June 18, 2010 | | Comments 0
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Associations will require proficiency exams

As we continue our journey toward ICD-10 implementation, certified coders will need to show their proficiency in the new coding system. For holders of an American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) credential, all certified coders will have the opportunity to take the ICD-10 proficiency exam starting in October 2012 and must successfully complete the test by September 30, 2014. The 75-question test will be a timed, online proficiency exam. The AAPC hasn’t decided whether the exam will be multiple choice, but I am guessing that it will be. The test will be open book, and coders have the opportunity to take it twice for the $60 fee. AAPC will require its certified coders to pass this test to retain their certification.

For holders of a credential from the  American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), continuing education hours with ICD-10-CM/PCS content will be required, as applicable and relevant to the specific AHIMA credential(s) held by the individual. AHIMA certified professionals are required to participate in a predetermined number of mandatory baseline educational experiences specific to ICD-10-CM/PCS. These specific CEUs will count as part of the total required CEUs, by credential, per CEU cycle. So for example, if you hold an RHIA credential with AHIMA, you are required to have at least 6 CEUs dedicated to ICD 10-CM/PCS; 12 for the CCS-P credential; 18 for the CCS credential, etc. Certificants who hold more than one AHIMA credential are required to report only the highest number of CEUs from among all credentials held. For example, if an individual has both an RHIA and CCS, he or she would normally report 50 CEUs per recertification cycle, and 18 of those CEUs will be required to cover ICD-10-CM/PCS. AHIMA certified professionals may begin earning ICD-10-specific CEUs after January 1, 2011.

Both organizations have promised to release more information about their ICD-10 proficiency requirements later this year.

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Filed Under: Coding

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Peggy S. Blue About the Author: Peggy S. Blue, MPH, CPC, CCS-P, oversaw the development, implementation, dissemination, and reporting of information related to Medicare professional services training efforts for Highmark Medicare Services prior to joining HCPro, Inc. In that capacity Blue has researched, resolved, and responded to issues and inquiries from the physician community in addition to congressional offices, medical societies, and professional associations. Blue has delivered multiple presentations on Medicare legislation. Blue is a member of the American Academy of Professional Coders. She holds a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a Bachelors of Art degree from Purdue University.

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