You must obtain 24 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every 24 months, and maintain active membership in PAHCS. Failure to do either may require that you retake the certification examination. When you have collected the required 24 CEUs, (and are within two months of your recertification date), submit the following to the PAHCS national office:
Completed CEU documentation form
Copies of all completion certificates (Originals cannot be returned!)
$50 recertification fee
After processing, you will receive an updated identification card reflecting your newly recertified status.
We have also listed the most common recertification questions, and listed them below.
Simply click on a question to view the answer:
What counts as a CEU?
CEU credit is authorized for most educational sessions, seminars, courses, etc. providing training/information relevant to duties as a medical coder. These sessions do not need to be pre-approved by PAHCS, but information must be relevant, and the presenter recognized as qualified and credible. CEU credits are not authorized for presentations by video tape, audio tape, CD/ROM interactive programs, or other independent study methods. Self study courses, except those specifically approved in advance by PAHCS, are not authorized for CEU credit. If you have a question about a particular session, or about the recertification process in general, please review the "Education" section of our website, or call the National Office at 888-708-4704.
What CEUs will PAHCS accept?
PAHCS recognizes there are several organizations offering continued training for coders. Our goal at PAHCS is to promote the coder as a profession and to that goal we strive to be inclusive rather than exclusive when it comes to awarding CEUs. This means, if you have attended professional training that is verifiable and pertinent to your coding profession and the instructional block was at least 50 minutes out of each hour then there is a VERY good chance we will accept that for CEU award. Simply send in the documentation and let us evaluate it.
Are there training programs that PAHCS will not accept for CEUs?
One of our greatest assets is our member integrity. It is difficult for PAHCS to verify "listening to coding audio tapes" or "reading a book on coding". We also understand that in some parts of the country collecting 24 CEUs over the course of 2 years may be difficult. Generally, we will not accept un-verifiable or non documented programs for CEU awards, however, in special cases allowances may be made. These exceptions will be on a case by case basis and will require you to contact PAHCS to discuss your personal appeal. Our goal is to ensure you are staying up to date with the most current information and increasing your knowledge in your chosen profession and to maintain the reputation of PAHCS as we grow.
I am an instructor, do my classes count toward my CEUs?
Yes and No. The accumulation of CEUs is to increase your knowledge of coding in a verifiable, documented way. PAHCS will use the guideline that the first time a class is taught we will award CEUs, for the second and subsequent time a class is taught CEUs will not, generally, be awarded. Of course there are exceptions to each rule and those can be addressed on a case by case basis by contacting the PAHCS national office. Constant learning is important for everyone.
What if my CEUs are denied by PAHCS and my recertification date is due?
PAHCS will do everything in our power to assist our members. On the rare occasion that PAHCS does not accept a member CEU we will work with the member to ensure they are given a reasonable time line to accumulate CEUs that were rejected. PAHCS wants to help members and we will do that by working with members, not by working against them.
Do educational presentations at local chapter meetings qualify as CEU sources?
Presentations at chapter meetings are evaluated just like any other seminar or workshop, and certainly do qualify for CEU credit if they meet the criteria described above.
How do I know if a particular seminar or workshop qualifies for CEUs?
Generally you will be awarded CEUs when you attend any educational/training session designed to help you do a better job as a medical coder. A particular course or seminar does not require "pre-approval" or review by PAHCS in order for CEUs to be awarded. Common sense will be the guide for determination of questionable sessions, but there are two general considerations the national office staff uses in making these determinations: (1) Is the information relevant to coding? And (2) Is the presenter generally recognized as qualified and credible?
CEUs are not awarded for presentations by audio tape, video tape, CD-ROM, or other similar methods.
How do I get CEUs?
CEUs are obtained by attending local, regional, or national education sessions, courses, seminars, workshops, etc., providing training relevant to duties and responsibilities as a Healthcare Coder. You should plan ahead, and not wait until the last few months before your certification expires to try and collect all 24 CEUs. You should attend educational sessions on a regular basis, and not be pressured at the last minute. The PAHCS annual conference, held each year, is an excellent opportunity to collect CEUs in a relatively short time period, but certainly is not, and should not be, the only source available.
Can I receive CEU credits for Home Study/correspondence courses?
In general, no. On occasion PAHCS may approve CEU credit for selected comprehensive home study/ correspondence courses. Call the national office for information on which courses are currently recognized for CEU credit.
Where do I record CEUs?
A CEU documentation form is provided to each newly certified coder in the initial certification package, and may also be downloaded by clicking here. The following information is required: name of program, date, and number CEUs reported. Documentation (i.e. diplomas or certificates) of attendance/completion should be submitted with the CEU documentation form. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS! Keep those for your personal files. In those cases where a chapter presentation is used for CEU credit, and no certificate is available, a letter or memo from you containing all pertinent information may be substituted.
How do I know how many CEUs a particular session is worth?
One CEU is awarded for each actual hour of classroom instruction attended. Example: You attend a seminar from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (8 hours). There are two 30 minute breaks during the day, and a lunch break of 1 1/2 hours. Of the 8 hour day, you have earmed 5 1/2 CEUs. (CEUs cannot be broken down further than 1/2 hour).
Do college courses qualify for CEU credit?
Yes. Any college course that is relevant to your duties as a Medical Coder, and which you successfully complete with a grade of "C" or better, can be counted for CEU credit. CEUs are equal to three times the credit hours awarded. (Example: A six week course worth three college credit hours can be converted to nine CEUs).
I have 18 months to go before my recertification date, and already have 24 CEUs! What should I do?
Wait until you are within two months of your recertification date, and submit documentation of 24 CEUs. Extra CEUs do not count towards recertification. All 24 CEUs must be earned in the two year period prior to the recertification date.
The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists (PAHCS) is a communications network and member support system dedicated to enhancing the compliance, documentation, and reimbursement capabilities of healthcare coders.
The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists