With 2009 drawing to a close, what resolutions are you going to make for 2010?
Has further education and job security entered your mind in these tough economic times?  Well it should!

We are all lucky to be in one of the most resilient industries, but even now job prospects and job security can be tough and concerning. One thing that won't change, is the power of education. Many of our subscribers hold a certification, which is great, but why not spend the time in 2010 to obtain an additional certification to re-power your resume and job security? Sure, the initial exam may cost may be an outlay, but the credibility gained from the extra certification will definitely give you a career edge on others. Best of all if you get certified by any of the associations below, your BC Advantage subscription will enable you to obtain up to 12 CEUs with that association at no additional cost. So why not take the next step?

Association of Health Care Chart Auditors (AHCAE)

"Where Accuracy and Integrity are First Priority"
The AHCAE is one of the nation's leading health care auditing membership organizations dedicated to the advancement of professionals who perform health care auditing and education. AHCAE's members include experts in a variety of disciplines, who are devoted to improving the consistency and accuracy of health care auditing and compliance. 
AHCAE helps auditing professionals meet the challenges of the modern healthcare environment by advancing the skills, integrity, and value of our certified members, while imposing a strong emphasis on regulatory laws with guidance pertinent to correct coding, documentation, billing and reimbursement issues. We provide education, support, guidance, and auditing credentials - our focus is directed solely to exceptional auditing skills and high level education.

AHCAE Certifications:
· CHCA - Certified Health Care Chart Auditor
· CHCA-F - Certified Health Care Chart Auditor-Facility
· CHCA-S - Certified Health Care Chart Auditor-Surgical

These designations signify achievement through a rigorous certification exam that includes actual hands-on auditing requiring the examinee to prove the accuracy of their findings and recommendations.

Visit www.ahcae.org for more information.

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

As part of its effort to provide medical coders and health care professionals with leading continuing education events, the AAPC announces its 2010 national and regional conferences. The 2010 National Conference will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., June 6-9, and the Regional Conference will be held in Springfield, Mass., October 7-9.
The National Conference is the AAPC's signature annual event, drawing thousands of attendees. This national medical coding conference will feature eight breakout sessions with over 45 educational sessions, a hand-on anatomy expo, 60 exhibitors, keynote presentations, showcasing of local chapters and many other opportunities to network and advance your medical coding career. Registration begins in December 2009 and is $795 for members and $995 for non-members. Those who register by March 15, 2010, will receive a $100 discount.
The Springfield, Mass., Regional Conference features local and national experts and presenters at a smaller and less expensive venue enabling coders to get education for less money. Registration dates will be announced in early 2010.
For more information on either of these 2010 continuing education conferences, please visit http://www.aapc.com/conferences/index.aspx or call 800-626-2633.
The AAPC (www.aapc.com) is the nation's largest medical coding training and certification association for medical coders. The AAPC provides credentials to medical coders in physician offices, outpatient facilities and payer environments. These credentials represent the gold standard certifications for medical coding. The AAPC provides a wide variety of benefits to its more than 80,000 members worldwide.

Visit www.aapc.com for more information

Association of Registered Health Care Professionals (ARHCP)

Expect big things out of this certification in 2010! The Registered Medical Coder (RMC) certification has a lot going for it in many respects and stands poised to take the coding industry by storm.

The RMC is the only online course and test with bonded licensing coming from the US Department of Education's GNPEC unit.

The curriculum was developed by the Medical Management Institute®. The test is credentialed by the Association of Registered Health Care Professionals (ARHCP).

With both a Medicare and private insurance component, the course and test cover the full range of expected coding scenarios.

