AHIMA's Exams - No Educational Requirements!

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aahill in Wilkinson, Georgia

82 months ago

ferdinand in Hyattsville, Maryland said: thanks for yr advice,hope it do work for me.

The key to coding is learning how to use the index in the back of the CPT Coding book. Of course medical term. and A&P, is a must, but I believe that you will be able to pass the CCS with those key points. I am majoring in Health Information Management at a local technical school and I will receive a diploma in the program when I finish. I will be eligible to take the CCA but my instructor is encourageing us to go ahead and take the CCS in which she is preparing us for. My instructor is head of the medical records department at the VA Hospital and she has been in the field since 1964. I took a practice exam on the AHIMA site for the CCS and did pretty good with the knowledge that I have obtained from my classes.

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Valdenise in San Diego, California

82 months ago

AaHILL,
The coding class you're taking is it offered online.

thanks

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aahill in Wilkinson, Georgia

82 months ago

Valdenise in San Diego, California said: AaHILL,
The coding class you're taking is it offered online.

thanks

The coding class that I am taking is not offered online; I take it on campus. There are schools that offer coding online. I know that AHIMA.org has information about online coding classes from them.

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Valdenise in San Diego, California

82 months ago

Thank you Aahill,
You're lucky to have someone working at the VA to teach up inpatient coding..Good luck to you and I hope you pass that darn CCS...It is a tuff one.

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codertx in Bryan, Texas

81 months ago

Nicole in Dublin, California said: PS - Sorry if this was obvious to everyone else.. I just came across it today and I guess was surprised after all the talk about where to go school that in the end, it doesn't matter. AHIMA will let ANYONE sit for their exams, education and experience, or not!

Yes, but I know 6 people have failed it until they took a condensed course and only passed in the 70's.

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Valerie in Compton, California

81 months ago

Does anyone know an ONLINE PROGRAM that has both ambulatory and inpatient coding to help you pass the CCS...I was told SANTA BARBARA CITY COLLEGE was good..ANY OTHER SCHOOL SUGGESTIONS??????

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KK in West Hollywood, California

81 months ago

Valerie in Compton, California said: Does anyone know an ONLINE PROGRAM that has both ambulatory and inpatient coding to help you pass the CCS...I was told SANTA BARBARA CITY COLLEGE was good..ANY OTHER SCHOOL SUGGESTIONS??????

You don't need to take college course to pass CCS exam. You can practice coding on your own. I am currently attending Santa Barbara City College (HIT), but I started my courses here after I earned my AHIMA credential.

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Valerie in Compton, California

81 months ago

KK,
I tried studying at home but it's not the same. Besides I really need to know DRGs and APCs..After the HIT program will you take the medical coding specialist program at SBCC?

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KK in West Hollywood, California

81 months ago

Valerie in Compton, California said: KK,
I tried studying at home but it's not the same. Besides I really need to know DRGs and APCs..After the HIT program will you take the medical coding specialist program at SBCC?

Valerie

I am currently holding CCA & CCS license. I took advanced coding course and medical practicum at SBCC to improve my coding skill and learn about DRG, encoder and basic ICD-10. They teach DRG and basic ICD-10 in adavanced coding application course at SBCC.

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Valerie in Compton, California

81 months ago

WOW!!! Can you be my mentor ;-).....That's my goal, I'd rather be an inpatient coder because it's more money. Besides I'm trying to beat the ICD-10 deadline...I don't know how i'll make it using ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes..I know I've asked you this BUT by taking the med coding specialist program at SBCC, did it help you to pass the CCA and CCS??

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KK in West Hollywood, California

81 months ago

Valerie in Compton, California said: WOW!!! Can you be my mentor ;-).....That's my goal, I'd rather be an inpatient coder because it's more money. Besides I'm trying to beat the ICD-10 deadline...I don't know how i'll make it using ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes..I know I've asked you this BUT by taking the med coding specialist program at SBCC, did it help you to pass the CCA and CCS??

Valerie

I started college course AFTER I passed CCS exam. I mostly studied about coding on my own, but after I earned my CCS, I realized that I have to learn about HIT, DRG, encoder, basic ICD-10 etc so that is why I attend SBCC.

