Questions on AHIMA Coding Basics Program

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Alina in New Berlin, Wisconsin

53 months ago

Wendy in Wasilla, Alaska said: Need advice on AHIMA Coding Basics Program trying to decide where to start.

I'm planning to enroll in this program after I complete their Anatomy and Physiology class. Hopefully soon. From what I'm reading online, this program is possibly the best initial step. I just hope that at least some of the classes are potentially transferable to an accredited RHIT program. Anyone happens to have any information on this?

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Wendy in Wasilla, Alaska

53 months ago

Alina in New Berlin, Wisconsin said: I'm planning to enroll in this program after I complete their Anatomy and Physiology class. Hopefully soon. From what I'm reading online, this program is possibly the best initial step. I just hope that at least some of the classes are potentially transferable to an accredited RHIT program. Anyone happens to have any information on this?

That is my plan also my biggest concern is the credits being transferable.

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nancy1 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

39 months ago

Hi ALina,

I am just curious if you started the AHIMA Coding Basics online yet?? I am considering goin gthis route since the credits now transfer to a RHIT program which is important but is the online delivery of the program a good learning eperience?

Nancy from New Berlin, WI

Alina in New Berlin, Wisconsin said: I'm planning to enroll in this program after I complete their Anatomy and Physiology class. Hopefully soon. From what I'm reading online, this program is possibly the best initial step. I just hope that at least some of the classes are potentially transferable to an accredited RHIT program. Anyone happens to have any information on this?

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114 in Wasilla, Alaska

39 months ago

nancy1 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: Hi ALina,

I am just curious if you started the AHIMA Coding Basics online yet?? I am considering goin gthis route since the credits now transfer to a RHIT program which is important but is the online delivery of the program a good learning eperience?

Nancy from New Berlin, WI

How do you know they will transfer? I was wanting to find a institution that would accept there credits.

And would like to find a few people that have taken the course.

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Jessica in Staten Island, New York

38 months ago

I have been researching the coding career for a while now. I chose to enroll into the AHIMA since the CPA is the most wanted credential. You have to have taken/take the Anatomy&Physiology course. AHIMA offers it through them. I would suggest becoming a member with them so you get their discounts and plus you need to be a member to enroll in their Coding Basics class. When you're a few weeks away from finishing your Anatomy course, order the books for Cluster 1 classes because once you enroll in the course, your 15 week time limit for those classes begin and it would be a waste to not have the books and not be able to begin the work. Once you complete your anatomy course, enroll into the program :)

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HIM Recruiter in Thousand Oaks, California

38 months ago

Jessica,

As a recruiter, I can tell you that most hospitals want a CCS,RHIT or RHIA for credentials. Billing offices may take CPA but most hospitals won't.The credential you get will affect where you will work. Good luck.

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114 in Wasilla, Alaska

38 months ago

Is the coding basics classes from AHIMA worth taking to get a job

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Jessica in Staten Island, New York

38 months ago

You're right. After more research, I'm enrolling in AACP coding basics for CPC. I'm just wondering, how can I get my foot in the door as an apprentice with no associate or bachelor's degree?

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Tina in Fredericksburg, Virginia

38 months ago

Jessica in Staten Island, New York said: You're right. After more research, I'm enrolling in AACP coding basics for CPC. I'm just wondering, how can I get my foot in the door as an apprentice with no associate or bachelor's degree?

This class is ver pricey. I want to enroll but 1345. too much right now, I think by Oct. I will enroll let me know how the program work for you maybe we can study online together.

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valentine in Park City, Utah

38 months ago

Jessica in Staten Island, New York said: You're right. After more research, I'm enrolling in AACP coding basics for CPC. I'm just wondering, how can I get my foot in the door as an apprentice with no associate or bachelor's degree?

Really the only way is to take an entry level HIM job, something in medical records, account follow up, charge entry, etc. To gain some experience, become more familar with ICD 9, CPT and reimbursement, and then move up to a coding job.

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HIM Recruiter in Thousand Oaks, California

38 months ago

Jessica, I would still stick with a AHIMA credential such as CCS, RHIT, or RHIA. Your job possibilites increase in finding jobs with hospitals and other healthcare facility. I personally would not get a CPC, because it limits you.

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valentine in Park City, Utah

38 months ago

HIM Recruiter in Thousand Oaks, California said: Jessica, I would still stick with a AHIMA credential such as CCS, RHIT, or RHIA. Your job possibilites increase in finding jobs with hospitals and other healthcare facility. I personally would not get a CPC, because it limits you.

It doesn't limit you anymore than a CCS-P. Besides, NO hospital will hire a CCS that doesn't have at least 2-3 years experience.

Just having the credential isn't enough, you also need experience. That is a great benefit of the CPC, you can start in a physicians office and work up to facility coding.

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

38 months ago

Not sure what you mean by "CPA" - no medical coder credential that I'm familiar with. The AAPC offers a "CPC" and AHIMA's entry level credential is "CCA" and next one is "CCS". It's true, here in the middle south, most facilities want either RHIT (associate degree), RHIA (bachelor degree) and CCS, but it's recommended that you have at least 1-2 yrs. experience before sitting for the CCS. Since I didn't feel like wasting the test money, I took the CCA and passed, but even that test wasn't a walk in the park!

I was told by an RN friend not to bother with AAPC - to stick with either AHIMA's distance education (which is what I did) or look for a community college with an AHIMA approved coding course (which you can locate on AHIMA's distance education site:

ahima.org/ContinuingEd/Campus/default.aspx

In a different coding post, I mentioned the ups and downs of AHIMA's online education. Just started my job hunt and am applying to anything facility related: admit clerk, health records and of course the coding department. My understanding from others I've networked with is that it's much easier to get an entry level coding position in the outpatient department (not as difficult as inpatient), but I haven't seen too many of those positions yet. Lots of jobs for experienced inpatient coders around here. Wish I had that experience!

Good luck!

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114 in Wasilla, Alaska

38 months ago

you said you took the AHIMA distance education. how difficult was it and do you have any advise. I hope to be stating it soon as college classes are much more expensive.

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

38 months ago

AHIMA was the only viable choice for me. The closest community college that is approved by AHIMA is over an hour away - same thing with DeVry. Plus both would have cost much more in terms of class cost, gas and time (especially DeVry). I started A&P (pre-requisite before starting the coding program) in late October 2009 and started the Coding program in mid-January of 2010. What is so great about AHIMA is that you set your own pace - you're not restricted to a typical college curriculum. There were times I'd be studying at 4:00 in the morning or midnight. I could set my own hours. It's also perfect for those who work - you can take up to almost 3 1/2 years to complete it if you have to. The way it's set up is that after you have passed A&P, you sign up for the coding program. The coding program is broken into 4 clusters (like semesters in a college) and each cluster has 3 separate classes. You can sign up in a number of ways: #1) sign up/pay for the ENTIRE course (all 4 clusters-cheapest and fastest way); but you must complete the entire course in 15 months; #2) pay for a cluster at a time (3 classes in each cluster) and you have 15 weeks to complete the entire cluster (roughly 5 weeks per class); or #3) pay for one class at a time - a tiny bit more expensive, BUT it gives you the same 15 weeks to finish just that class...perfect for someone who works full-time.

I highly recommend AHIMA, but it does require discipline. I had hoped to be done with the whole program within one year, but in the beginning was part-time caregiver to my dad who was in the last stages of Alzheimer's and I took the entire month of December 2010 off for refreshing my mind (Patho was a killer!). Other family things happened so I didn't finish until the middle of June 2011.

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

38 months ago

The downside to AHIMA is that when you come out of the program, you will not have an Associates Degree, which is what you would probably have if you went to a community college. That means you cannot sit for the RHIT (the AHIMA credential that requires at least an Associates Degree). The RHIA is for those who have a bachelors degree. AHIMA does state that you can get an ACE transcript by paying to register your completed classes with them, but I haven't checked that out. I may do that if I decide to complete the associates program online - just have to find an online school that will accept those credits.

Other negs are: no teacher in front of you to ask a question and get an immediate response - you can send off a course support request form, but sometimes they don't get back to you quickly and/or the response is not always what you expected; I did find several incorrect answers in the answer key and informed AHIMA - after a while I stopped...got tired of sending off an email only to get back a non-committal response thanking me for advising them of the problem; several of us felt that some of the questions on some of the finals were posed in such a way that it made us feel they were setting us up to fail that question...but then again the CCA had some questions like that as well; the overall look of the class modules (each class is sectioned into approx. 15 modules each with a test about every 3 modules) was dated and I think AHIMA needs to improve it.

When I started A/P with AHIMA, the discussion boards were FULL of other students commenting, asking questions, etc. But by the time I got to the 3rd cluster of the coding program, there were very few on the boards. Pathophysiology is what I call the make or break class. Very hard! However, I have made some lasting contacts through the boards.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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RHIA2U in Cincinnati, Ohio

38 months ago

These are the classes that usually will eliminate most students from obtaining their RHIT credential. The final third coding class where you actually code old real medical records with the demographic information blackened out, using a 3M encoder, the Medical Statistics course, and Pathophysiology. When you actually take either the RHIT or RHIA there can be alot of Med Stats on it, so you do need to know your stat formulas to calculate average length of stay and mortality rates etc. Pathophysiology is needed to really understand the disease process and to code more accurately. With ICD-10 on the horizon it will be imperative that every coder have a very strong A&P background to code to the specificity that this nomenclature requires. Without that background you will not be able to select the correct code and then you will be fired as when a peer or supervisor monitors your work and the charts you code are denied payment you will not be happy when your supervisor reviews your errors and shows you the door. Just a fact here.

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inneed in Los Angeles, California

38 months ago

Hi all,
Please guide me to perceive medical billing and coding career
1.is billing job and coding job different
2.is it easy to get job in this field
3.how much is the pay approx
in anticipation

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Kelly in Tallahassee, Florida

36 months ago

Gail in Sherman, Texas said: The downside to AHIMA is that when you come out of the program, you will not have an Associates Degree, which is what you would probably have if you went to a community college. That means you cannot sit for the RHIT (the AHIMA credential that requires at least an Associates Degree). The RHIA is for those who have a bachelors degree. AHIMA does state that you can get an ACE transcript by paying to register your completed classes with them, but I haven't checked that out. I may do that if I decide to complete the associates program online - just have to find an online school that will accept those credits.

Hi! I was just wondering if you've found out any information about transferring credits toward an associates degree? I've looked into applying to an AHIMA credited associates degree program in Florida and the only down-side is that I won't be able to start the program until Fall of 2012 because I've missed the deadline for Spring 2012. I really don't want to have to wait almost a whole year to start my education if I can start it now through AHIMA coding basics program.

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Lisa Sancha in Atlanta, Georgia

36 months ago

HIM Recruiter in Thousand Oaks, California said: Jessica, I would still stick with a AHIMA credential such as CCS, RHIT, or RHIA. Your job possibilites increase in finding jobs with hospitals and other healthcare facility. I personally would not get a CPC, because it limits you.

I am enrolled in an AHIMA accredited college. Im almost done(internship starts in Jan '12). My question to you is, is it better to have 5 years of experience and NO credentials or a RHIT credential with no experience. I know if you have both, your good to go, so that option is not an option. Which one is better at landing a job?

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Lisa Sancha in Atlanta, Georgia

36 months ago

Kelly in Tallahassee, Florida said: Hi! I was just wondering if you've found out any information about transferring credits toward an associates degree? I've looked into applying to an AHIMA credited associates degree program in Florida and the only down-side is that I won't be able to start the program until Fall of 2012 because I've missed the deadline for Spring 2012. I really don't want to have to wait almost a whole year to start my education if I can start it now through AHIMA coding basics program.

I could be wrong, but if I'm not mistaken, you have to go to an AHIMA accredited college to even sit for the exam. Im think that you can sit also if you have taken their course work too.