The ARHCP works to ensure each Registered Medical Coder is provided with enough knowledge to not only be proficient in, but also master all of the following skills by completing a set of comprehensive examinations which ensures they are adept at:

" Accurately navigating within the ICD-9-CM, CPT, and HCPCS coding manuals
" Properly applying level I and level II modifiers
" Comprehending current federal compliance guidelines
" Understanding the fundamentals of the Medicare program structure from claim Origination to claim reimbursement
" Understanding the E/M elements and key components in depicting proper levels of service
" Deciphering levels of services using provided documentation

RMCs are required on an annual basis to:
" Pass an examination, which test the students¼ knowledge of new coding rules and Medicare regulations.
" Obtain 12 continuing education units from sources which emphasize topic related to healthcare reimbursement.

Visit www.arhcp.org for more information.

The Medical Association of Billers (MAB)

MAB wants to thank all of our members and certified billers for our continued growth in 2009.  In 2010 we are excited to announce more partnerships to help small practices and home-based businesses survive in these trying times.

· We have partnered with Medicare Med Learn Matters to get you the most current changes to the Medicare program.  Look for regular articles from Medicare in the CodeTrends Newsletter and on our forum.

· Are your office supplies taking a bite out of your bottom line?  Use your OfficeMax Retail Connect Card to get discounts on the products you use every day.
· We have teamed with GreenFlag Profit Recovery to help you get out of the RED with past due patient accounts.  GreenFlag can help you receive a better return on your investment than a typical percentage based collection agency because of their fixed fee service, which averages less than $10 per delinquent account.  
We are also excited to announce:

· A totally new interactive web site in 2010.
· The long awaited publication of our Medical Billing and Coding Study Guide used in our PowerWeekends.  This book will give you the basics of medical terminology, insurance plans, billing, coding, fraud and abuse and will prepare you to sit for the National Certified Medical Billing Specialist Examination.
· We invite everyone to submit their salary information on the Medical Billers Salary Survey.  Results will be published in an upcoming CodeTrends and on our web site.  For more information visit our web site at: http://e-medbill.com/salary_survey.htm
· For our Psychology/Psychiatry billers make sure to visit our new Psyc Corner in your CodeTrends newsletter.

Visit www.e-medbill.com for more information.

Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM)

"Sharing Knowledge Since 1988"

PAHCOM is dedicated to promoting professionalism in physician office practices. As PAHCOM members, managers of medical practices are encouraged to pursue professional development through continuing education and certification, and to share knowledge to improve performance and to increase efficiency and revenue. Through PAHCOM, office managers learn how to get the information and skills they need to continuously improve their practices and stay ahead in the ever changing field of healthcare.

Here's what physicians have to say about the benefits of PAHCOM for their practice managers:

"Our practice has benefited significantly from the new ideas our practice administrator brings back from PAHCOM, particularly in contracting and human resources. Having our practice administrator be a member of PAHCOM is a 'slam-dunk' and should be a 'no-brainer' for any physician practice."
- Robert Barker, M.D. President, Acute Care Consultants, Dayton, OH

"PAHCOM has proven to be an unlimited resource for our office, as advantageous information is shared during their meetings. The networking gives our office manager almost instant access to the solutions and ideas that keep our office running in a profitable, successful manner. In short, I would not practice medicine where the office manager does not belong to PAHCOM."
- Jeffrey G. Meade, MD

"PAHCOM is money in the bank. Whether it's for the business of medicine or not, I always try to put money into the people I depend on and work with."
- Glenn R. Womack, MD

"Our practice has always been very supportive of PAHCOM. We have received our investment back many times over."
- Gary R. Ensz, MD

Visit our website (www.pahcom.com) for more details about PAHCOM or email us at PAHCOM@pahcom.com to connect with our knowledgeable staff who will address your questions.

"Each of us alone is one; together we are the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management."

Visit www.pahcom.com for more information

The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS)

PAHCS, pronounced "packs" is dedicated to the professional and individual development of specialty coders, especially those in physician practices.