I cannot really said if coding classes at SBCC will help in passing CCS, it depend on student's effort. I think college courses in based on theory more than practice. I would recommend you to do coding exercise on your own apart from what u learn at college.

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Valerie in Compton, California

81 months ago

I keep that in mind..Thank you KK...;-)

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pat l hanson in Minnetonka, Minnesota

81 months ago

Teresa in Fayetteville, North Carolina said: You said you worked as a traveling coding consultant. I am wondering do you have to be certified to get a job as a traveling coder since I have 11 months under me already? Is it hard to get a coding job with your RHIA finish out of college?
Thank you. You are more and welcome to email me at varsityknights@aol.com

I'm interested to find out what the daily expectations are for out patient coding in hospitals around the U.S. Currently were expected to code 15 visits per hour. Is this high,low or average? Thank you.

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pat l hanson in Minnetonka, Minnesota

81 months ago

What is your current daily work load for hospital out patient coding? Our supervisor, says 80 a day is average across the U.S. I believe that this is a relatively high number of charts to complete accurately in day? Looking for others input? Thanks.

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Valerie in Compton, California

81 months ago

Morning KK,
At SBCC, did you learn about Ambulatory Surgery??

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KK in West Hollywood, California

81 months ago

It is part of outpatient coding.

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Valerie in Compton, California

81 months ago

Thank you KK..

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ferdinand in Hyattsville, Maryland

81 months ago

Hi, can anyone help?i am looking for any review classes for the ccs exam in maryland. I will like to attend one b4 going in for my certification exam.

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Shirley Winters in Wheaton, Illinois

81 months ago

No Comments! All of the comments posted seems helpful, I have no schooling, in medical coding and billing, but have over 20 years experience and is very much interested in becoming AAPC or AHIMA.

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HIM-in-Berkeley in Sunnyvale, California

81 months ago

I am in the process of switching from a nonhealthcare profession to HIM. I plan to enroll in the graduate HIM certificate progam at Oregon Health Science University in the fall. Currently I am taking A&P, after that IDC 1 & 2, and CPT 1 & 2 with AHIMA; all are prereqs to enroll in the program at OHSU. As I have no experience in healthcare would it be advantageous for me to get the CCS credential enroute to RHIA to get a job in the field? Like others on the forum have stated, experience seems to be the biggest hurdle in landing a job. Thanks

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Vanessa in Bronx, New York

81 months ago

I believe AHIMA is the way to go regarding classes. $14,500 with a college is way too high. It you get a loan whether or not you get a job you have to repay the loan. AHIMA is way cheaper than the colle.

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Bella in Oak Park, Michigan

81 months ago

Does anybody found a job after taking Medical Billing and Coding classes at Everest Institute in Michigan? I am comparing this school with others in Metro Detroit area. Its not too many. If you graduated from Dorsey School or Canegie Institute, please share you experience.

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Rita in Southington, Connecticut

80 months ago

Annie in Millington, Michigan said: Oh, and I am pretty pro- AHIMA , but I wouldn't go for the CCA credential IMO. I don't think a lot of employers recgonize it and it is equal to or lower proficiency than the CPC. (Again, IMO, I'm sure there are areas that differ.) I do think the CCS is worth shooting for, though I've heard it is pretty hard.

I just took the CPC and passed, and after two years of school I found it extremely easy. But I am afraid of the CCS exam ! We did the prep books in my coding internship and they were so hard.

Question for you, Annie ... did you feel you needed 2 years of school? Do you have work experience already? I am finishing my first year and am considering simply studying for an exam ... either CPC or CCS. I have NO work experience, but don't necessarily want to go for the easiest exam. I want to be marketable to hospitals and physicians - all across the country as I am planning to relocate in 5 years. What is the career path? It seems like we're being encouraged to apply for entry level physician office jobs with the hope of being promoted ... not what I wanted to hear, but I guess you need to break in somewhere. Any insights are appreciated!

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Valerie in San Diego, California

80 months ago

RITA,
Try to get a govt job as a medical records technician/coder. A friend of mine has a very cool supv that took her in and she had very little coding experience. Her background is mostly insurance. To be brief, she told her supv that she was interested in surgical coding and inpatient coding. Her supv told her to let her know when she's ready...Try working for the Department of Veterans that way within 5 YEARS you can transfer anywhere in the US when it comes to govt jobs.

