How to Get the Most Out of Medical Coding and Billing Continuing Education
As a medical coding and billing professional, you often need to earn CEUs on your own time (and your own dollar), in which case you want to make sure you’re getting the most benefit for the cost.
Attending a one day conference or workshop that offers 8 or 10 CEUs can be an economical use of your time, given that you need at minimum of 18 units each year. Attending a conference or workshop is a good idea especially if the meeting is relevant to your current position or to the position you hope to get.
Both the AAPC and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offer workshops that allow coders to not only earn CEUs but, most importantly, to also learn about updates to policies, procedures, and diagnosis codes. Attending these can be costly (check with your employer to see whether it will subsidize your attendance), but the price is often worth it.
Compared to online learning or reading articles, attending a workshop gives you the opportunity to ask questions and network with the instructors and other attendees. Medicare also hosts training through a program called Provider Outreach and Education. The goal of this program is to educate providers and their staffs about fundamentals of Medicare, including policies, procedures, and changes to the Medicare program.
Medicare also offers numerous training opportunities: live training through seminars, teleconferences, and webinars; on-demand training through audio and audio-visual presentations including educational materials; and online training through the Medicare Learning Network, a web-based program that targets different provider types. These opportunities are usually free if you sign up in advance.
Boot camps are learning-intensive workshops. They normally span a two- or three-day period and can supply you with a lot of CEUs. Check with the AAPC or AHIMA to find out about boot camps in your area.
A host of paid subscriptions target specialty areas from anesthesia to urology. Subscribers to these publications or websites normally have the opportunity to earn CEUs by completing online quizzes that cover current and past articles. The good thing about subscribing to these resources is that you can review them on your own schedule and as often as you like.
The downside is that, if you need clarification, you have to write a letter or send an e-mail to the editor(s) and wait for the answer. If you tend to be impatient, you may want to keep some other resources at your disposal as well.