does not legally empower the holder to perform any duties.

What the CCDS credential does, however, is recognize individuals who have an advanced level of CDI knowledge and who have the proven ability to work as clinical documentation specialists. Candidates for the CCDS designation are required to have at least two years of experience in the profession.

The CCDS demonstrates an accomplishment that captures both experience and knowledge in the field, and many facilities suggest or require their CDI staff hold the CCDS or earn it following the two-year minimum requirement to sit for the exam, after hire. Facilities often hire individuals with nursing (clinical) or coding experience for the clinical documentation team and train them to become proficient. It is the decision of the individual facility to determine who to employ as a CDI specialist and what responsibilities are given to individuals who perform the CDI role, which may differ depending on whether or not they hold the certification.

What I didn’t tell the writer is that, for a lot of people, CCDS certification is a matter of pride. In the fall of 2016, ACDIS conducted a survey of CCDS holders and asked them what they see as the value of their credential. Their responses included:

  • The credential differentiates me as a leader
  • I am set apart as the CDI who went the extra mile to prepare for and achieve the certification for my very specialized profession
  • I am the go-to-person for others to come to with questions for assistance
  • The credential demonstrates that I put forth the effort to be knowledgeable about the work I perform
  • Professional certification is about promoting the highest standards in our industry
  • Personal satisfaction
  • It shows I take my job seriously and intend to stay on top of the knowledge I need to do the job well
  • It shows I have the experience of clinical chart review for appropriate diagnoses and the clarification/query process to physicians
  • The credential sets me apart—I have skills and knowledge
  • It’s proof that I value this job, want to continue to do it, and want to improve myself; I feel it’s a definite plus and shows that I take pride in what I do.
  • It adds much credibility with the physicians in my institution—I think I am perceived as being more professional and more knowledgeable in my role

From the same survey, several managers told us:

  • Certified individuals are viewed as more knowledgeable about coding guidelines and best practices. They are more committed to their work, better trained, and have better understanding of the role and what is required to do the job well. And because of recertification requirements, they stay current with changes in the industry.
  • Certification holders often serve as team leads, help with new staff orientation, and staff education.
  • It communicates a commitment to their craft. Requirements are such that they have to stay current with on-going changes that are occurring. It helps when interacting with their “customers,” as they really are trained and understand what they are doing.
  • Identifies that you have attained increased knowledge related to your daily practice.

What will drive you to seek CCDS certification? Whether personal pride, or a suggestion or requirement from your employer, we are here to encourage your efforts and cheer your accomplishment.

Visit the ACDIS website and download the Exam Candidate’s Handbook for more information about certification.

Editor’s note: Penny Richards is the CCDS Coordinator for ACDIS. If you have any questions regarding the CCDS credential or exam process, contact her at prichards@hcpro.com.