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valentine in West Jordan, Utah

80 months ago

Valerie in San Diego, California said: RITA,
Try to get a govt job as a medical records technician/coder. A friend of mine has a very cool supv that took her in and she had very little coding experience. Her background is mostly insurance. To be brief, she told her supv that she was interested in surgical coding and inpatient coding. Her supv told her to let her know when she's ready...Try working for the Department of Veterans that way within 5 YEARS you can transfer anywhere in the US when it comes to govt jobs.

I have just been made an offer from the VA for a medical records technician/coder position. i have happy to hear that it seems to be a good job, I have been a little back and forth on whether I should take it.... did you friend say anything else about how she likes working there??

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Monica Bush in Toledo, Ohio

80 months ago

I am a recent graduate in the HIT field and I have not landed a career job yet. Part of it is because of the geographical region in which I reside. I am planning on moving to Florida. Does anyone know of any companies that will hire an entry-level HIT graduate in coding? Most preferrable the West Palm Beach area.

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RHIT student in Middletown, Ohio

80 months ago

Monica Bush in Toledo, Ohio said: I am a recent graduate in the HIT field and I have not landed a career job yet. Part of it is because of the geographical region in which I reside. I am planning on moving to Florida. Does anyone know of any companies that will hire an entry-level HIT graduate in coding? Most preferrable the West Palm Beach area.

Have you thought about VA jobs? Most only require that you graduated from an AHIMA approved school and have your RHIT or other certification.

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Cindi in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

80 months ago

Go on-line and subscribe to "Absolutely Healthcare" - I get notifications of HIT positions e-mailed to me on a daily basis.

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Cindi in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

80 months ago

jobs@healthjobsusa.com - try this site.

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Dawn M in Grasonville, Maryland

79 months ago

any

anyone have any more info. on becoming a RN coder let me know thanks

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linintx@*****.*** in Plano, Texas

79 months ago

I am just starting out with Medical coding and billing - I am curious what the real-world pay scale is. I have heard so many ranges.

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

79 months ago

linintx@aol.com in Plano, Texas said: I am just starting out with Medical coding and billing - I am curious what the real-world pay scale is. I have heard so many ranges.

there isn't really a set pay scale, you will get some variance depending on education, experience, certifications, location, inpatient or outpatient coders. i have found the salary searcher on indeed to be very helpful and pretty accurate.

in my area, someone who is certified and has a year or two of experience can expect to start at about $15-$16 an hour, more experience, will make more.

but if you get a RHIT or RHIA and have managerial experience, you could be making $70,000-$90,000.

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ali in South Ozone Park, New York

79 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: Before everyone goes out to sit for the CCA or CCS exams without bothering to have either education or work experience in the field, know this: the CCS exam is intense and intended for experienced coders with 3-5 years of coding experience. It has about a 50-percent passing rate.

For those who aren't aware, there are two other exams from AHIMA--the RHIT and RHIA, which require 2- and 4-year degrees, respectively.

Wrong, the RHIA does NOT require a 2-4 year degree. There are grants based on need given by PRESIDENT OBAMA. RHIA grant allow you to enter the program, and course for "1" year committment. It prepares you for the RHIA exam. I just received a grant to take the (RHIA) Registered Health Infomatics Administrator. These grants can be applied at the LISTED schools under the CAHIMA website. PRESIDENT OBAMA gave these grants to universities to ALLOCATE and introduce students of any age into the healthcare field.
"RHIAs collect, interpret, and analyze patient data and communicate the information throughout the organization that use it to make improvements. An AHIMA membership survey reported more than half of the respondents worked as directors, managers, or consultants."

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ali in South Ozone Park, New York

79 months ago

Bella in Oak Park, Michigan said: Does anybody found a job after taking Medical Billing and Coding classes at Everest Institute in Michigan? I am comparing this school with others in Metro Detroit area. Its not too many. If you graduated from Dorsey School or Canegie Institute, please share you experience.

It doesn't matter where you go to school as long as you sit for the AAPC or AHIMA coding exam and get CERTIFIED.