In 2010 PAHCS will challenge coders to "Invest in yourself".  Membership (and specialty certification) enhances your value to an employer.  For an annual membership fee of $120 coders can become part of a nationally recognized association, the first step to becoming a recognized professional, specialty certification exams are an additional fee.  Doctors, office managers/administrators and coders are looking for new and innovative ways to increase the company bottom line.  We recommend practices have a coder on staff that is part of a national association, like PAHCS.  Among other offerings, PAHCS offers a 24/7 list serv where coders ask and answer coding questions.  Imagine having hundreds of coders from around the country able and willing to answer your coding question.  As a member you will also be able to answer questions from other coders.  Sharing knowledge is powerful.

Additionally, in 2010 PAHCS will increase the number of specialty credentials we offer.  Visit www.pahcs.org to view our current specialties.  If you don't see your specialty listed, email us at pahcs@pahcs.org and tell us what your specialty is and we'll let you know how you can become PAHCS specialty certified in 2010.  Specialty certification exams are offered around the country and can even be taken in your local area.

2010 will have many challenges; by working together we can make 2010 a GREAT year.

"PAHCS, large enough to help and small enough to care".

Visit www.pahcs.org for more information.

Professional Healthcare Institute of America (PHIA)

Where we've been and where we're going!

2009 has been a busy year for PHIA/Medical Staff SOS, Inc. and we are excited about our continued growth as we approach 2010.  We support our medical community and work hard to help them remain educated on upcoming requirements and programs.  In conjunction with the Greater Louisville Medical Society and as a way of saying "thanks" to our medical community we provided 8 FREE - 2 hr. educational sessions regarding RAC to every major hospital in the Louisville/Southern Indiana area with an attendance of over 1000.  We've also created a comprehensive "tracking tool" for the RAC audits that can be used for other third party payor audits as well.   This will be available through our website in November, 2009.

Our joint venture with the Greater Louisville Medical Society entitled "GLMS Physicians take AIM at Diabetes" has been a great success.  The NCQA DPRP certification which ultimately will enhance much needed revenue and provide better care for the patient and this year it has been expanded to include PQRI.  PHIA/Medical Staff SOS, Inc. is honored to be a part of this initiative and we currently have over 100 physicians ready to be audited for this recognition.

Our National CEU Roundtable Conference in Louisville, Kentucky was a huge success!  If you weren't able to join us this year please visit our home page to view the conference slide show and conference page to view the attendee comments.  Preparations have already begun for next year and this has been scheduled for October 7, 2010 at The Olmstead in Louisville, Kentucky.  We'd love to see you there next year!    

ICD-10 coding:  To better enhance our services our website has undergone major changes which will provide certified healthcare employees with the quality education and resources they deserve.   We are currently working to develop a page specifically to ICD-10 coding.  Education is priority at PHIA therefore in order for our certified members to maintain their credentials they will be required to obtain 8 CEUs pertaining to ICD-10 and this will need to be submitted along with their membership renewal form in 2013.  In addition to this, once the new change is implemented in 2013, PHIA will require certified members to: 1) review the pp presentation provided online and 2) take the exam provided (graded online, must be 75% or higher).  YOUR MEMBERSHIP DOLLARS AT WORK:  This new web page is being funded with the money received through memberships and the presentation and exam will be available to every member at no additional cost. 

ONLINE certification courses (CCP, CCP-H, CCP-AS) continue to grow.  If you know of someone who wants to become certified and would like to take an online course we'd love to talk with them. 

We continually strive to provide healthcare community with quality education and services and we are looking forward to another great year in 2010. 

Visit www.phia.org for more information.

The Professional Medical Billers Association (PMBA)

The Professional Medical Billers Association (PMBA) is a professional association consisting of members from 26 states (and growing!) Our members are novice and experienced medical billers and coders, medical billing business owners, and medical billing and coding students.
In addition to the CPMB (Certified Professional Medical Biller) credential, the PMBA also offers online specialty billing courses for medical billers to expand their current knowledge; these courses increase both job prospects for employment and client prospects for the medical billing business owner!