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

36 months ago

(cont'd.)

I started off paying for the first cluster, then the second cluster, but by the time I got to the third cluster, it was right before the holiday season was starting and I switched to paying for one class at a time and was glad I did. You start ICD9, Part 1 at the end of cluster 2 and from there, the classes are mainly coding and practice experience and I did not want to rush through those classes. It just took some of the stress off! As it turns out, I could have completed Cluster 3 & 4 w/in the 15 week period, but I just didn't feel the stress. I also took off most of December so I was refreshed when I resumed classes in January.

Unfortunately, you're hitting the program at an odd time for coders - ICD10 will be implemented on 10/1/13. If you were to start the AHIMA program now, you'll probably be finishing up the program sometime around the end of 12/12 or the spring of 2013 - right before ICD10 is implemented and that will make it even more difficult to get a job.

So, I recommend that you contact AHIMA (yes, you can talk to a REAL person) and ask them what they recommend. And ask them when they are going to upgrade their online coding program to ICD10! Since A&P and the first 5 classes should be unaffected by ICD10 (except for minor modifications), you could probably switch to the ICD10 coding classes, but you must ask AHIMA about their timing on that.

Hope this helps!

g

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

36 months ago

Lisa -

Here tis AHIMA's eligibility requirements to sit for the CCA (entry-level credential):

AHIMA Eligibility Requirements

CCA examination candidates must have a high school diploma from a United States high school or an equivalent educational background.

Although not required, it is strongly recommended that candidates have at least six months experience in:

A healthcare organization applying ICD-9-CM and CPT coding conventions and guidelines,
or
Have completed an AHIMA-approved coding certificate program
or
Have completed other formal coding training program

So it's not set in stone that you must attend an AHIMA approved course, but I'd strongly recommend it. Here in North Texas, AHIMA is the top dog and employers only take AHIMA seriously when it comes to ICD9 coding. The AAPC is good for those who prefer to do physician-based coding. I knew that I wanted to steer towards hospital-based coding and that's why I chose AHIMA. From what I can tell around here, there's more money to be made in inpatient coding - especially with a few years of experience. Currently there's a position in Dallas for an LTAC coder (with experience) starting at $25-30/hour.

g

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Lisa Sancha in Atlanta, Georgia

36 months ago

Im sorry. I was not thinking for the CCA credential. I was thinking about the RHIT/RHIA credentials. Thank you for the correction.

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

36 months ago

Lisa Sancha in Atlanta, Georgia said: I am enrolled in an AHIMA accredited college. Im almost done(internship starts in Jan '12). My question to you is, is it better to have 5 years of experience and NO credentials or a RHIT credential with no experience. I know if you have both, your good to go, so that option is not an option. Which one is better at landing a job?

Based on what I've seen, a credential is a must for someone without experience. It will be near impossible to be considered for an entry-level position without some sort of credential. I am currently being considered for a position and w/o my credential (CCA), my resume would have been thrown in the trash with the others.

It's not a rosy picture regarding the job hunt. It's tough to get that 1st job and most are only considered for entry-level positions (admitting, medical records clerk, receptionist, etc.). So, if you can, learn from my mistake: while you're in school, try to volunteer at a hospital - it will go a long way in getting through the proverbial door if you can say, "yes, I've worked at a hospital!". And, frequently, hospitals hire from w/in first.

g

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

36 months ago

inneed in Los Angeles, California said: Hi all,
Please guide me to perceive medical billing and coding career
1.is billing job and coding job different
2.is it easy to get job in this field
3.how much is the pay approx
in anticipation

1. Basically, coders extract data from the patient record and apply ICD9/CPT/HCPCS codes query physicians (if needed), etc. From there, the biller is responsible for following up with the accounts receivable side. In some cases the lines cross (i.e. in a physician setting where they appear to do both). I'm sure there are others on this board who can give you a more seasoned response.