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kim, CPC in Salt Lake City, Utah

79 months ago

ali in South Ozone Park, New York said: Wrong, the RHIA does NOT require a 2-4 year degree. There are grants based on need given by PRESIDENT OBAMA. RHIA grant allow you to enter the program, and course for "1" year committment. It prepares you for the RHIA exam. I just received a grant to take the (RHIA) Registered Health Infomatics Administrator. These grants can be applied at the LISTED schools under the CAHIMA website. PRESIDENT OBAMA gave these grants to universities to ALLOCATE and introduce students of any age into the healthcare field.
"RHIAs collect, interpret, and analyze patient data and communicate the information throughout the organization that use it to make improvements. An AHIMA membership survey reported more than half of the respondents worked as directors, managers, or consultants."

are you telling me that under this program, you don't have to have a degree to sit for the RHIT or RHIA? So they don't teach you anything like a school/degree would, they just prepare you to pass a test? Yeah, I don't see any problems at ALL for someone like that to be in charge of a HIM or Billing Dept.

You are supposed to get the degree so you have all around knowledge of HIM, not just so you can get the cert.

But I would expect a half brained program like this to be created by Obama

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txcodingstudent in Allen, Texas

79 months ago

AHIMA requires you to have a 4 year degree to sit for their RHIA. Go to their website www.ahima.org.

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txcodingstudent in Allen, Texas

79 months ago

I sat for the CCS-P and missed passing by 9 points (209 out of 218) and took the CCS and missed it by 23 points. Not bad for not having any experience coding in the real world. Just taking the classes and studying on my own for others. I took the exams to see what to expect. Will be taking the CCS-P in August and know I will pass as I know what to expect (the exam print out told me where I needed to spend more time studying, missed by only 9 points, darn) and I will pass. Just know your guidelnes real good!

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Everything outpatient in Charlotte, North Carolina

79 months ago

pat l hanson in Minnetonka, Minnesota said: I'm interested to find out what the daily expectations are for out patient coding in hospitals around the U.S. Currently were expected to code 15 visits per hour. Is this high,low or average? Thank you.

I would say that is average for clinic visits. If they are outpatient surgery, average is 5-9.

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coder311 in Germantown, Tennessee

79 months ago

The hospital I used to work for has a productivity quota of 20 charts per hour for a Coder II and 25 charts per hour for a Coder III coding ERs and Referred Outpatients.

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coder311 in Germantown, Tennessee

79 months ago

I recently passed the CCS. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I plan on taking the CCS-P next year.

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Rita in Hamden, Connecticut

79 months ago

txcodingstudent in Allen, Texas said: I sat for the CCS-P and missed passing by 9 points (209 out of 218) and took the CCS and missed it by 23 points. Not bad for not having any experience coding in the real world. Just taking the classes and studying on my own for others. I took the exams to see what to expect. Will be taking the CCS-P in August and know I will pass as I know what to expect (the exam print out told me where I needed to spend more time studying, missed by only 9 points, darn) and I will pass. Just know your guidelnes real good!

Hi ... what classes did you take and for how long (classroom, college, online, certificate program?) What books are you using to self study, and how long have you been studying? Good luck on your next test!

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Rita in Hamden, Connecticut

79 months ago

coder311 in Germantown, Tennessee said: I recently passed the CCS. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I plan on taking the CCS-P next year.

hi ... how did you decide which test to take first? The general opinion on this thread is that you took the "harder" one first and passed. Just curious ... if you passed the more difficult one already, why do you feel you need to have both? Are you working in the industry already where there's a requirement for it? Thanks for any insights!

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helenofcoding in New Castle, Pennsylvania

79 months ago

Valerie in Compton, California said: Does anyone know an ONLINE PROGRAM that has both ambulatory and inpatient coding to help you pass the CCS...I was told SANTA BARBARA CITY COLLEGE was good..ANY OTHER SCHOOL SUGGESTIONS??????

Hi Valerie....

Are you just interested in classes to "help prepare" for the CCS Exam or are you interested in a "TRAINING" program. If so... go to AHIMA.org (The American Health Information Management Assoc.) they have an ONLINE PROGRAM. I am graduating from it in 8 weeks! CAUTION: I recommend you take your classes "one at a time" and NOT in clusters!!!! The Coding Basics Program consists of 13 classes and it is Online and you go at your own pace. It is a challenging program, but well worth it....AHIMA is the "gold standard" in the Health Information Management Industry....Best Wishes and GOOD LUCK to YOU!!!