PMBA is pleased to announce the release of its new course, Understanding ICD-10 PCS.  This course is taught by industry expert and author of Applying Coding Concepts, Deborah Eid.  Members of the Professional Medical Billers Association receive a $50 discount off the course fee! View the course description by visiting the PMBA website at www.pmbausa.com
NEW Workshops:

The PMBA offers workshops on Starting a Home-Based Medical Billing Business and Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage. Each workshop is 2 hours in length. President of the PMBA, Michelle Rimmer, will come to your location and speak to your group, students, employees!

Visit www.pmbausa.com for more information.

Practice Management Institute® (PMI)

PMI will kick off 2010 with several new and exciting offerings which will be profiled on the newly designed web site, to launch in January. The site will feature new content, training options, and a more streamlined topic listing.

"We wanted to make it easier for our visitors to find the classes that meet their needs," said Douglas O'Dell, President and CEO of PMI.

PMI has expanded NetworkPMI into the social networking arena. Facebook and Twitter fans can now add PMI for news, discussions, and event postings.

"It's the newest way for our network members to stay connected with late breaking news, event postings, and discussions benefiting to the medical practice professional," said Nancy Clements, PMI's Director of Marketing Communications. "We want to know what people think about the updated look of NetworkPMI."

The National Conference for Medical Office Professionals is gearing up once again. The event will once again be held at the San Antonio Convention Center. Dates are May 20-21 with an interactive pre-conference session held on May 19.

Popular national presenters and PMI favorites will be included in this year's line-up. Find out what's up and coming, and learn what career skills will take you through healthcare's metamorphosis.

PMI continues to expand its Webinar offerings. Guest speakers have brought more targeted topics to customers via this 1.5 hour learning format. Dial-in sessions are about an hour and a half long, held mid-day during the week. A current listing can be found in the Audio Learning Center: www.pmiMD.com/audio.

There are very few physician staff training organizations more dedicated than PMI to helping certified professionals excel in their profession. Those who have attended PMI programs over the years are familiar with our faculty. Each instructor is backed by a team of committed program managers and support staff working behind the scenes to ensure that PMI's training, certifications and customer service continue to meet and exceed today's high standards.

Visit www.pmimd.com for more information.

Physician Office Managers Association of America (POMAA)

POMAA would like say "THANK YOU" to all of our members for supporting our association in 2009 and for helping us grow into 2010.  POMAA has some exciting news for the upcoming year where we will be offering new specialty certifications such as: HIPAA Compliance Specialist (CPM-HCS) and Operational Expense Specialist (CPM-OES).  We currently offer certifications as a Certified Practice Manager (CPM) and Human Resource Specialist (CPM-HRS). 

POMAA is also excited to hold its 2nd Annual National Conference in New Orleans, LA September 22 - 24, 2010 and we are proud to say our 1st Annual National Conference was a great success in Baltimore, Maryland.  New for our 2010 National Conference will be breakout sessions on practice management topics in addition to our general sessions with great nationally known speakers such as: Laura Sachs Hills author of "How to Recruit, Motivate, and Manage a Winning Staff," Owen Dahl author of "Think Business," Lon Kieffer, and Wendy Lipton-Dibner author of "M.A.D. Leadership for Healthcare." 

In addition to offering certifications and our national conference, we also partner with sponsors to give you the best discounts in the industry on coding/compliance books, payroll services, voice documentation services, EMR companies, office supplies, and the list goes on.  Our benefits speak for themselves such as: newsletters, a 24/7 listserve, member discussion forums, access to over 100 policies and procedures for your practice, free job postings and the list goes on...

We encourage everyone to visit our website at www.POMAA.net and see what we have to offer.  Our annual membership is the lowest in the industry with some of the biggest benefits out there.  We are "A practice management organization created and run by practice managers for practice managers ~ with your best interest at heart!" 

Visit www.pomaa.net for more information.