2. It is not easy to get a coder job right out of school. Valentine, another forum member, has posted frequent comments on this subject. Most take any job they can get as an entry-level position. Check some of the other subjects in the Medical Coder forum and you'll find lots of comments.

3. Start pay depends on who's hiring, location and other factors. In Dallas, I was told an entry-level coder starts at $16/hr. (think that's what Baylor pays). But in smaller locales, that can go much lower. The main thing in coding is not to concentrate on how much you'll start at. Once you get a few years experience, the pay drastically increases to $25 and up. I met one outpatient auditor who was making about $35/hr., but she wasn't happy in that position and was desperate to break into inpatient coding. Plus, chances are you won't start in the coding department.

From my experience, I get a feeling that people who first go into a coding education expect it to be easy, and it just isn't. Many drop out after A&P. You have to really want to be a coder to make it through. Once I started the actual coding classes at AHIMA I became even more excited about the prospect of actually making a living at coding. You have to think long-term and know that with challenge, comes growth.

Good luck!

Gail

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Kelly in Tallahassee, Florida

36 months ago

Gail, have you looked into transferring your credits earned through AHIMA toward an associates degree?

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

36 months ago

Kelly in Tallahassee, Florida said: Gail, have you looked into transferring your credits earned through AHIMA toward an associates degree?

No, I haven't. I really need to do a bit of research before I pay "x" amount of dollars towards transferring: I want to be sure that ACE credits are accepted by at least some colleges out there. Plus, until I start bringing in a paycheck, I don't want any more expenses in that area.

I did get hired for an actual coding position and start next Monday - think they will start me by taking over some of the electronic scanning at first and then move into LTAC coding. Can't wait!

g

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Anita in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

27 months ago

I'm interested in going thru the AHIMA basic coding program for my CCA..do I need to take all the classes in the clusters. such as Computers in Healthcare? I realize I wouldn't get the completion certificate, but I would still be able to sit for the CCA exam right??
For people who've taken the CCA or CPC exams, is there anything on them that would be in a course like the Computers in Healthcare class (I saw the book for this course & it is incredibly boring)..this is the only class I'm not interested in taking....

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Jacqueline Moore in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

27 months ago

Wendy in Wasilla, Alaska said: Need advice on AHIMA Coding Basics Program trying to decide where to start.

I've been out of coding classes for seven years, I had the anatomy & physiology course, and would like to know where to begin. I've had this course through ahima and would like to now finish. Would you have my anatomy & physiology course still on file?

My name is Jacqueline Denise Moore.
Jackie@earlmooregraphics.com

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Dianne in Marshfield, Massachusetts

26 months ago

Gail in Sherman, Texas said: The downside to AHIMA is that when you come out of the program, you will not have an Associates Degree, which is what you would probably have if you went to a community college . That means you cannot sit for the RHIT (the AHIMA credential that requires at least an Associates Degree). The RHIA is for those who have a bachelors degree. AHIMA does state that you can get an ACE transcript by paying to register your completed classes with them, but I haven't checked that out. I may do that if I decide to complete the associates program online - just have to find an online school that will accept those credits.

Other negs are: no teacher in front of you to ask a question and get an immediate response - you can send off a course support request form, but sometimes they don't get back to you quickly and/or the response is not always what you expected; I did find several incorrect answers in the answer key and informed AHIMA - after a while I stopped...got tired of sending off an email only to get back a non-committal response thanking me for advising them of the problem; several of us felt that some of the questions on some of the finals were posed in such a way that it made us feel they were setting us up to fail that question...but then again the CCA had some questions like that as well; the overall look of the class modules (each class is sectioned into approx. 15 modules each with a test about every 3 modules) was dated and I think AHIMA needs to improve it.

When I started A/P with AHIMA, the discussion boards were FULL of other students commenting, asking questions, etc. But by the time I got to the 3rd cluster of the coding program, there were very few on the boards. Pathophysiology is what I call the make or break class. Very hard! However, I have made some lasting contacts through the boards.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Is there a way for us to communicate?