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lex in Chillicothe, Ohio

79 months ago

RN in Modesto, California said: A lot has changed in the medical field over the last 21 years. Medical coding is very important for reimbursement purposes. Do you have any experience with ICD-9 codes? I don't know off hand how long it will take, I would imagine somewhere close to a year. Maybe someone else can help.

I have been looking into this for a few months i found a self paced program online they offer a certification and a associate degree. ( Pennfoster. ) I have not yet started the classes I was reading reviews and seeing if the need is still high so whe ni am done with my degree in about 2 years that i could get a job. anyway... look into Penn Foster online

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LADYCODER in Sumter, South Carolina

79 months ago

I am sitting for my CCS exam on Monday. I have been coding in
a hospital setting for 9 1/2 years now. I coded both inpatient
and outpatient at one time. however for the last 7 or 8 years I have been an outpatient surgery coder. I took a prep course this past January thru April for the CCS exam. However I have found that I get better study material directly from my coding books and my reference books. I still code an inpatient chart now and then to keep my hands in it. I am very nervous about the exam. I am 51
years old and have dreamed of getting my certification for awhile.
Best book I have used to date has been the Faye Brown book!
A wealth of knowledge in those pages! At first I thought I was too old to mess with this exam, then I read something that I now keep on my desk.. They may become harder to achieve,but your dreams can't stop because you've hit a certain age. AMEN! Best of luck to
all of you who are sitting for any exam! I am praying hard that I will pass this thing! Good luck to us all!

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Cindi in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

79 months ago

Good luck tomorrow! I think you will do great! I'm 50 and will be sitting for the RHIT next year - as you mentioned, it's never too late to pursue your dream. Let us know how you did.

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coder311 in Memphis, Tennessee

79 months ago

You'll pass it. I have no experience in inpatient or surgery coding and passed it last month.

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bozley46@*****.*** in Albany, New York

79 months ago

I am a CPC & have just sat for an 80 hour prep course for my CCS which I will hopefully be taking the exam in the near future. I don't have any coding experience & am hoping to try to find a company where I can work from home coding. I have worked in the HMO insurane field for 15 years & am proficient with both ICD-9 & CPT. Does anyone know of any companies that will hire someone for remote coding without experience? Any suggestions or comments would be helpful. Carmen

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Valdenise in San Diego, California

79 months ago

Coder311,
How did you learn surgery coding??

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helenofcoding in New Castle, Pennsylvania

79 months ago

Tami in CA said: I understand AHIMA has their own distance education course.
campus.ahima.org/Campus/course_info/CB/index.html
Is anyone familiar with it? It looks intriguing and at a self-paced rate, I should be able to sail through the areas I am already familiar with. At least I hope so!

Hello Tami...

I am graduating from the AHIMA Online Coding Program in 8 weeks. Some background on myself....I am an RHIT, a CTR, and have a BS Degree in Health Science. The AHIMA Program is the "gold standard" in the industry and highly respected! The program consists of 13 classes....(you have to take Anatomy & Physiology FIRST and get a grade of "C" or better to be admitted to the program). AHIMA DOES OFFER this class Online! Also have to be a high school graduate. You can take the classes "one at a time" or in "clusters"....I DO NOT RECOMMEND taking them in clusters...TOO demanding particularly if you are working and have small children at home! Taking them one at a time (you have 15 weeks to finish each class and if you finish sooner than GREAT). If you do clusters then you have to "juggle" your time frame and HAVE to complete each class in 5 weeks! Also if you take them in clusters you HAVE to finish the program in 15 months (I believe). If you take them one at a time (you have less pressure and can finish "whenever" you finish. MORE freedom & flexibility this way. If you decide to take the classes in clusters...I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you take PATHOPHYSIOLOGY/PHARM as a "single" class. Also CPT Part 1 (very intense too!) With the new ICD-10 code set coming in 2013, employers will be taking a serious look at "how" a coder was trained, (i.e) on the job vs. formal education (and "where they went to school). Coding is serious work as it is tied to reimbursement. The AHIMA Program is an excellent well-rounded education. It is demanding but well worth it. If you are serious about being a coder, then spend your money at AHIMA. I have NO REGRETS!!!

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