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Dianne in Marshfield, Massachusetts

26 months ago

I just finished the AHIMA Coding Basics program and it wasn't a positive experience. There were content errors, tech issues and a great deal of inconsistency with instruction. I took the CCA practice exam (which had two errors in it!!!!) and got a 74% which is not a passing grade! This is completely unacceptable. I have a Master's Degree, I am a former teacher and, without meaning to sound arrogant, I am intelligent. I took the classes very seriously, worked hard, earned good grades, but I don't think I am going to pass the CCA credentialing exam!

The exam is not well-designed. I read in another comment that some people feel that some of the questions (in many of the AHIMA finals) are worded so that test-takers will not answer the question correctly. I agree. It seems to me that AHIMA is busy promoting upper-level classes for their existing members, but they are making it difficult (in unfair ways) for new people to break in.

I had one interaction with someone at AHIMA who (excuse my expression) "buffaloed" her way through explaining an answer from the Clinical Coding Workout by using a lot of medical terms and a complicated explanation; the answer to the problem was WRONG and she would not admit it. I later found out that AHIMA put out the 2011 version of CCW, but didn't update it from the 2010, so many, many of the answers were incorrect since many of the codes were changed from 2010 to 2011.

If anyone reading this has had experiences with AHIMA that are less than positive, I would be interested in hearing about it. I have spent a lot of time and money on the program, but feel cheated. It is so wrong to take someone's trust and exploit it.

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Nicki in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

26 months ago

Wendy in Wasilla, Alaska said: That is my plan also my biggest concern is the credits being transferable.

Wendy did you find out if the credits transfer?

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glgcoder in Roseville, California

25 months ago

Dianne in Marshfield, Massachusetts said: I just finished the AHIMA Coding Basics program and it wasn't a positive experience. There were content errors, tech issues and a great deal of inconsistency with instruction. I took the CCA practice exam (which had two errors in it!!!!) and got a 74% which is not a passing grade! This is completely unacceptable. I have a Master's Degree, I am a former teacher and, without meaning to sound arrogant, I am intelligent. I took the classes very seriously, worked hard, earned good grades, but I don't think I am going to pass the CCA credentialing exam!

The exam is not well-designed. I read in another comment that some people feel that some of the questions (in many of the AHIMA finals) are worded so that test-takers will not answer the question correctly. I agree. It seems to me that AHIMA is busy promoting upper-level classes for their existing members, but they are making it difficult (in unfair ways) for new people to break in.

I had one interaction with someone at AHIMA who (excuse my expression) "buffaloed" her way through explaining an answer from the Clinical Coding Workout by using a lot of medical terms and a complicated explanation; the answer to the problem was WRONG and she would not admit it. I later found out that AHIMA put out the 2011 version of CCW, but didn't update it from the 2010, so many, many of the answers were incorrect since many of the codes were changed from 2010 to 2011.

If anyone reading this has had experiences with AHIMA that are less than positive, I would be interested in hearing about it. I have spent a lot of time and money on the program, but feel cheated. It is so wrong to take someone's trust and exploit it.

Hi Diane - I also am taking the Coding Basics program and have been more than a little frustrated with the errors and inconsistency. Please email me at glgrenell@gmail.com if you want to communicate thru other than this forum.

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glgcoder in Roseville, California

25 months ago

Dianne in Marshfield, Massachusetts said: I just finished the AHIMA Coding Basics program and it wasn't a positive experience. There were content errors, tech issues and a great deal of inconsistency with instruction. I took the CCA practice exam (which had two errors in it!!!!) and got a 74% which is not a passing grade! This is completely unacceptable. I have a Master's Degree, I am a former teacher and, without meaning to sound arrogant, I am intelligent. I took the classes very seriously, worked hard, earned good grades, but I don't think I am going to pass the CCA credentialing exam!

The exam is not well-designed. I read in another comment that some people feel that some of the questions (in many of the AHIMA finals) are worded so that test-takers will not answer the question correctly. I agree. It seems to me that AHIMA is busy promoting upper-level classes for their existing members, but they are making it difficult (in unfair ways) for new people to break in.

I had one interaction with someone at AHIMA who (excuse my expression) "buffaloed" her way through explaining an answer from the Clinical Coding Workout by using a lot of medical terms and a complicated explanation; the answer to the problem was WRONG and she would not admit it. I later found out that AHIMA put out the 2011 version of CCW, but didn't update it from the 2010, so many, many of the answers were incorrect since many of the codes were changed from 2010 to 2011.

If anyone reading this has had experiences with AHIMA that are less than positive, I would be interested in hearing about it. I have spent a lot of time and money on the program, but feel cheated. It is so wrong to take someone's trust and exploit it.

Hi Diane - can you please contact me. I am also in the Coding Basics and would be interested in purchasing some books from you (or anyone else that has taken the courses and are interested in selling their books).Contact me at glgrenell@live.com

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Gail in Sherman, Texas

25 months ago

Dianne in Marshfield, Massachusetts said: Is there a way for us to communicate?

Dianne - If you have an email you can post (don't know how we can communicate through this website other than posting here), I'll get back to you. I rarely check my home email and will not post my work address here and unfortunately don't have a gmail account.

Gail

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Angela in Summerville, South Carolina

24 months ago

I completed an AHIMA approved coding program in February of this year (2012). I did not take the certification exam right away due to family circumstances and I need to take some "refresher" courses or some how review in order to sit for the certification exam. Does anyone have any advice on what direction I should take? I cannot pay to retake the courses, but haven't been able to find any refresher courses. I am a SAHM who is ready to get into the workforce full time but finding an entry level position in a medical office/hospital has proven difficult as well! I am getting frustrated to say the least. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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glgcoder in Roseville, California

24 months ago

Angela in Summerville, South Carolina said: I completed an AHIMA approved coding program in February of this year (2012). I did not take the certification exam right away due to family circumstances and I need to take some "refresher" courses or some how review in order to sit for the certification exam. Does anyone have any advice on what direction I should take? I cannot pay to retake the courses, but haven't been able to find any refresher courses. I am a SAHM who is ready to get into the workforce full time but finding an entry level position in a medical office/hospital has proven difficult as well! I am getting frustrated to say the least. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Angela - I also am taking the AHIMA coding Program. You should be ready. I would suggest getting the CCS Exam Prep book and then just going back thru some of your tests from the program. Good Luck. Feel free to email me at glgrenell@gmail.com I plan on taking the CCS in March

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Alexandra in Bridgeport, Connecticut

7 months ago

HIM Recruiter in Thousand Oaks, California said: Jessica,

As a recruiter, I can tell you that most hospitals want a CCS,RHIT or RHIA for credentials. Billing offices may take CPA but most hospitals won't.The credential you get will affect where you will work. Good luck.

Hello, I am looking to study medical blling and coding, Can you recommend me any accredited college or university by the AHIMA please?

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PMRNC in Plattsburgh, New York

7 months ago

Medical billing and coding are two separate types of jobs. THEY can be combined of course with coding being the added bonus, but there is always MORE of a demand for medical billers or PRACTICE MANAGERS as I prefer to call them. We have an online community of medical billers both in business for themselves as well as those working in offices and even consultants. You can learn what it takes to start a business or just increase your resources and networking opportunities with us. www.billerswebsite.com We are a one stop medical billers resource and networking community.

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Molly in College Park, Maryland

3 months ago

As a coder who just quit after three years at two different hospitals, I can tell you that your education is of little value. Many of the coders I worked with never went to school, but we're pulled out of the HIM department. I attained certification, and started at $25. an hour, but quit because the reality out there in the field is that you are forced to code illegally. I had my director take a record from me more than once to upcode it, while she called me "too incompetent" for coding it by AHIMA standards. This was after a query to a who doctor supported my coding. And the bullying in coding is rampant. We had four coders quit in 12 months because it was destroying their health. I just won an unemployment appeal without any evidence, because the hospital didn't show up at the appeal where they would have to answer for themselves. It's not about correct medical records, it's about making money foe the hospital. Sorry, brothers how it is in the trenches.

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